Over the last decade more homeowners have opted to keep animals in their backyard that would be more suited to a farm environment. Geese are one such creature, and like any animals, keeping them can be a long commitment. But just how old does a domestic goose live?
Here’s all you need to know about geese lifespans.
How long do domestic geese live for? Domestic geese can live for up to 20 years of age. But with proper care, the right environment, and no health issues, some domestic geese have had a lifespan of 45 years old. Wild geese will have shorter lifespans.
Read on to learn more about these fascinating animals and what will help to increase the lifespan of a domestic goose and what you can do to make them live longer.
The life expectancy of domestic geese
Many people who want geese as pets wonder will need to know how long can domestic geese live. Whilst I gave the short answer above as being 20 years of age, multiple factors determine the lifespan of your geese.
Factors such as environment, health, and climate conditions all have an impact on a geese’s lifespan. The type of food that is available will also influence how long they live. If you have pet geese, the most important thing is to keep them happy and comfortable.
How to help a domestic goose live longer
Different types of geese have different life expectancies. Many people keep geese as pets and collect their eggs. Their eggs are very similar to duck eggs and can be eaten by humans.
Geese feathers are very soft and often used to stuff pillows or comforters. They require access to water, grains, grass, and shelter.
The shelter should be kept clean and hygienic. Clean the enclosure at least twice a week to keep the domestic geese in a healthy condition.
Which goose breed lives the longest?
Have you ever heard the myth that geese can live for a hundred years? That is simply an urban legend.
According to Guinness World Records, the oldest goose was a gander named George. He lived up until the age of 49 years and 8 months. George died in 1976 in Lancashire, England. Geese typically live longer in the wild than domesticated geese.
That doesn’t mean your pet goose is going to outlive you. The average domestic goose lives between 15 and 20 years. The breed that lives the longest is the Swan Goose. They are found in northern China and Mongolia.
How long does a goose live in the wild?
As you would imagine, a wild goose will have many factors set against it which means it will typically not live as long as a domestic goose. Whilst a domestic can goose can live as long as 20 years, or even 45 years in rare cases, the life expectancy of wild geese is lower.
Wild geese will normally live 10 to 15 years. If they reach this age, they have had a long life. Factors that influence this include predators in the wild, no access to veterinary care, and feeding limitations.
Then there are different types of geese and how their life expectancies can differ. For example, grey geese, white geese, Canadian geese and African geese. Here’s the lowdown…
How long do grey geese live?
The Greylag goose, scientifically known as Anser Anser originates from the Anatidae family. Also known as grey geese, they have a life expectancy between 15 and 20 years.
This family also consists of black and white geese. Archaeological evidence confirms that domestic geese can be traced back to ancient Egypt more than 4,000 years ago. They were kept for their eggs and their meat.
As mentioned already, wild geese live in a different environment. They are more exposed to the elements and have a shorter lifespan than domestic geese.
In some countries, people hunt wild geese and in other areas they are protected by the law. Wild geese also need to deal with natural predators in the wild. Predators include bears, snakes, foxes, rats, and wolves.
Canadian goose lifespan
Canadian geese live on average up to 12 years, but some have lived 20 years or more. In the wild, they don’t live as long, as they need to fend for themselves against the elements and predators.
There are reports that some wild Canadian geese have lived for up to 30 years, but this isn’t typical of their species.
African goose lifespan
Domestic African geese that are cared for, can live for up to 25 years or more. You would think that the African goose originated in Africa, but it’s a hybrid between a Chinese goose and a Swan goose. They are big bulky birds that can handle the cold weather.
How long do Chinese geese live?
Chinese geese are the most common poultry breed. They are taller than the waterfowl species. These geese are very popular as they can lay up to 60 eggs during breeding season.
How long do white geese live?
The white goose or Swan goose lives between 10 – 20 years. They are a domesticated fowl breed that is seldom found in the wild.
These geese have very long, powerful necks and are known as “watchdogs” many farmers keep these geese. They will alarm you if anyone approaches and will keep intruders at bay.
Geese have excellent memories, so they get to know the people that care for them. If you hurt them or steal their eggs, they will often hold a grudge and won’t forget about it easily.
Do geese live longer than ducks?
The short answer is yes, most ducks only live for an average of 10 years. Ducks and geese need very similar living conditions. They need food, water, and a clean-living environment to live to their fullest life expectancy.
Which bird lives the longest?
The lifespan of the geese differs according to the type of geese. Geese are monogamous birds when they are younger. Once they reach three years old, they form a bond with the opposite sex and mate for life.
If their partner dies, they will live the rest of their lives alone.
Below is a table for easy comparison at a glance… (including those geese already mentioned):
- Laysan Albatross: life expectancy up to 68 years
- American Flamingo: life expectancy up to 49 years
- Bald Eagle: life expectancy up to 38 years
- Sandhill Crane: life expectancy up to 37 years
- Atlantic Puffin: life expectancy up to 33 years
- Great Horned Owl: life expectancy up to 28 years
- Mallard: life expectancy up to 27 years
- Great Blue Heron: life expectancy up to 24 years
- White geese: life expectancy up to 20 years
- African geese: life expectancy up to 15 years
- Chinese geese: life expectancy up to 15 years
- Canadian geese: life expectancy up to 12 years
- Elf Owl: life expectancy up to 5 years
So, now you know how long domestic geese live, as well as many other breeds, here’s a few interesting facts about geese I’d like to share with you.
Fun facts about geese
- Did you know that as a gosling, geese will bond with the first moving stimulus they see as they hatch? This could be a person or even an object. They will remain dedicated to that “parent” throughout their lives.
- Geese are social animals and will form a bond with pets and other livestock.
- A group of geese on land is called a gaggle. If they are in the air, they are called skein.
- Food sources include seeds, nuts, plants, berries, and grass.
- Geese are known to spend most of their time on land.
- They will always fly in a “V” formation. This is because it allows a 71% greater flying range. Once the lead goose gets tired, another one will take over the head position.
- Geese will go into mourning if they lose their eggs or their partner.
- They protect each other, if a goose gets sick the others will bring it food and try to help it.
- Geese have amazing eyesight. The way their eyes are positioned allows them to see things in much finer detail at a much further distance. They can see better than humans.
- They can also see UV light and have the ability to control their eyes independently.
- Geese can sleep with one eye open. They shut down half of their brains to rest, but are always looking out for danger.
- The bills of geese are extremely sensitive and can be compared to human fingertips.
- Goose is actually the term used to describe female geese. Males are referred to as ganders.
- Some geese migrate every year and they can live just about anywhere.
- Geese will often stand on one leg, but to keep warm not to sleep.
- Males protect the nest while the females sit on the eggs.
- Almost all the 30 species of geese are migratory and are capable of flying up to 5,000 kilometers each season.
- Once a year they go through a molting stage. Adult geese will lose their flight and tail feathers. This means they won’t be able to fly until their new feathers grow back. Molting can last between 30 and 45 days. During this time, they will stay close to the water and try to avoid predators.
- Their mating season is between March and December. Geese will return to the place they were born to mate.
Goosey, goosey, gander where do you wonder?
I always feel nostalgic when I listen to this nursery rhyme, as I heard it many times growing up. How much do you know about our feathered friends?
Well, I hope I’ve helped you understand geese and their life expectancy a little better today. If you want to know about this bird, please read on below.
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Image in header via https://pixabay.com/photos/geese-bird-nature-white-geese-3568536/