Why Do Geese Abandon Their Eggs?

Anyone who keeps geese might have come across a challenge of one or two of them abandoning their eggs. They indeed leave their eggs, but do you know why they do so? We’ve gathered more information about geese leaving their eggs, so keep reading.

Geese may abandon their eggs because of predators around nesting areas, incubation problems, bad weather, or lack of food around them. To avoid this, ensure they are comfortable by providing all their needs.

6 reasons why geese abandon their eggs

In some cases, it is okay for geese to leave their nesting areas to get something to eat or just take a walk. Broody geese have the ability to eat less because they store and save more nutrients before they start sitting on their eggs. They never leave their eggs unattended; if you see them do so, they have no options, and there is definitely a pressing issue. Here are some reasons:

1. To eat and drink water

When a goose is hungry and requires something to drink or eat, it might forsake its eggs, just like hens and other birds do. This is critical because the goose may choke and grow weak due to the lack of nutritional factors.

Like any other living animal, your goose requires food and water for survival. If you notice it wants to sit on its eggs, always provide food and water close to its nesting area. This will help reduce their urge to always leave the nesting area.

2. Current Training

Some farmers train their geese on how to leave their eggs. This is because they can benefit from the eggs for commercial purposes. 

If you have a goose abandoning its eggs before hatching, the past owner may have trained it to leave the eggs once it lays them. The best thing is that you can still train it on how to sit on its eggs, and since it has motherly instincts, it will do it in no time.

3. Hormonal changes

Another cause for geese abandoning their eggs is that they have passed their broody state. It is usual for a goose to have hormonal changes but rare. Do not panic when these happen since the change won’t last long. All you have to do is monitor its behaviors, and you will notice that it will cool down and sit on its eggs with time.

If your goose takes long before returning to its broody state, incubate the eggs since they might get spoiled if you expose them outside for an extended period.

4. If the eggs are spoiled, your goose will abandon them

The other main reason a goose will leave her eggs is if they are spoiled. Rotten eggs won’t hatch, so it’s wise for your goose to leave her eggs.

If you notice that your goose has abandoned her egg because they are spoiled, take them to a different place and check them one by one to see the ones that haven’t spoiled.

5. Environmental disturbances

Another factor that may cause your goose to leave her eggs is change and disturbances in its surrounding environment. It prefers a serene, calm, and safe nesting place.

If you notice your geese want to sit on their eggs, look for a place where your pets and kids won’t disturb them. Also, avoid transferring your goose from one place to another since this may be why it abandoned its eggs.

Also, it can get distracted by another goose, so if your goose is broody separate it from the others to avoid such problems.

6. Nature

It is in the nature of geese to leave their eggs from time to time. Goose, by nature, choose to leave their eggs for their reasons, just as no one trained them how to scrape the ground for substance. Perhaps this is where their faulty motherly instinct comes into play since they have been known to hurt their gosling if they don’t believe it is theirs.

Why geese may leave their eggs unattended

Her motherly instincts are the leading cause for a goose to leave her eggs unattended. A mother goose understands that for an egg to hatch, it must leave it exposed to temperatures of about 98 degrees F.

Furthermore, an egg does not begin to produce as soon as it is laid; instead, it remains in a state of suspended animation until the goose leaves it to be exposed to environmental temperatures.

When the goose mother determines that the eggs are sufficient, she will hatch them. This is done to allow the goslings to hatch practically simultaneously. Geese usually lay 12 to 15 eggs before becoming broody.

A goose’s usual incubation time ranges from four to five weeks. The timing might vary in an incubator, but most eggs hatch between the fourth and fifth week.

How long can a goose leave her eggs?

Geese must leave their nest to go and search for food and water. This will only take 10 to 20 minutes, and she will be back to sit on her eggs. If geese have only one egg laid, you must wait for it to gather 6 to 10 eggs for her to sit on them, which will take about two weeks.

However, all this depends on several factors like feeding habits and health. You can only estimate the duration, but it is never specific. If your geese take more than 7 days without checking on their eggs, especially after laying like 7 or more, you need to find out why.

What do you do with an abandoned goose egg?

First, you must understand why your goose abandoned her eggs. She would come back if she left the eggs because of hormonal changes.

If your geese abandoned their eggs and refuse to sit on them, just pick them up, sell them, or you can store them in a supporting room temperature and use an incubator for hatching.

Mostly goose cannot abandon her eggs for long, so if she takes long, know how you will attend to them before they get spoiled outside.

How can you prevent a goose from abandoning her eggs?

You may control how often a goose may have the urge to leave her eggs. This can be done by monitoring their movements and determining their needs. Then try and make their need available near them. This way, they may not stray far from their eggs.  

1. Provide water and food for her

This being the leading issue why she is abandoning her egg, you can control it by placing food and water around its nesting area. Once it notices it has enough food to sustain it, it won’t disappear.

2. Keep your goose away from disturbances.

Another way to prevent your geese from abandoning their eggs is to ensure the nesting area is conducive, safe, and quiet. Keep your kids and pets away from it. If predators are around, ensure they are kept away from the nest’s reach.

3. Do not remove her eggs from the nest.

If you must take her eggs for commercial benefits, ensure you do it in a way your goose won’t realize. If you pick, just pick some and leave others behind.

Those are a few reasons your geese may abandon their eggs. You are responsible for knowing why your goose left its eggs and how to help or prevent it. Moreover, egg-laying mother geese do not easily dump their eggs. There has to be a pressing issue, and a good farmer should be able to spot and solve the problem.