How to Tell Female From Male Canadian Goose

Written by heather vecchioni
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How to Tell Female From Male Canadian Goose
It's impossible to tell a Canada goose's gender by its colouring. (Canadian Goose 2 image by StylezInk from

It's not all that difficult to tell the gender of a Canada goose, which is sometimes referred to as a Canadian goose. It does, however, take lots of practice and a particularly cooperative bird. Unlike with some birds, the gender of Canada geese cannot be determined simply by looking at its colouring, according to Rather, the Canada goose requires an examination to divulge its gender. With practice, patience and an easy-going goose, it is possible to identify its sex.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Table
  • Rubber glove
  • Petroleum jelly

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  1. 1

    Grab a goose that is at least 2 years of age by its neck with one hand and its body with your other hand, according to the Michigan State University Extension. Place the goose on a low table.

  2. 2

    Lay the goose on its back so that its neck is dangling off of the table. Hold the neck between your legs.

  3. 3

    Place the tail over the edge of the table. Identify the genital opening, also called the vent or cloaca, located directly under the goose's tail and between its legs. According to the Michigan State University Extension, it will be pointing away from you. Use your fingers to apply pressure to both sides of the goose's opening.

  4. 4

    Lubricate your gloved finger with petroleum jelly and carefully and gently insert it into the goose's opening. Stop once you have gone in about three-quarters of an inch.

  5. 5

    Rotate your finger once inside to relax the goose's muscles in that area. Note any protrusions that may reveal themselves. Your Canada goose is a gander, or male, if a 2- or 3-inch protrusion that looks like a corkscrew sticks out, according to the Michigan State University Extension.

    If you notice a smaller protrusion that looks like an earthworm, you likely have a 6-month-old gander. Females have a very small protrusion that is much smaller than that of a male. If the protrusion is small, doesn't stick out much and doesn't look like a corkscrew, it is likely you have a female.

Tips and warnings

  • The Michigan State University Extension recommends waiting until a goose is at least 2 years of age before attempting to identify its gender, as it is easier to determine for a goose of this age than for one that is younger.

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