Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Hybrid Greylag or Domestic Goose

In Europe, the domesticated geese came from the greylag goose. Geese were domesticated over 4,000 years ago in Egypt. Domesticated geese are more than twice the weight of wild geese as they have been bred for meat and they also produce substantially more meat than their wild brethren. For example, wild geese have a slim rear end and domestic geese have fat rear ends and a more upright posture. Domestic geese will lay 50 eggs a year and the wild geese will lay 5 to 12 eggs. Many domestic geese are white as they have been selected over the years to lose the dark brown tones. White geese look better plucked as their down feathers are less conspicuous. Geese hybridise readily in the feral and wild bird populations.
These hybrid greylag geese swim with some greylag geese. Note the large rear end on the second goose from the left and the splotches of dark color.
Another mixture. Particularly note the middle goose which is largely gray with black patches.

These particular geese were seen at Kinderdijk, Netherlands.


  1. Fifty eggs a year doesn't seem like very many. I guess that explains why we eat chicken eggs and not goose eggs.

  2. Even more surprising is the 5 to 12 eggs wild geese lay. Goes to show the benefits of being domestic :)