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  • Writer's pictureimgingerlynn

Preparing for Sebastopol Geese Breeding Season

Updated: Jan 24

We have confirmed four females in our gaggle via IQ Bird Testing. This leaves us with two ganders looking for mates. Adult Sebbies are so challenging to locate. We may have to purchase a few female goslings this year and raise them to be ready in 2025. Our birds got a new goose coop this year, separated into three areas. The kids helped band them all, and we ensured no one was related. I used the Zudksuy ID bands because they come in various colors. I feel confident in my trios and pairs. We hope to hatch some fully curly-breasted white goslings, some greys, and some smooth-breasted of both colors. It is winter here in Glennville, CA. We added straw to their nesting areas and Sweeter Heaters for their comfort. Let's just say the breeding has begun. I can hear the commotion from my bedroom window.

We just purchased the GQF Sportsman model 1502 incubator. After a year of research and talking to other Emu and Sebastopol owners, I feel confident the investment will be worth it. I was able to find large egg trays that will fit goose eggs. I love that the GQF has automatic turners and a digital display. Of course, we will still hand-turn a minimum of 1-2 times daily and mist as needed. Since fertility can be an issue with Sebastopol Geese and incubation is tricky, I'll be incubating some inside and letting mamas sit on a few for experimental purposes. Either way, we are all very excited. There is nothing more adorable than a baby gosling. They are little fuzzy snuggle bugs that are super fun to watch grow!

I have a few more things to order to get ready for the babies this year. They'll need outside time. I prefer using outdoor playpens with a roof because we have overhead predators here in the mountains. You don't have to have the roof, but you'll need to goose-sit your babies if not. Hawks, owls, and even your dog can be deadly in a flash. I also will need one more heater. Last year, I learned I don't want the typical red lights in my home. They are not safe for my family or the babies. Besides, they love to cuddle up to the heat! I'll be ordering the Cozy Coop Radiant Heater. It has a flat panel and provides radiant heat. I think it makes the baby goslings feel safe and calm.

Last year, I also found out goslings like to chew on each other if they get bored! If you blink, your babies will have bald spots. This year, I'm purchasing some dog toys. I like the larger plush toys like the Jalousie 5 pack of tough toys. The only other thing that stopped the nibbling was carrots. They love carrots. It is funny. Geese have little "teeth" and use them like a saw to chow down those carrots in the blink of an eye! No need to chop up. They can handle a whole carrot. Think of it as your baby's pacifier.

We also better take an inventory of feeders and waterers before the goslings hatch. Who knows? By now, those may be being used by other feathered family members. Geese cannot use chicken waterers as they drink differently. I prefer the Blue Large Lil Clucker Automatics. If you have a smaller space and no room for the bucket, use a dog bowl that is stainless steel and anti-slip. They like to stick their beaks in water and splash. Just check frequently to refill and clean. Be ready to change out bedding material often. To keep the smell down in their gosling habitat, I sprinkle down Coop Refresher by Zeolite. They were more affordable, and it worked.

Lastly, I will stock up on Spring Valley Vitamin B Complex drops and lots of frozen peas, as we know our Sebbie babies need lots of Niacin for their development. The vitamins are a must, and they just get added to their water.

We are so excited to meet our future goslings here at Hippie Hens. We hope as we prepare for the breeding season, our tips and advice will help you as well. Happy hatching!

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