Best Breeding/setting Turkeys, Ducks and Geese? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

What breed of Turkey, Duck and Goose would you pick if you were looking for those that will lay well, raise their own young, and dress out well for the table? Don't want much, do I? :)

-- Tracy (, January 25, 2002


Tracy, I would post this question on the relevant Forums dealing with these fun poultries. The Poultry Connection has a General Waterfowl Forum for questions about ducks and geese and lots of links to commercial sites, and if you search down a ways you will find a discussion re turkeys and some links to people who raise them. Some research on your part should be fun and informative. Buy some books also. With all of these species there is a trade off, fast wieght gain versus mothering ability or egg laying production versus the same thing. Have fun and good luck, LQ

-- Little Quacker (, January 25, 2002.

I think I have asked a few times before.......*where* do I find this Poultry Connection?????????

-- Tracy (, January 25, 2002.

Hi Tracy, it sounds like you want birds that are more self-dependent which can be a real asset on a homestead. I will have to pass on the turkeys since we don't have them but here is a quick rundown of our experience on ducks/geese.

Ducks- if you mainly want ducks for meat in the fall/winter and want a breed that set their own eggs reliably Muscovies are wonderful. They set 1-3 cluches a year and have a very high hatch rate and will raise the ducklings. Other breeds that we've had go broody (though none have hatched their eggs successfully yet) are Swedish, Rouen and Silver Appleyard. I would recommend either the Rouen or Appleyards if you want good layers and plan on pulling the eggs for incubating elsewhere and then using the extras for meat birds.

Geese: All of our breeds of geese have gone broody. The White Chinese and Pomeranians have been the most successful hatching out and raising goslings. As for dressing for the table, Chinese geese are smaller and don't provide quite as much meat as the other breeds (and therefore are some of our favorite eating geese) and lay extremely well up to 60 (or more) eggs a season. The other geese will be larger and give you a much more meat (how large is your oven LOL). However, the Embden will probably pick cleaner than the darker feathered breeds.

Hope this helps some! Good luck,

-- Trisha-MN (, January 25, 2002.

Thanks Trisha, just the kind of opinions I was looking for!

Here's what is probably a dumb question How on earth do you tell the male and female geese apart til they are full grown?

-- Tracy (, January 25, 2002.

No, not a dumb question at all! Geese are pretty tricky to sex, sometimes even after they are adults. The only sure method is to vent sex them and there are web sites with diagrams out there if you do a search. I also have some info if you'd like me to send it to you. Pilgrim geese might be a breed to consider - they are auto sexing. The females are grey, the males are white. They are a rare breed also so more people are needed to establish flocks. Medium sized and good foragers. Fairly quiet too.

Otherwise I usually go by behavior and size. When you approach the geese will usually move to the back and the ganders to the front, sometimes stretching their necks out protectively and calling. The males may walk towards you also to put themselves between you and the females and hiss. Females also are generally smaller than males but I wouldn't go by that, as young males may be the same size as older females etc.

Hope this helps some!

-- Trisha-MN (, January 25, 2002.


To answer your question, Good luck!

-- bluetick (, January 25, 2002.

Tracy, i have cayuga ducks that are wonderful sitters. last year we had one hatch and raise two families, and they are good mothers. she never lost a duckling! i don't know how they dress out tho, i have never eaten one. I also have Pekins, and they are a wonderful bird for the table and i even had one sit last year. she didn't hatch anything but she got an e for effort, she really tended her nest well. i was impressed bec i had been told pekins don't sit. Good luck!

-- Susan (, January 26, 2002.

As far as geese go, I would pick the Pilgrim. They can be sexed at birth, not very agressive and good parents.

-- Patrick (, January 28, 2002.

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