Choosing the Right Breed of Goose

Geese have captivated homesteaders for centuries, their grace and beauty adding charm to farms while providing practical benefits like eggs, meat, and pest control. With a variety of domestic goose breeds available, there is a perfect match for every homestead. In this blog post, we will explore the charm of eight top domestic goose breeds, highlighting their unique features and the advantages they bring to your homestead.

From the calm and caring Pilgrim Geese to the elegant Sebastopol Geese, each breed possesses distinct characteristics that can enhance your farm life. Whether you are a seasoned waterfowl breeder or just starting, our guide will help you understand the diverse world of domestic geese and choose the perfect breed for your homestead.

Key Takeaways

  • Explore 8 top domestic goose breeds for your homestead, including Emden Geese, Toulouse Geese, Chinese Geese and more.
  • Each breed offers unique characteristics such as size, temperament and egg production capabilities.
  • Consider lesser known breeds such as Tufted Roman or Pomeranian to enhance the productivity of your flock.

Emden Goose: A Popular Choice

Emden Goose standing on a grassy field

The Emden Goose, originating from Germany and the Netherlands, is in high demand due to its large size, quick growth pace, and protective nature. Fully mature Emden ganders can reach a maximum weight of 14 kg (30 lbs). Known for their hardiness and ease of management, Emden Geese are resistant to many common poultry ailments and prefer to feed on grass and weeds.

Their sociability with humans and other geese, combined with their impressive grazing skills, make them a beneficial addition to any homestead. With an egg-laying capacity of up to 40 eggs during the breeding season, Emden Geese can provide a steady supply of eggs for your family. Their large size and rapid growth also make them an ideal choice for meat production.

Exhibition Embdens, which stand at 36 to 40 inches tall, differ from commercial varieties that measure 25 to 30 inches. Commercial varieties are bred for rapid growth to table size, making them a popular choice for both small and large homesteads. Emden Geese, with their notable size and friendly demeanor, could be a significant enhancement to your flock.

Toulouse Geese: The French Classic

Toulouse Geese in a farmyard

Toulouse Geese, hailing from Toulouse, France, are recognized for their bulky size, grey and white plumage, and common use in foie gras production. Weighing up to 11 kg, Toulouse Geese lay up to 35 eggs per year, making them a productive breed for both egg and meat production. Their calm demeanor, along with their visually striking large skin pouch hanging below their beak, renders them a charming addition to any homestead.

Highly valued for their utility purposes, Toulouse Geese are also suitable for those seeking a visually appealing farm animal. Their substantial size and distinctive appearance offer a great addition to any flock, and their serene temperament guarantees a good fit with other breeds.

Used in the French delicacy, Pté de foie gras, due to their large livers, Toulouse Geese are a versatile breed that can provide both eggs and meat for your family. Add a touch of French elegance to your homestead with the classic Toulouse Goose.

Chinese Geese: The Versatile Breed

Chinese Geese with distinctive knob on their beaks

Chinese Geese represent a flexible breed, recognized for their unique beak knob, amicable temperament, and superior egg-laying ability. They come in two varieties: white and brown. White geese have superior weeding capabilities and a higher carcass quality than the brown variety. With an impressive egg-laying capacity of up to 80 eggs a year, Chinese Geese can be a valuable addition to your flock.

The distinctive knob on their beak differentiates them from other breeds, rendering them a unique and appealing addition to any homestead. Chinese Geese are also known for their friendly nature, ensuring they will get along well with other geese and humans alike.

Often used for weeding chores and in mixed flocks, Chinese Geese are a practical and charming breed that can provide both eggs and companionship for your homestead. Their versatility makes them an ideal choice for both experienced and novice waterfowl breeders.

African Geese: Large and Hardy

African Geese represent a large and robust African goose breed, identified by their unique characteristics:

  • Dewlap
  • Head knob
  • Heavy body
  • Thick neck
  • Stout bill
  • Jaunty posture

Primarily raised for meat production due to their low egg-laying capacity, African Geese are an excellent choice for homesteaders looking for a meat-producing breed. Their unique features make them an attractive addition to any flock.

African Geese are believed to be developed from the crossing of wild swan goose and Chinese goose. Their impressive size, with adult African ganders typically weighing around 10-11 kg (22-24 lbs), makes them a valuable breed for meat production. Though their egg-laying capacity is limited to 40 eggs during the breeding season, their primary use for meat production ensures they will be a productive addition to your homestead.

African Geese, with their substantial size, robustness, and distinctive look, can offer a special and pragmatic enhancement to your flock. Consider raising this breed for their meat-production capabilities and captivating presence.

Pilgrim Geese: Calm and Caring

Pilgrim Geese foraging in a grassy area

Pilgrim Geese, a breed of medium sized geese, are calm and caring, recognized for their unique auto-sexing feather colors and superior foraging skills. Developed by waterfowl breeder Oscar Grow during the early 1900s, Pilgrim Geese typically weigh between 12 to 16 pounds, with the gander weighing 14 to 18 pounds. Their egg production rate is approximately 40 eggs per annum, making them a productive breed for both egg and meat production.

Auto-sexing in Pilgrim Geese refers to the ability to differentiate the male from the female based on their feather colors. Male goslings typically have feathers with gray-yellow colors and light bills. Female goslings, on the other hand, sport feathers with olive-gray colors and dark bills. This unique trait makes it easy for homesteaders to identify the sex of their geese from a young age.

The tranquil and nurturing demeanor of Pilgrim Geese makes them a great pick for homesteaders in search of a friendly and efficient breed of domestic geese. With their unique auto-sexing feather colors and foraging abilities, Pilgrim Geese can be a delightful and practical addition to your flock.

Sebastopol Geese: Unique and Elegant

Sebastopol Geese represent an elegant breed with the following characteristics:

  • Curly white plumage
  • Blue eyes
  • Serene temperament
  • Sensitivity to cold

Their striking long and curly feathers make them an attractive addition to any homestead, while their shy nature ensures they will not disturb the peace. The average weight of a gander is approximately 6.5 kg (14 lbs), whereas the female geese weigh roughly 5 kg (11 lbs).

Despite their elegant appearance, Sebastopol Geese are also productive egg layers, with an average of 40 eggs per year. Their calm temperament ensures they will get along well with other breeds, making them a harmonious addition to mixed flocks.

The distinctive and graceful Sebastopol Geese can contribute both eggs and aesthetic appeal to your homestead. Consider adding this breed to your flock for their distinctive appearance and calm demeanor.

American Buff Goose: A Distinctive Beauty

The American Buff Goose, native to the United States, is a unique breed with apricot-fawn feathers. Recognized by the American Poultry Association, this medium-sized domestic breed is suitable for both egg production and meat consumption, providing a valuable addition to your homestead. Some key features of the American Buff Goose include:

  • Apricot-fawn feathers
  • Medium size
  • Orange feet and bills
  • Tan plumage

Their distinctive appearance makes them eye-catching and adds a unique touch to any flock.

Known for their sweet, calm, and docile personality, American Buff Geese are excellent parents, ensuring their offspring will be well cared for. Their dual-purpose nature makes them an ideal choice for homesteaders looking for a breed that can provide both eggs and meat.

Introduce the American Buff Goose to your homestead for a hint of unique beauty. This adaptable and appealing breed can enhance the productivity and allure of your flock.

Lesser-Known Breeds Worth Considering

Beyond the popular breeds mentioned above, you should consider several lesser-known domestic geese breeds for your homestead. Some of these domestic goose breeds include:

  • Tufted Roman Goose
  • Pomeranian Goose
  • Steinbacher Goose
  • Scania Goose
  • Shetland Goose

Each of these breeds offers unique characteristics and benefits for homesteaders.

The Tufted Roman Goose is identified by its white feathers and unique head tuft. With a generally tranquil demeanor, yet remaining quite vigilant, this breed can be an interesting addition to your flock.

The Pomeranian Goose is noted for its unique features:

  • Black bill with a white bean at the end, forming a “lipstick” look
  • Primarily used for meat production
  • Highly productive layer, typically producing an average of 70 eggs per year

The Steinbacher Goose is recognized for its unique grey, blue, buff, and cream coloration and upright posture. Notably, its beak features an orange bill with a black bean at the end, giving off the appearance of black “lipstick”.

The Scania Goose is notable for its white feathers with brown-grey coloring on the head, neck, back, thighs, and rump, and an orange bill with flesh-colored tips. With a typically tranquil demeanor, it can occasionally be hostile during the breeding season.

The Shetland Goose is recognized for its:

  • Small size
  • Silent demeanor
  • Curious personality
  • Monogamous behavior

With half-white and half-gray plumage in females and white plumage and blue eyes in males, this breed is an attractive addition to any flock.

Each of these less familiar domestic breeds offers unique features that could improve your homestead. Consider exploring these breeds further to find the perfect match for your flock.


From the popular Emden Goose to the lesser-known breeds like the Tufted Roman Goose, there is a domestic goose breed to suit every homestead’s needs. Each breed offers unique characteristics, such as distinctive appearance, egg-laying capacity, and temperament, ensuring you can find the perfect match for your flock.

By understanding the different domestic goose breeds available, you can make an informed decision and choose the perfect breed to enhance your homestead. Whether you seek a calm and caring Pilgrim Goose or an elegant and unique Sebastopol Goose, the world of domestic geese offers a charming and diverse range of breeds to choose from.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common domestic goose?

The Embden goose is the most commonly raised domestic breed for meat, due to its fast growth, large size, and white feathers.

What goose is a good pet?

Pilgrim geese are the best choice for a pet, due to their domestication and greater docility than other strains. They can be difficult to find outside of North America, and regular handling is required for them to become tame.

What are the most calm goose breeds?

American Buff and American Tufted Buff geese are known for their docile, friendly, and affectionate demeanor, making them ideal calm breeds.

What is a white goose called?

The common white goose is called the Snow Goose, which migrates from the Arctic and has a white body with black wingtips that are visible in flight.

Can different breeds of geese mate?

Yes, different breeds of geese are capable of mating as they belong to the same family, Anatidae. Despite this, there is no verified evidence of viable hybrids between ducks and geese.

Posted by Amaral Farms

HI and thanks for visiting my blog. I guess I would say I have always been a gardener at heart. My parents gardened and I helped them from a young age. As an adult I took to the organic movement and began gardening using almost exclusively organic methods. My focus has shifted the last decade to add heirloom gardening to the mix. By no means an expert, I do enjoy it and spend at least a few hours a week dedicated to it. I hope you enjoy and gain some value from my blog. Check out my tips for growing tomatoes in pots.