Our greylag goose flock comprises seven geese: two breeding pairs and one female, which also breeds. And how does she breed alone? She probably "steals" copulations from one of the two males. From which one we are not sure, and we are not going to take part in gossip!
The main problem with the breeding geese is the crows, which try to predate the chicks as soon as they hatch. If we do nothing, the survival chances of the chicks on the main grass are zero. As we want our geese flock to grow, we have to watch their nests carefully and take care of the chicks. Hadar Yosifon, our geese keeper, follows the geese carefully as soon as they start building their nests. When the first eggs are laid they are removed to an incubator. The geese then lay a second clutch and the pair incubates the eggs themselves, under Hadar's watchful eyes. A few days before they hatch, the eggs are checked with a screening device and the fertile eggs are also removed to the incubator. As soon as the chicks hatch they are tended to by Hadar, who serves as an "adoptive mother". Although the chicks become imprinted on Hadar, the imprinting is not too strong as they are raised in pairs. From our past experience with Hawaiian geese, the chicks we raised this way incorporated easily back into the adult flock. We hope this will also be the case with the greylag geese chicks. Every few days Hadar takes the young chicks to the small pond in the thicket aviary, so they can swim. The chicks, however, refuse to enter the water without Hadar and wait for him. Only after Hadar too enters the water do the chicks happily join him.

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