Raising geese for breeding and marketing
Geese are raised in practically all parts of the United States. The Emden (pictured here) and Toulouse are the two most popular breeds, but many African and White Chinese are also raised.
There are considerable differences in breeds and strains of geese, so their characteristics should be fully evaluated to best meet the producer's requirements. If birds are to be kept for breeding, then egg production and reproductive efficiency are important factors. If goslings are raised only for a market flock, the market's meat production and carcass requirements are more important.
Farm geese are usually sold in time for the holiday market in late fall when they are 5-6 months old. They will weigh from 11-15 pounds depending on the strain and breed. Some young geese (also called green geese or junior geese) full-fed for rapid growth are also marketed at 10-12 pounds when they are 10-13 weeks old.
For several weeks after this age geese have many pinfeathers which are difficult to remove during processing. Growth of geese after 10-13 weeks is very slow compared with the rapid growth of the young gosling.
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