7 Reasons Gosling Died Few Hours After Hatching

While hatching goslings, there is a high probability that some goslings will die a couple of hours after hatching. Geese raisers report losing around 5% of their clutch while hatching goslings, although most of the goslings make it to adulthood.

Goslings die hours after hatching due to genetic disorders, environmental factors, infections, and injury. Luckily geese raisers can employ some simple strategies to keep their goslings alive after hatching.

Potential Causes of Gosling’s Death After Hatching

Many reasons are attributable to the goslings’ early death. Here are a couple of potential causes of goslings’ deaths after hatching.


Temperature changes can make your newly hatched goslings susceptible to hypothermia, increasing their chances of dying a few hours after hatching. Hypothermia occurs when a gosling loses heat, leading to a low body temperature. Freezing temperatures make goslings die in a couple of hours. Considering that goslings are warm-blooded creatures, chances are high that newly hatched goslings are vulnerable to hypothermia once they hatch.

The ideal temperatures for a newly hatched clutch are between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, particularly during the first hours after hatching. The temperature range suits goslings because they barely have enough feathers when they are a couple of days old.

Besides causing early goslings’ death due to hypothermia, extreme cold temperatures can also make goslings inactive. It would help to adjust the temperature in your newly hatched goslings’ brooder to ensure they remain active and lower their chances of succumbing to cold temperatures.


Water is an essential requirement for all farm animals, including goslings. Your newly hatched goslings need water to keep cool and dehydrated, particularly when you hatch the little birds in hot weather months. Furthermore, they need water to digest their food. Lack of water causes dehydration in newly hatched goslings.

Dehydration is a leading cause of premature deaths in newly hatched goslings. You can tell when your goslings are gradually succumbing to dehydration. For instance, dehydrated goslings remain still or quite a bit longer than usual.

They also keep ruffling their feathers while opening and closing their wings. Goslings with chronic dehydration tend to pant throughout and experience breathing problems.

It would help to keep your newly hatched birds in a cool place once you notice early signs of dehydration. Provide the birds with cold fresh water to keep them hydrated, ultimately stopping them from dying. Most importantly, ensure your goslings have access to a steady water source, especially in the scorching summer months.


Goslings are at risk of multiple infections that can lead to premature deaths. For instance, newly hatched baby chicks are highly susceptible to bacterial infections. Such infections can be painful and life-threatening to goslings.

The mushy disease is among the bacterial infections that make goslings die a few hours after hatching. The infection affects goslings from the incubation stage, severely weakening them once they hatch. Most infections that make goslings susceptible to early death usually result from unsanitary hatching environments.

The infections make bacteria enter a gosling’s body through the naval. The most common signs of infections among goslings include wounds around the navel regions. Goslings with infections also have swellings on their navel area.

Lethargy, anorexia, and foul smell are also symptoms of infections in goslings. It helps to consult a local avian vet upon noticing symptoms of infections among your goslings. Furthermore, isolate the affected goslings from the clutch and keep them in a well-ventilated and warm area.


Your goslings can die a few hours after hatching due to physical injuries. Most physical injuries that make goslings susceptible to early deaths result from trauma caused by overcrowding in the brooder. Adult geese can trample newly hatched goslings to death, especially when the birds live in overcrowded setups.

Goslings can also sustain injuries when scrambling for water and food. In extreme cases, aggressive adult geese can inflict injuries on goslings. Injured goslings lose plenty of blood, ultimately exposing them to early death. Goslings with severe injuries can’t survive a few hours after hatching. The lucky goslings may also develop lameness and walking problems because of physical injuries.

Always keep goslings separate from adult geese to minimize their risk of sustaining physical injuries from attacks by aggressive geese. Furthermore, raise the newly hatched goslings in a spacious brooder to ensure they don’t trample on each other, leading to life-threatening injuries.

Inadequate Incubation

The best incubator should provide suitable living conditions for your newly hatched goslings. However, problems in a brooder can lead to high death rates among your goslings a few hours after hatching. Inadequate incubator temperature is among the incubation problems that can lead to premature goslings’ deaths. Temperature is critical when it comes to your goslings’ well-being.

High incubation temperatures can make your newly hatched goslings susceptible to premature deaths. Furthermore, extremely high incubation temperatures can cause organ damage in goslings. Similarly, freezing temperatures in your incubator can adversely impact your newly hatched goslings’ survival. It would help to check the incubation temperatures with a thermometer constantly.

Power failure is another incubation problem that creates an unsuitable environment for newly hatched goslings. Your incubator won’t work optimally when there is a power failure, drastically changing the conditions in the incubator.

Consequently, the fragile goslings won’t withstand the hostile conditions long after hatching. Your goslings will undoubtedly die a few hours after hatching if you don’t fix the power failure in the brooder.

Overheating is another incubation problem that can lead to premature deaths among your newly hatched goslings. Overheating can cause organ failure in goslings, subjecting them to early death. Always check the temperatures in the incubator to ensure your goslings don’t succumb to premature death due to overheating.

Lack of Oxygen

Newly hatched goslings need sufficient oxygen to keep comfortable. They also require enough oxygen levels to keep their organs functioning. Your goslings’ brooder should be in place that allows your newly hatched birds to access oxygen and fresh air. Lack of oxygen around the goslings’ living area can lead to premature deaths.

A poorly ventilated brooder can rob your newly hatched goslings of enough oxygen. Lack of oxygen can expose the goslings to early death due to suffocation. Weak goslings are at high risk of dying a few hours after hatching due to insufficient oxygen.

As a geese raiser, you can protect your goslings from dying prematurely due to lack of oxygen by ensuring the birds live in a properly ventilated brooder. Most significantly, don’t house too many goslings in a confined space since overcrowding can deny some goslings enough oxygen for survival.

Genetic Disorders

Genetic disorders among newly hatched goslings can lead to deformities and organ problems. Most genetic disorders result from exposing hatching eggs to harmful fumes and high carbon dioxide levels. Newly hatched goslings with genetic disorders have an increased risk of death a few hours after hatching.

Most genetically deformed goslings die immediately after hatching. The surviving goslings may have serious physical and health problems in their adulthood.

You can save your goslings from early deaths due to genetic disorders by keeping hatching geese eggs from dangerous fumes and compounds. Most significantly, keep your newly hatched goslings from harmful compounds to ensure they aren’t life-threatening genetic problems in your clutch.

Tips for Keeping Gosling Alive After Hatching

Newly hatched goslings are delicate and risk dying a few hours after hatching. These tips will help keep your goslings alive after hatching.

  • Provide the newly hatched goslings with a suitable living environment
  • Give your goslings nutritionally rich foods and freshwater
  • Protect the goslings from predators
  • Provide the goslings with adequate living space to protect them from dying due to physical injuries.
  • Maintain correct temperatures in your goslings’ living space
  • Seek vet services if you notice any health issues in your clutch


Having newly hatched goslings means your geese flock will expand year in and year out. However, goslings are delicate like other newly born or hatched creatures. Your goslings can die prematurely if you don’t accord them exceptional care the first days and weeks after hatching.

Happily, though, geese raisers can save their clutch from dying by adhering to simple measures, such as providing the goslings with good living conditions and feeding the most appropriate foods to their newly hatched goslings.

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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