With 3 children active in 4-H, an unexpected love of poultry has developed over the past few few years. We have raised meat chickens, meat turkeys, and a special interest has been in waterfowl. We do not have chickens as egg layers, using only the ducks and geese as our primary source of eggs for eating during the laying season. Duck eggs are larger and richer and provide a superior :loft" to baked goods and our family actually has grown to prefer them over chicken eggs, though during the non laying season (from about end of October - February, we do buy chicken eggs from the store).
We DO hatch out goslings in the spring, so if there is a particular interest in a Pilgrim goose, or a Pilgrim/Embden cross gosling please contact us through our "Contact Us" page.
If you are interested in ducklings or hatching duck eggs, please go to Mak'helah Tekiah ducks.
You can continue reading about our geese and ducks below!
To the left is Pollyana, a female goose who we kept back from 4H market geese projects in 2015. He does market geese every year at fair-time. The market geese are usually temporary residents. Pollyana is one of a trio of geese Elijah manages here at the farm.
Elijah also bought a pair of Pilgrim geese earlier in the summer of 2016. Samoset and Mayflower (Sam and May)
From left to right, is Mayflower (gray Pilgrim), Samoset (with his back towards us- male Pilgrim) and Pollyana, the Embden goose.
What are Pilgrim Geese?
Pilgrim geese are a docile and calm breed and the only breed of geese whose sex can be determined as a gosling and as an adult. Females are a gray color (varying shades) with brown eyes, and males are white with varying shades of gray fringing over the rump and blue eyes. They reach a mature weight up to 13-14 pounds. The goose lays usually around 35-45 eggs per laying season (early spring-summer).
"Pilgrims are rugged, quiet, docile, good foragers, excellent natural parents and make good medium-sized roasting birds. Because they are sex-linked for color, it is a simple matter - even for the novice - to keep the correct ratio of males to females when selecting young for future breeders. Ganders can be mated with three to five geese" (Holderread, 1981). When selecting for breeding stock "look for broad backs and breasts that are keel-less. Stay away from using birds with any sign of a knob (an indication of crossbreeding), long necks and legs, shallow breasts, ganders with excessive gray in the plumage and geese with predominantly white necks. Because Pilgrims are noted for being sweet-tempered, this trait should be considered when retaining birds for reproduction" (Holderread, 1981).
We also have a few different flocks of ducks. Magpies, Silver Appleyards and just added a trio of Muscovies. While all our children like the ducks, Kira has her own website dedicated just for them. You can see more about these ducks or contact her about hatching eggs or hatchlings at Mak'helah Tekiah ducks. Here are a sampling of the ducks we have (pictures of Muscovies coming soon):