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Author Topic: Why do my geese keep flying away?  (Read 17551 times)


  • Joined Sep 2011
Why do my geese keep flying away?
« on: October 18, 2011, 10:51:13 pm »
We recently acquired two beautiful Embden Geese. Did as we were advised and kept them in a stable for a few days until one of them actually flew out over the half door. They were then kept in the stable yard for a couple of days and then as all appeared well were let into the paddock areas where they remained happily for a couple of days (being returned to the stable at night). Both geese made their first flight for freedom early one evening after, we believe being startled by our pony. They both flew over trees and a six foot stone wall and across a busy main road before one landed in a neighbours garden, the other one  finally stopped about 1/4 mile away. On this occasion we managed to get both of them back and were advised by a neighbour to clip a wing and to keep them inside for 2 weeks. We kept them in,  much to their disgust and let them out again after a week when one of them in particular managed to get out every time we went in. So we then clipped a wing on each of them and let them out again. Two days later, despite the fact that the person that we acquired them from had told us that they didn't fly AND the fact tat we had clipped their wings, one of them flew off again. This time the second goose stayed behind despite being urged to leave with much loud honking from the escaped bird. Unlike the previous occasion, the goose did not go too far and we discovered her in the rear garden of a neighbour once again across the road -  whilst explaining to the neighbour that our goose was in her garden it appears that she may have tried to return because the husband saw her take off again but unfortunately she flew straight into the rear wall of the house and died within minutes. We contacted the person that we had bought the gees from and she was amazed as she has quite a lot of them and has never seen them fly!  We decided to replace the goose that had died as I had read that they are better in pairs and goose number 2 seemed lonely without her mate. He (goose No. 3)was delivered this afternoon but kept in and then to our utmost suprise and distress early this evening goose 2 (Jemima) took off and landed in the same garden as the first deceased goose. Fortunately we were able to get her back unharmed but are beginning to wonder whether or not we should return both geese before 1) there is an accident in the road or 2) another goose is injured or killed. We are confused as we were told and have read that Embden geese rarely if ever fly and then even having clipped their wings, they can still fly. We don't really want to keep them in as we wanted them to freerange with the chickens - can anyone out there advise?


  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Why do my geese keep flying away?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 11:48:16 pm »
I don't keep geese but it occurs to me that it is currently migration time for wild geese so perhaps they have been unsettled by their move to you and feel the age-old urge to go home.   
We never found that wing clipping worked for our hens, but you would think it would be more effective for a heavier bird such as a goose.  Perhaps that is why the goose flew into the wall - she couldn't fly where she was heading.  Birds normally have excellent spacial awareness and an appreciation of closing speeds, so she should have been able to avoid a wall in normal circumstances.
Even though you want them to be free range it would be safer to keep them in for a while now.  Construct an 'air-lock' at the gate to their compound, so there are two gates - you go in one and close it before you open the next.  Like a prison, yes, but it might save their lives and they can go out once they are more settled.
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  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Why do my geese keep flying away?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2011, 12:00:03 am »

Please if i sound harsh in my reply i don't mean to just trying to help you,

I have in total 15 Embden geese some are guards some are lawn mowers,i find it very strange that a goose would fly over a stable door unless hungry,when you got them what was there routine ie just on grass,fed on corn,free range or in pens and when they were in the stable what were you feeding them,
How old are they?
So sorry you have lost 1.
Mine are in large pens and the ONLY time that i might get the odd 1over the stock fence is in the morning when they see me coming out of the front door for there breakfast,there far to heavy to be able to take off and fly.
From your post the seller said that they never did this with them so you really need to talk to the seller and see if there if anything that you are doing different to the seller.
As i said earlier i don't wish to upset you but if the seller is telling the truth and they never had this problem then you need to look in to what has changed so suddenly to  make them behave like this.
Although mine don't need the extra feed i give them a scoop of mixed corn in the morning just to keep them on the tame side and they really look forward to it.Even if they could fly why would they go off when they know that they will have guaranteed food every morning.
Feeding them will really help.

« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 09:27:53 am by piggy »


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Why do my geese keep flying away?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2011, 07:55:33 am »
Our Embdens are not clipped. The first day we got them they all flew out of the lovely 6/6 foot fenced field we had for them into our other fields, just within sight. But by putting out food, they all but 2 flew back in by evening and the other 2 were just outside the field and we herded them back in. Since when they have all stayed put despite numerous wild geese flocks flying over. We also have horses (and sheep) in the fields all round them.

They still take off and fly low across the field but just seem happy to stay.

I really feel for you, it must be very upsetting.

I personally would concentrate on the food loyalty aspect. Im not sure whether the stable will make them settle or just unhappy if they arent used to one? If it were me I would be feeding them lots in the paddock and trying to up their loyalty, while accepting there might be a few test flights to put up with first. Also do they have a shelter? Ours love the ark in the field and do all their nesting etc in it.

If it does work out, theres nothing nicer than knowing that one animal you have on your place is basically definitely choosing to be with you - the rest are fenced in, but they could leave but dont. Makes me feel good! Good luck with whatever you try!


  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Wales
Re: Why do my geese keep flying away?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2011, 09:55:58 am »
I had a few embdens and have never seen them fly. I hatched and raised them and the closest they have ever got to looking like they may take flight is running through the field with wings open


  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Why do my geese keep flying away?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2011, 10:19:58 am »
My geese fly onto the neighbours land but we do give them their xmas dinner in return,  :D Goose :D


  • Joined Mar 2011
  • Dolau, Llandrindod Wells,Powys
Re: Why do my geese keep flying away?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2011, 01:57:32 pm »
If they can still fly after clipping then you have not clipped enough , start at the tip and clip close for about 3/4 of the wing. one wing only. It took a couple of months for our Toulouse to settle in and accept the new home with us, but they have angel wings so cant fly anyway, even so they used to follow the stream for a mile or so every day , but then recently they decided that this was home and now they just hang around the house and terrorise the goats.


  • Joined Jun 2011
  • North Somerset
Re: Why do my geese keep flying away?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2011, 02:51:23 pm »
Tania, I fear perhaps geese are not for you :D, I have never kept geese as they must smell my fear and chase me I have been attacked in my own car. ???, I would suggest some Turkeys or something with a little less stress attached.


  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Fife Scotland
Re: Why do my geese keep flying away?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2011, 04:54:03 pm »
My answer and its simple they flew because they could.
Shetland sheep, Castlemilk Moorits sheep, Hebridean sheep, Scots Grey Bantams, Scots Dumpy Bantams. Shetland Ducks.


  • Joined Sep 2011
Re: Why do my geese keep flying away?
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2011, 03:29:14 pm »
Just a quick note to thank all those that took the time to reply to my question. Pleased to report that the replacement for the goose that 'committed suicide' and the remaining original goose seem to be settled in ok now. We did get someone else to clip their wings and they took the feathers back a lot further than we had done. Incidentally we do also have some turkeys.........unfortunately one of those decided to die on the same day as the goose, so it was really stressful all round. Happily all remaining turkeys appear to be thriving! :) :)


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