What is a goose lifespan? This is a good question to ask about these large waterfowls. They are common in our homes or in ponds around us. So, how long do geese live?
Geese are closely related to ducks more than they are to swans. They share a lot of similarities and will mostly prefer to graze near water bodies or take a long birth in water.
They are pretty hardy and if you have some you can agree with me. These birds will live longer than chickens and other poultry if they get all the basic requirements.
How long do they live?
In general, most breeds of geese have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years depending on whether they are in the wild or in captivity.
However, the case is different for Canadian geese because they tend to live longer than other breeds. These birds will hit past 25 years as long as the conditions are right for them.
African geese, Chinese geese and snow geese are going to live for the same period of 15 to 20 years just like other geese breeds.
How long do geese live in captivity?
There is an advantage for those geese that are raised in captivity over those that roam freely on their own.
When a goose is domesticated, most of the responsibilities she had of making sure that all her basic needs are met are taken from her shoulders.
Domestic geese are fed, protected, sheltered and enjoy a host of other benefits over their wild sisters and brothers.
In the wild, geese will encounter numerous challenges like, predators, habitat loss, lack of food, harsh weather, sickness and competition among themselves and other bird species.
Most domestic geese may live for long and surpass the 20 year mark. There was a case of one farmer who had a pet goose that lived for 30 years and four months old.
Factors that affect the lives of geese
For any animal to live well and longer, there are things that will either make lengthen their life or either, shorten it.
So, what will affect the life of a goose?
1 Food and water
Food is one of the basic requirements in the life of any living organism. It is from the food we eat where we get nutrients that are able to support our bodies.
Geese require a well-balanced diet for proper growth and robust development. In most cases, geese primarily rely on grass and other plant matter for food.
They are adept foragers and will enjoy soft green grass more than anything else. However, supplementing them with treats like grapes, cracked corn, bird seed and celery is recommended.
Most wild geese will have to look for their own grazing areas and water to drink. They will prefer areas near ponds, lakes and swamps where they will eat water plants, slugs and in rare cases eat small fish.
Most geese living freely prefer areas near water bodies. The water is important because this is where their mating ritual takes place.
They also get food like water weeds and mussels in water. These birds rely on water plants and shallow waters to build their nests and raise goslings.
Habitat loss has been one of the greatest factors which have contributed to a shorter lifespan for most wild geese.
The loss of habitat has been caused by farming, construction of buildings on riparian land, pollution and weather changes like draught and famine.
Domestic geese are lucky because they have their own pens and houses built for them. The walls will protect them from predators and the roof will keep rain out.
The floor has warm bedding and the run is well secured with hawk netting. This gives them an advantage over their wild brothers.
In most animals and birds the female gender carries the responsibility of either giving birth or laying eggs and raising the young to ensure continuity of life.
However, male geese share this responsibility with the female. The lady will lay the eggs and the man will be left to incubate them while she is away feeding.
This gives the both gender an almost a similar life period compared to other birds.
Health is very important in any living organism. Healthy geese will live for long because they are not going to face ill health.
The health of any goose will be determined by the food the bird eats, parasites like lice, mites and worms, shelter and habitat.
Sick birds will live for shorter periods compared to healthy ones. If you notice a slight behavior change which you suspect to be ill health, call a qualified bird vet for assistance.
Most wild geese are targeted by other animals and birds of prey for food. They are also shot down by poachers for their meat.
This has led to a short lifespan because some birds are killed while still young. Domestic geese are somewhat safer until when a predator manages to catch one.
What are the best goose nest locations?
Geese lay eggs and hatch into baby geese or goslings. For a female goose to lay her eggs, she must first look for a suitable nesting area where she feels it is safe for her, eggs and goslings.
These birds prefer to nest near or inside water bodies on isolated islands, on top of small hill, inside the reeds and in bushes around rivers and lakes.
Sometimes it is common to see several nests in one area depending on the number of birds that live there.
They prefer to make their nests where common predators like foxes, possums, wolves, bears and birds of prey cannot see them.
How many eggs do geese lay?
Geese are seasonal layers and do not expect an egg from your girl each day. Most eggs are laid in the spring season between February and May.
These birds will lay a clutch of about 6 to 7 eggs and then stop to incubate them. In a season, most prolific egg laying geese will not lay more than 30 eggs.
Geese eggs are white and large with a thick egg shell. The inside eggs is white with a large single egg yolk that is yellow in color.
Why are geese so aggressive?
Geese have a rowdy nature and can even cause harm by attacking humans, small farm animals and even their own kind.
These birds are mean and do not want to share their space with anyone. They are very aggressive when they have goslings and will do anything in their capacity to make sure they are well protected.
Geese are used as guard dogs and will notify you when there is an intruder in their vicinity. Some farmers will raise them together with chickens to provide security to some free range hens.
Geese can live for long if they get all the basic needs. Their status is not yet threatened but for some breeds, the numbers are dwindling.
Domestic geese are likely going to live longer than wild geese. In the wild, a lot awaits these birds and this may threaten their life making them not live for long.