Hatching goose eggs is a fun project. It is also an easy way to create your own flock of geese without the expense of buying a goose and a gander. These directions use a broody chicken hen to hatch the goslings, or baby geese.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Goose eggs, fertilized
- Broody hens
- Nesting boxes
- Warming box
- Green goose food or baby chick starter
Acquire goose eggs from a reputable dealer. Be sure to purchase fertilized eggs and not edible eggs.
Prepare the nests. Dust them with insect powder. Also remember to dust the hens a day or so before the goslings are due to hatch.
Purchase broody hens ahead of time. One hen will hatch four to five goose eggs. Turn the eggs once a day while the hen is off her nest. Goose eggs are too large for a chicken to turn by herself.
Wait patiently for the hatch. It takes 28 to 35 days for goose eggs to hatch. That is a long time for a hen. Be sure to feed the hen plenty of grain and water and allow her off the nest at least once a day. Keep food and water nearby so the hen doesn't wander off and forget about business. Do not let the eggs chill.
Sprinkle eggs with lukewarm water daily during the last week before the hatch. The day before the hatch is due, cover the eggs with warm water and watch the live goslings bob. After a few bobs, place the eggs back in the nest. This procedure mimics a goose that has just returned to the nest with wet feathers. If the egg is already cracked, do not submerge the egg beyond the crack, or you'll drown the gosling.
Remove the goslings from the nest as soon as they hatch, place in a box and keep them warm. If you don't remove the babies, the hen will think she's done when the first one hatches and will leave the nest. Not all eggs will hatch on the same day.
Hatching the Eggs
Keep baby goslings in a box, with a few cloths on the bottom. Place the box in a warm location.
Feed the babies chopped green feed a few hours after they hatch. Grass or lettuce will do. Bread soaked in milk will also work. Chick starter is another option.
Place the goslings out in the warm grass during daylight hours after the dew dries off the grass. Do this after they learn to walk. Like any newborn, they will be wobbly the first few days. Keep the babies in a warm, dry place at night.
Maintain this schedule until the birds are well-feathered. This usually occurs by the time they are 3 weeks old.