How Long Do Geese Eggs Take to Hatch?

People adore the beauty of geese, and this has led to their recent popularity as domesticated birds.  Most people only focus on what they should feed their birds and how best to care for them.  Nonetheless, when keeping geese, you should also pay attention to how they reproduce so you can prepare for any eventuality, even if you are not actively breeding your bird.

Like most birds, geese reproduce by hatching goslings from their eggs.  Therefore, to understand reproduction, you should grasp the specifics surrounding the hatching of a goose’s eggs.  Geese will lay eggs in the spring and early summer.  Once you have your eggs, the next question would be, ‘how long do geese eggs take to hatch?’

Depending on their sizes, geese’s eggs take 28-35 days to hatch.  Generally, eggs from small goose breeds will hatch faster than those from larger birds.  It will take another 2-3 days for a gosling to fully emerge from its egg when it starts hatching.

Unfortunately, the hatching of geese eggs is not as straightforward as you might assume from the above answer.  The article below will cover important information to remember during the process.

How Long Do Geese Sit On Their Eggs?

Your goose will sit on its eggs for 28-25 days before they hatch.  Even when using an incubator, most eggs will hatch after 32 days.  Though there is no definite number of eggs a goose will lay before she starts sitting on them, most birds lay 6-10 eggs.  Some geese will try sitting on more than ten eggs, but this means some eggs will be out in the cold, and you could lose a lot of viable eggs that will not hatch.

You cannot force a goose to sit on her eggs but providing an inviting nesting area encourages her to do so.  Put your nesting box with a deep bed of shavings in a protected and quiet place.  Broody geese can leave their eggs to bathe, eat and drink.  This is normal and can take an hour daily.

When she bathes, your goose brings back water to the nest in her feathers.  This will create the right humidity for your eggs to hatch properly.  Moreover, leaving the nest to feed and drink ensures the goose does not become malnourished or dehydrated during incubation.

If your bird does not leave her nest, force her to do so.  You might have to lift her off but be careful not to break her eggs.

Do All Goose Eggs Hatch At The Same Time?

No, geese eggs will not all hatch at the same time.  It sometimes takes three days for all of them to hatch.  You will notice a small crack when an egg starts hatching.  While you might be tempted to, do not interfere with the process.  If you try peeling the eggs to help your gosling hatch, you might puncture the membrane, thus killing the gosling.

Why Are Goose Eggs Not Hatching?

The proverb ‘don’t count your chicks before they hatch’ could not be more applicable than when raising geese.  Not all eggs that your bird lays will hatch into goslings.  Here are a few reasons for an egg failing to hatch.

  • Eggs are infertile at lay because of gander sterility or when you have one gander for too many geese. Ideally, you should have a gander for 3-4 geese.
  • Diseases that kill the developing gosling.
  • Geese sharing a nesting box, thus leaving some eggs cold or cracked.
  • Eggs freezing before incubation starts.
  • A gosling’s DNA being incompatible with life.
  • Rotten eggs caused by excessively high or low temperatures.
  • A goose sitting on too many eggs, leaving some exposed to the cold.

How to Tell If Geese Eggs Are About To Hatch?

Some people assume that goslings just appear out of nowhere.  Nonetheless, several changes take place in an egg before hatching.  When you place the egg on a smooth surface, it often rolls to the same position, with the side having more air on the top.

This is because, at 24-27 days of incubation, an egg loses about 15% of its weight with the space filled with air as the chick changes position within the egg.

If you handle an egg that is almost hatching, you will notice moving shadows as the chick gradually moves into its hatching position.  If you hold the blunt end of an almost hatching egg to your ear, you will hear a faint ‘click’ sound as the chick’s heart starts pumping.

How to Tell If a Goose Egg Is Dead?

You need not wait for a goose’s egg to hatch to ascertain whether it was alive or dead.  There are ways of telling whether your bird’s egg is dead or alive.  Here are a few you can use.

  • The egg is cold.
  • The egg is broken or fractured.
  • You cannot see any veins when you shine a light on the egg.
  • There are no signs of movement in the egg to show there is a chick developing in it.
  • Place the egg in water. It might be dead if it floats with its narrow end pointing downwards and the big end above the water.

Once you identify the dead eggs, it is best to remove them from your goose’s clutch.  Some birds, more so the experienced ones, abandon their eggs when most eggs in their clutch go bad, so your bird might abandon its whole clutch leaving the good eggs exposed.


With the above information, you know what to expect when waiting for a goose’s egg to hatch.  This will make your breeding journey a breeze and allow you to maximize the gains of your bird’s fertile period.  Though geese lay eggs for 10-15 years, not all these eggs will be as fertile to produce goslings.

The fertile eggs are often laid for a goose’s first five breeding seasons.  When you have information on the hatching process, you can take steps to protect the eggs and ensure you get the highest number of goslings in each breeding season.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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