La Feria News

Embden Geese

Do you have a childhood memory of a friend or family member’s cranky farm goose chasing, hissing, and biting at you? While geese, in general, do have a reputation for being very territorial, not all of them are so aggressive.

Here at Grace Heritage Ranch we raise a heritage breed known as Embden Geese. The first ones were brought to America in 1821. When they arrived in Boston, they were originally called “Bremens” after the city of Bremen in northwest Germany which was their port of departure. They are one of the oldest domestic breeds with records dating back over 200 years.

Our Embden geese have never been aggressive towards us or our guests; however, they still watch the property and announce anything out of the ordinary. They are quite independent, allowing the occasional stroking but then waddle off to attend to their own business. Being excellent foragers, their business is eating grass. They do it quite well with little input from us except for providing them with safe pastures of good grass, plenty of clean water, and access to the kidding barns for shelter from predators at night.

geese-pool

Along with the Toulouse Geese, the Embden is the largest of the domestic geese and is a beautiful, pure white bird with ice blue eyes. They can stand 3.5 feet tall and reach an adult weight of up to 30 pounds for the ganders and up to 24 pounds for the goose. As with most geese, they mate for life. The gander will form a pair bond with a single goose or occasionally two. They are seasonal layers generally raising a single clutch each year. Beginning in February here in south Texas, the goose will usually lay a clutch of 10 to 30 eggs and then sit for 28 to 34 days. They are excellent parents with both the goose and the gander guarding the goslings.

To learn even more about homesteading, join us at Grace Heritage Ranch for our Saturday morning tours. We are located just 30 minutes northeast of Harlingen near Santa Monica. Please visit us at www.GraceHeritageRanch.com or www.Facebook.com/VisitGHR. For a recorded message, please call 1-855-447-8687. We offer both public and private tours.

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