Geese, as it is known, are large waterfowl, of which there are several dozens of species in the world. At the same time distinguish both wild and domestic breeds of geese. Today, these birds occupy an intermediate link in nature between small ducks and large swans.
Wild bird species
Most of the wild geese today inhabit the northern hemisphere. They inhabit the vast tundra zones of Europe, Asia and North America. Some species of wild birds live in South America (American woody, Magellan), in Australia (chicken species), and even in Africa (Spur and Egyptian). Depending on the breed, birds lead a different lifestyle. For example, gray geese live and nest exclusively in the forest belt near rivers and lakes, semi-mist and spur populations inhabit steppes and savannas, mountain species inhabit the shores of high-mountain lakes.
Also different types and ways of life are different. For example, the northern birds are migratory, while the southern ones are sedentary. Geese that live in our region, fly for wintering in European countries, in Southeast Asia, in India, Mexico and even Japan.
All wild geese can be divided into several genera: geese and geese. They differ only in color beak and paws. In geese, they are only black, and geese are red, yellow or orange. Consider some wild species of these birds in more detail.
This is perhaps the most famous species of wild geese with us. They inhabit mainly the Eastern Hemisphere. These birds have a plumage of only light gray with a white stripe near the beak. These are rather large species, adult males reach a weight of more than 6 kilograms. They are most often found in the forest zones of northern Europe, in the southern zones of Siberia, in the Black Sea region and in the Caspian region.
This is a very beautiful species of wild geese. They have gray-brown feathers and unusual beak in color - dark with an orange stripe in the middle. This breed does not differ in large size, adult males weigh only about 4.5 kilograms. They live en masse in the taiga and tundra of Eurasia, fly to warm countries for the winter.
Remember the fairy tale "Geese-Swans"? So just the birds of this breed are very similar to fairy-tale characters. They are distinguished by a snow-white color with small black edges of feathers on the wings. Today they live on the shores of the Arctic, they can still be seen in Siberia on Wrangel Island. But winter in warm countries. Most often migrate to the Gulf of Mexico and South America.
Another unusual wild look. The bird got its name because of the bright white spot on the forehead with the main gray-brown color of the body. It also has black stripes on the belly and a white mark on the nadhvoste. The bird is small, its length reaches 70-85 centimeters. It settles and nests in the Arctic and tundra zones of Eurasia and America. Winters in the subtropics.
This bird is well known to residents of Alaska, as the species lives only in this area. The main color of the feathers is bluish-gray with a white head and white neck. For this bird received such a name. For the winter, it does not fly away to warm lands, but shifts to the western shores of the coastal states.
This breed of geese is most widespread in the North American regions. The birds are quite large in size, even 110 centimeters in length. Differ in a gray-brown color with a white elegant breast, a black neck and a head, and also a white spot on a cheek. See the photo. Today, this wild species nests in a fairly large area, extending from the Arctic to the north of the United States. Small populations are found in Scandinavia and the UK.
As it is known, geese are one of the first species of birds that were cultivated by humans. Stories about them are found in ancient Rome and Greece, and this is about 3000 years ago. People have always valued these birds for their special mental qualities, their unpretentious content, their devotion to their home and their high gastronomic qualities. Since then, man not only keeps and breeds birds, but also improves them in all productive parameters.
Although many naturalists claim that the goose was the least changed of all domestic birds, today there are several dozen different species and breed groups of these birds. Many of them are not much different from wild relatives, but in the household it was white and gray that took root most of all. By the way, in nature, these birds are monogamous and have one pair. You can not say about domestic birds.
There are several dozen breeds and breed groups, which are conventionally distinguished as large (heavy, heavy), medium, and small - in fact, decorative. Specialists classify large families of geese by weight of adults and young individuals.
Today, it is the large birds that are best for breeding and are the most successful. Although birds of medium breeds are more adapted for home keeping in the household plot. Small are rare and are subject to breeding only collectors. Today the most important types of geese for commercial breeding are Toulouse, African and Emden.
It is said that this is the largest breed of geese in the world. They were withdrawn near the French city of Toulouse. As it turns out, for many centuries this gray bird was the most popular in many European countries. Today, this species is also dominant in America. And all thanks to the excellent quality of products.
An adult gander of this species can weigh more than 11 kilograms, females weigh more than 7, and young chicks - about 9 kilograms. It is these birds that are most often cooked on the Christmas table, so the bird got the second name "Christmas Goose" among the people.
This is a German breed of domestic geese, which has long been considered the best among all white species. In appearance it is a very beautiful bird. She has snow-white plumage, bright orange beak and paws, blue eyes. Birds have a well-built body, the proportional ratio of all parts, therefore they are considered even as a kind of standard of beauty. Pay attention to the photo.
On average, adults reach a weight of about 9 kilograms. But since the birds are not very productive compared to other modern production species, it is now a little forgotten by amateur farmers.
Scientists still argue about the origin of this breed, but most agree that their ancestors are wild Chinese geese. This is largely due to the fact that, like Chinese birds, African birds have a protruding bump on their beak. But why they have such a name is also not known.
Today, these majestic gray handsome men are considered to be real aristocrats among their brethren. They are quite large and have a special proud look. The weight of adults varies from 7 kilograms among females and up to 9 kilograms among males.
Today, there are a number of families that are best suited for breeding for meat in small household farms. For example, these are Kholmogory, large gray, Landash, Kaluga, Gorky, Kuban, Tula, Chinese and Italian white geese. Some of them offer to learn more.
This variety of geese is among the largest. They can easily be distinguished by a special growth on the forehead near the beak. See the photo. The mass of adult birds reaches 10 kilograms. Also, this breed has a high egg production - 40 eggs per year. And some geese and generally can demolish up to 80 pieces.
Among the Kholmogory birds there is a gray, white and spotted color. All representatives have a strong body, unpretentious content, as well as the ability to well acclimatize.
It is also heavy geese, which in adulthood reach 8 kilograms. Have a large gray color body. They also have good egg production - about 40 eggs during the year and good breeding performance. Although the instinct of hatching in females is poorly developed, but the breed is a success.
This breed of geese belongs to moderate and was bred in Hungary on the basis of Toulouse to obtain the famous liver of Fuagra. Although the birds themselves are not very large, about 5-8 kilograms of their liver weighs about 700 grams. They have gray dark plumage and a well-built body. Differ in rather high mobility.
Quite popular geese in our country. They have good manufacturing qualities, such as, for example, Toulouse. Birds also give tasty liver and juicy meat. The average weight of adult males reaches 9 kilograms. This breed has a very rapid development of the young, which already weigh about 4 kilograms at the age of two months. Egg production is average.
This variety belongs to the oldest and among all known popular in our country, probably the smallest in weight. But they have a very high egg productivity. Geese are able to carry up to 100 eggs per year. Often this breed is used to increase egg production. There are gray feathers, white and brown, as in the photo.
What is the largest?
To date, the largest are the geese of the Toulouse breed. With a good fattening adult husaks weigh up to 12 pounds. But this family of all is no less suited to pasture feeding.
Birds need a lot of grain nutritious fodder. This explains their sedentary lifestyle. They move very little and are too low. But on the other hand, the profitability of breeding these birds is indisputable both at the present time and at the time of Ancient Rome.
Video "Collection of different breeds of geese"
In this video you will be able to see the main differences of various domestic and some foreign species of geese, which are presented on the basis of the facilities of the gene pool of the Vladimir University of Science and Technology.