Domestic goose

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bathing domestic geese

The Hausgans is a pet and is used as home and livestock held. The main form of most European domestic geese is the gray goose ( Anser anser ). Mute geese , domesticated forms of the Central Asian swan goose ( Anser cygnoides ), are rarer. Domestic geese are usually not able to fly.


In the German language there are special terms for male geese: Gänserich, Ganser, Ganterich or Ganter . Goslings are as Gänsel or Gössel referred.


Emder goose , one of the largest and oldest domestic goose flocks, now threatened with extinction

The Romans and Germanic peoples domesticated the greylag goose because of their meat and feathers .

The goose of Persephone was sacred to the Greeks and served as a lovely bird, whose beauty was admired, as gifts to beloved boys, etc. Penelope already owned a small flock of 20 geese. Geese were not only kept because of their sanctity, but deliberately stuffed - for the same reason as today, to make their livers fat . Two very early documents connect geese with feeding in a way that distinguishes them from the other animals on the farm (Homer, 19.536 f; Kratinos 49 in Athenaios 384c, where the passage from the Odyssey is also cited). The goose of Juno was sacred to the Romans , and geese were therefore kept in their temple on the Capitol , which are said to have awakened the garrison with their screams during the invasion of the Gauls under Brennus and thus saved the castle. Because of the strong chatter when disturbance by unknown people, geese are used variously as guard geese today .

The goose also plays a special role in the Martins tradition surrounding St. Martin of Tours .

Breeding of the goose happened mainly in Europe . At first the focus was on increasing body size. 150 years ago, domestic geese had a live weight of 8 kg, and marsh geese even 15 to 20 kg. Later, the reproductive performance became increasingly important.

The geese not only provide meat and feathers, but also the goose fat (the leftover fat of the geese).

Breeding areas

Young domestic geese in free range in Bavaria

Geese for the German market are mostly imported from countries such as Poland or Hungary , with the Christmas goose playing an important role in addition to the St. Martin's goose . Foie gras for the preparation of foie gras is mostly imported from France , Israel , Italy and Hungary, as the foaming of geese is prohibited in Germany , Austria and Switzerland .

Goose fattening

Domestic geese lay up to 60 eggs per season. Goose eggs are a local specialty on the Lower Rhine. Laying geese are kept for this purpose. Their attitude differs fundamentally from the fattening goose attitude. The chicks reach their slaughter weight after 9 to 32 weeks. Fast-fattened geese have a slaughter weight of around 4.5 to 5.5 kg after nine weeks. With intensive fattening, the animals reach their slaughter weight of 5.5 to 6.5 kg after about four months. With pasture fattening, the animals only have their final weight of 6.5 to 7.5 kg after five to eight months.

Breeds of goose

A flock of young domestic geese in free range
Free range in Schmadebeck

A distinction is made between around 100 geese breeds , which are classified according to size and laying or breeding behavior. Probably the oldest domestic goose breed is the Emden goose , a heavy breed of laying goose that emerged from large country geese kept in the area of Emden and Bremen . As early as the 19th century it was spread in the USA , England , Bohemia and Hungary . A fairly new breed of goose is the German laying goose, which represents a medium-weight type preferred for today's production of goose meat.


Pied pomeranian goose in guard position
In sleeping position
Utterances of domestic geese

Some breeds of goose come in several colors. Color schemes describe which area of ​​the plumage has which color. Here are the best-known colors with the descriptions:

  • White:
    In white geese, all feathers are white.
  • Gray:
    Gray is the wild color of the geese (see gray goose and swan goose ). Gray geese have a slightly brownish-gray plumage, only the belly and rump are white. The feathers on the shoulder, the carrying feathers, also called: thigh plumage, and the wing feathers have a white border.
  • Blue:
    The blue is a thinned gray, otherwise like gray.
  • Brown:
    Drawing like gray, only leather brown instead of gray. The brown color is inherited recessively, it fades with strong sunlight.
  • Checked:
    Checkered colors are available in gray (gray checkered), blue (blue checkered) and brown (brown checkered). Affected are the head, about the upper half of the neck, the shoulder plumage ( heart-shaped when viewed from above), the lower back, the carrying feathers ('thigh plumage ') , and the control feathers . The feathers on the shoulder, the suspension feathers and the swing feathers have a white border.

Hump ​​goose

Another form is that domesticated Höckergans selected from the group consisting of East Asia derived Schwanengans was grown. It can be successfully crossed with the European domestic geese.


  • Martin Platzbecker: The big poultry standard in color . 2., completely revised and exp. Edition. tape 3 : Water fowl: geese and ducks . Oertel and Spörer, Reutlingen 2000, ISBN 3-88627-219-2 .

Web links

Commons : Domestic Geese  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Manfred Golze: Keeping fattened geese. In: niches in poultry farming and production. Kuratorium für Technik und Bauwesen in der Landwirtschaft eV (KTBL), 2005, accessed on February 16, 2015 (internal KTBL commissioned work).

Individual evidence

  1. GRIMM, GÄNSEL, GENSEL, n . In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm : German Dictionary . Hirzel, Leipzig 1854–1961 ( , University of Trier).
  2. GRIMM, GÖSSEL, predominantly n., Young goose, goslings. . In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm : German Dictionary . Hirzel, Leipzig 1854–1961 ( , University of Trier).
  3. Jürgen Martin: The 'Ulmer Wundarznei'. Introduction - Text - Glossary on a monument to German specialist prose from the 15th century. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 1991 (= Würzburg medical-historical research. Volume 52), ISBN 3-88479-801-4 (also Medical Dissertation Würzburg 1990), p. 131 (Middle High German gensesmalz ).
  4. Goose breeds. In: Poultry Breeds Encyclopedia (2011-2016)., accessed July 24, 2016 .