Sebastopol Geese – Breed Profile & Facts
The Sebastopol goose breed is among the most popular breeds for food production and ornamental purposes. Sebastopol geese have distinct long and slender necks. Their webbed feet make these birds excellent swimmers.
People raise these geese for meat or eggs, while others keep them as pets and ornamental birds. These geese have several names, including the curl geese, Danubian geese, and lockengans.
History of Sebastopol Geese
The Sebastopol geese originate from Europe. Records show that this goose originates from Central Europe, near the Black Sea and the Danube. Other records show that the goose originates from Crimea and first arrived in the UK in 1860. The goose breed became popular in other parts of the planet by the fall of the 19th century.
Sebastopol Geese Characteristics
Sebastopol geese are medium-sized geese with thick feathers. Because of their curly texture, Sebastopol geese’s feathers appear more voluminous than they are. These geese are compact and fleshy compared to other geese breeds.
The Sebastopol goose has short and well-muscled legs. It has a distinct short back and an oval, plump basket. The Sebastopol goose has smooth neck feathers. It has orange legs, while its eyes are blue. It’s easy to identify the Sebastopol geese because of their curly feathers.
Because of the curls in its feathers, this goose is primarily flightless. Sebastopol geese can be white, gray, saddleback, gray-brown, or buff. The feathers of these geese can be smooth or frizzy.
– Size & Weight
The Sebastopol goose breed is a medium-sized breed with long feathers. The gander (male goose) weighs between 12 and 14 lbs. Females weigh between 10 and 12 lbs. on average, although some females can weigh more than 12 lbs., depending on diet and living conditions.
The Sebastopol goose is popular not only because of its beautiful and unique appearance but also because of its many other good qualities. For instance, Sebastopol geese have a friendly and quiet temperament. These geese don’t like wandering too far. They are among the least aggressive geese breeds.
These flightless birds are excellent foragers and good-natured. The Sebastopol goose is well-mannered and hardy. Because of their friendly temperament, Sebastopol geese make a superb choice of ornamental pets. Thanks to its social nature, the Sebastopol goose makes a wonderful surrogate for baby geese of other geese breeds.
The Sebastopol goose boasts a long lifespan compared to other geese species. This goose is hardy and can thrive well in colder environments. The Sebastopol goose can live for up to 25 years in captivity. Some Sebastopol geese can live for close to three decades.
However, wild Sebastopol geese have a much shorter lifespan than their domesticated counterparts because they are more vulnerable to diseases and predators while living in the wild.
– Egg Production
Many people raise Sebastopol geese for eggs, although these geese aren’t prolific layers as chickens. The average female Sebastopol geese lay between 25 and 35 eggs yearly. The eggs are huge since one egg is almost four times bigger than the standard chicken egg.
– Meat Production
Some people keep Sebastopol geese for meat. Since these geese are medium-sized, they aren’t dependable meat producers like other large geese breeds. Nonetheless, these geese are suitable for individual meat needs. Therefore, many people keep these geese as ornamental birds or pets instead of for commercial meat production.
Sebastopol Geese Care
Sebastopol geese are pretty easy to raise. Because they are hardy and friendly, they can thrive in almost any environment. They are particularly an awesome choice of geese to keep in colder regions. Furthermore, Sebastopol geese are excellent birds for hobby and small-scale farming.
– Feeding & Nutrition
Sebastopol geese don’t have strict dietary requirements, unlike chickens and ducks. A Sebastopol goose’s diet can consist of grasses, seeds, corn, and beans from your garden. Sebastopol geese like foraging, feeding on various aquatic plants, particularly sedges with their seed heads.
Although Sebastopol geese can eat insects, insects don’t make a significant part of their diet. Consider feeding your Sebastopol geese plenty of carbohydrate-rich foods during the winter months to help them generate heat to keep warm in the cold months.
If you are raising your Sebastopol geese in confinement, it means the birds can’t forage. Therefore provide the geese with nutritious foods to boost their diet lest they suffer from malnutrition. Domestic Sebastopol geese can thrive on a diet comprising of grass, although grass alone won’t provide the birds with the nutrition they require for growth.
Get a commercial feed with protein, vitamins and minerals to ensure your Sebastopol geese meet their nutritional needs. Wheat is especially good for Sebastopol geese, particularly for laying hens, since wheat can help boost egg production. Pellets are equally good for egg-producing Sebastopol geese.
Like other geese species, Sebastopol geese also love greens, such as cauliflower leaves, lettuce, and cabbage. Your Sebastopol geese can consume leftover vegetables, including cooked carrots, parsnips, and potatoes.
Apart from quality foods, Sebastopol geese also need clean water to combat dehydration. Water also helps keep the birds clean. Furthermore, ensure your Sebastopol geese have adequate nutrition. Ideally, feed your geese at least thrice a day.
Housing is vital for Sebastopol geese as it is for other domestic fowls. When creating a house for your geese, it’s good to ensure every Sebastopol bird in your flock has the space it needs to walk around and sleep.
Ideally, every Sebastopol goose needs at least six sq. ft. of indoor living space. A shed, a barn, or a garage can make a perfect house for your Sebastopol geese. However, geese, including the Sebastopol geese, have unique housing needs, unlike other domestic fowls such as chickens.
For instance, geese are somewhat less agile compared to chickens, and they have problems with big jumps. Therefore ensure the house’s entrance is within the ground level to ensure your Sebastopol geese don’t have a problem jumping in and out of their house.
Although many people liken geese, including Sebastopol geese, to guard dogs, these birds are equally vulnerable to predation as other birds, especially during the night. Because of the predation risk, you should ensure their house doesn’t have holes that will allow predators to attack the geese at night when they are most vulnerable.
The assumption that Sebastopol geese can spend the night in their pond and wake up safely is wrong because you can’t tell when a predator will prey on the birds. Therefore, keeping your Sebastopol geese in a safe house is essential.
Avoid large holes in the house because even tiny predators like Weasels can squeeze themselves through small holes and kill a dozen of your Sebastopol geese.
Ensure the house has enough nest boxes, especially if you have egg-laying Sebastopol females in your flock. Although Sebastopol geese aren’t terrific layers compared to chickens, these geese lay a decent number of large eggs. Having nesting boxes in their house will ensure the females have a peaceful place they can retreat to when they want to lay.
Furthermore, the house should have proper ventilation. Your indoor Sebastopol geese also need fresh air because poor ventilation can suffocate the birds. The house should therefore have some windows to allow air to circulate in and out.
You can also seal the house to trap in heat during the cold months to ensure your Sebastopol geese stay warm; although these birds are cold hardy, they can also succumb to cold, especially young Sebastopol geese and goslings.
– Health Problems
Sebastopol geese are pretty hardy, and regular disease outbreaks are quite unusual. That’s why it is possible to raise Sebastopol goslings to adulthood with low mortality of around 2%.
However, Sebastopol geese aren’t entirely free of diseases. These birds are susceptible to some diseases that threaten their lifespan. Below are the most common health problems with Sebastopol geese.
- Coccidiosis-Coccidiosis is a common problem with many geese species, including Sebastopol geese. The health problem is more severe in Sebastopol goslings, especially those between three and twelve weeks old. However, it also affects adult Sebastopol geese, especially when they come into contact with sick wild birds. The symptoms of this health condition include rapid weight loss, loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea, and ruffled feathers. Geese carrying this disease also exhibit signs of extreme weakness.
- Botulism– Botulism is also a leading killer of Sebastopol geese. The toxic disorder starts when a goose ingests a toxin, causing nerve paralysis. The clinical signs of botulism in Sebastopol geese include lethargy, weakness, balance problems, and loss of appetite. Geese with this health condition also have a problem holding up their heads, ultimately increasing their risk of drowning while swimming in water.
- Fowl cholera– Fowl cholera is a contagious disease that affects ducks and geese. The outbreaks of this bacterial disease usually occur in the winter months and can lead to the death between six and twelve hours after infection. Symptoms of fowl cholera in Sebastopol geese include coughing, ruffled feathers, diarrhea, nasal discharge, and sudden death.
- Coryza– Coryza is a deadly severe respiratory disease that affects all birds, including Sebastopol geese. Although it’s common in wild geese, it can also spread to domestic geese. The signs of coryza in Sebastopol geese include facial swelling, nasal discharge, and lacrimation.
- Nutritional deficiency diseases- Geese can also be susceptible to nutritional deficiency diseases. For instance, geese with a protein deficiency are likely to suffer from ruffled feathers. Sebastopol geese with vitamin D deficiency are also at risk of developing rickets.
- Worm infestation– Worm infestation is another serious health problem for Sebastopol geese. These geese are vulnerable to hookworms and roundworms, which suck their blood, leaving the birds extremely weak. Deworming is the ultimate solution to worm infestation in Sebastopol geese.
How Much do Sebastopol Geese Cost?
There isn’t a standard price for Sebastopol geese because different factors affect the price of these geese. For instance, the breeder’s choice affects the cost of Sebastopol geese because some breeders sell their geese more expensively than others.
The availability of these geese can also affect their price. It’s cheaper to get these geese in areas where they are pretty than in places where there are a handful of people rearing Sebastopol geese. On average, male Sebastopol geese cost around $70, while females cost over $160. Sebastopol goslings cost between $40 and $60 on average.
Are Sebastopol Geese Good for Beginners?
Sebastopol geese are some of the best geese for beginners. These geese are easy to raise because they have minimal requirements compared to other geese species. Furthermore, there are an excellent choice of birds for small-scale and hobby geese raisers.
Owing to their friendly nature, these geese are suitable for beginners who are scared of keeping other aggressive geese species.
Are Sebastopol Geese Hardy?
Yes, Sebastopol geese are quite hardy compared to other geese species. They can thrive in cold climates, and they hardly fall sick. Furthermore, they can survive in virtually any condition as long as these geese get enough food and water.
Can Sebastopol Geese Fly?
No, Sebastopol geese have curvy feathers, rendering them flightless. These geese are pretty docile and hardly walk too far from home. They are, therefore, some of the best geese to keep for anyone searching for a flightless breed to keep in their backyard.
Tips on Keeping Sebastopol Geese
Sebastopol geese are some of the easiest geese to keep for small-scale or large-scale geese farming. The tips below will help you keep these geese at home.
- Protect your Sebastopol geese from cold although these birds are cold hardy
- Provide your geese with sufficient and nutritious foods to meet their dietary needs
- Provide the birds with clean water to ensure they stay clean throughout
- Keep your Sebastopol geese in clean and dry pens
- Protect the geese from predators, especially at night when they are at high risk of predation
- Avoid keeping too many Sebastopol geese in confined spaces to avoid overcrowding, which can lead to fights and injuries.
Sebastopol geese are wonderful geese to raise, whether you are new to geese farming or an experienced geese keeper. These birds are friendly, happy, and ready to stick with their owners.
Furthermore, their distinct and beautiful appearance makes them awesome birds to raise, either as ornamental birds or for eggs and meat. They are extremely hardy and thus unlikely to succumb to common geese diseases.