Why 2 weekly goslings tweak each other on the back and tail? (Olga Poluyanchik)
Olga, hello. Your problem is understandable, but can be explained by several main reasons. Consider each of them in order to completely eliminate this manifestation in goslings.
Natural need to pluck the grass
The main and most frequent reason for goslings or adult birds pinching feathers from each other is related to the natural need to pluck grass. If the diet is low in greenery, geese do not have free access to the meadow, this may cause this manifestation.
The problem can be solved easily, if in summertime the goslings are let out on the green lawn, the plucking of the grass should remove the existing problem. In winter, of course, the situation is more complicated. You can hang cabbage leaves in a small net or sow greens on your own in a box.
Knowing about the high need of goslings constantly pinching something, will help to solve your problem and also hang a snag in the form of a rag. Interested in a new item, the chicks will drag the rag for a long time, forgetting about the feathers of their neighbors.
Lack of protein and vitamins
Another possible reason for plucking each other's feathers is a lack of protein and vitamins in the feed. Solve the problem will help a balanced diet and giving additional sources of protein. For example, cottage cheese, boiled eggs or special feed additives may be a good option.
In order for the goslings to stop plucking the backs of each other, you can spread the upper feathers with birch tar. Of course, it is not very aesthetic, but effective. Bitter taste will temporarily discourage the kids from pinching each other. In addition, the tar will act as a bactericidal and healing agent that will help to quickly restore the affected skin.
This is another possible cause of cannibalism. Especially, if not all goslings suffer such a problem, but only a few or one at all. In a small area, some individuals tend to show aggressiveness and establish a hierarchy in a flock. To prevent this from happening, you need to initially sort the chicks on the stronger and weaker and provide them with the necessary space.