Wild Geese

White Snow Geese

White Snow Geese Details

White Snow Geese

Chen caerulescens

Snow Geese are hardy and easy to manage, making them a great species to start with or add to your existing birds. Snow Geese are now one of the most abundant North American waterfowl.

White Snow Geese are mostly white. They have black primary wing feathers that are easily visible when in flight. They have a dark pink bill, legs, and feet and dark brown eyes. Males are a little larger than females, otherwise both sexes look the same. Snow Geese will often occupy an open field when feeding during the winter, and because of their huge flock numbers, they look like a blanket of snow.

Range: White Snow Geese are migratory birds. They breed on the far northern coast of the North American continent and in parts of Greenland, migrating south late August through early September through Canada to the warmer parts of the United States and Mexico for the winter, flying in a V or U-shaped formation.

Habitat: Breeding habitat for Snow Geese is the arctic tundra within five miles of the coast. During the winter, they migrate south to marshes, estuaries, and agricultural fields. They prefer open land with plenty of grass for them to graze.

Status in the wild: After years of restricted hunting due to a decline in population, numbers have increased tremendously. They are currently classified as Least Concern.

Status in Aviculture: Snow Geese are common in aviculture. They are easy to manage and breed.

Breeding and Incubation: Female Snow geese make their nest out of a simple scrape, adding her own down feathers as she lays her two to six creamy-white eggs. She also lines it with other material, such as leaves and twigs. Nest are large, from 3 to 6.5 feet across. The male stands guard while the female sits on the nest. Incubation takes 22 to 25 days. Only one clutch is hatched per year. Prior to nesting, Snow Geese increase their food intake dramatically. Once incubation starts, the birds essentially fast. Females can lose up to 20% of their body weight during this time. If they have not adequately fueled before nesting, they can succumb to the freezing arctic temperatures. Hatchlings can walk and eat on their own within 24-hours and fly within 5-6 weeks. Snow Geese nest in colonies.

Lifespan: Snow Geese live 8 years on average in the wild. The record is held at 27 years.

Mature Weight: Snow geese can range from 5 to 7.5 pounds upon maturity.

Housing Requirements: Since Snow Geese are migratory creatures, they will need to be secured in a covered aviary. The more space you can offer the better because of their destructive grazing habits. Recommended pen size is 3200 square feet per pair, 20% of that being water.

Diet (wild and commercial): Snow Geese enjoy a vegetarian diet of grasses, seeds, leaves tubers, berries, and more. Grazing will typically provide for all their nutritional needs. Game bird feed supplemented with plenty of greens such as lettuce, cabbage or alfalfa pellets may be necessary in captivity. Increase protein intake to 20% prior to nesting.

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White Snow Geese

White Snow Geese

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