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What Is the African Goose?

The African Goose is a majestic breed, known for its heavy build and dewlap—a fleshy lobe hanging below the beak. Originating from China, despite its name, it's a gentle giant among poultry, with a sociable nature and distinctive honk. Intrigued by this feathered enigma? Uncover the unique traits that make the African Goose a fascinating subject for bird enthusiasts.
Britt Archer
Britt Archer

The African goose is a large, strapping bird whose name is misleading. It is believed the African goose’s true ancestor is the Swan goose, and it really comes from China. These geese possess pretty plumage that varies from brown and buff to gray and white. They are a very vocal breed, like Chinese geese, and they can be identified by the large knob on their head and a dewlap under the chin.

The African goose gains his prominent knob as he matures, and in colder regions the goose can suffer frostbite on his knob. The frostbitten parts can change from their normal black shade to orange, but these parts will revert to their normal color when the injury has healed. These geese are docile and good egg layers, and their tendency to honk at intruders makes them a good version of nature’s alarm system. They will get vocal when an intruder is in the vicinity, and they may also enjoy communicating with nearby geese belonging to another flock.


Sometimes the African goose is raised as a show bird, but often they are grown as a source of food. The male African goose can weigh as much as 20 pounds (9.07 kilograms), and the female as much as 18 pounds (8.16 kilograms). These geese were acknowledged as an official breed in 1874, and some experts believe the breed is a cross between a Swan goose and a Toulouse goose.

Like many domestic geese, the African goose enjoys eating grass. This fowl’s nutritional needs, however, also require a balanced diet that needs the addition of special feed. Like their human counterparts, the babies need special baby food when kept in captivity, and older geese progress to more adult food. These geese also require a supply of grit to aid digestion, and access to drinking water. Proper care, a good diet and protection from predators will give geese the opportunity to peacefully grow old, with some hitting the 20-year mark and some just a few years less.

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