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What Is the Chinese Goose?

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee

The Chinese goose, or Anser cygnoides, is also sometimes referred to as the swan goose. These geese are usually smaller than other breeds of domesticated goose. These geese are considered even-tempered, though they can be very protective of their owners and generally need to be socialized well. The male Chinese goose is usually larger than the female, and has a more distinctive basal knob, or facial protrusion found just before the eyes. The Chinese goose may be white or gray, or a mixture of the two, and is considered a prolific layer of quality eggs.

The typical fully-grown male Chinese goose weighs around 12 pounds (5.4 kilos). The female of the species will generally be slightly smaller, at about 10 pounds (4.5 kilos). They will generally be whitish or gray, with a darkly-colored strip down the back of the neck, dark wingtips and a pale underbelly. The basal knob found on the front of the Chinese's goose's face will usually be fully pronounced by the time the bird has reached eight weeks of age. It can generally be reliably used to determine the bird's gender, since the male bird will normally have a larger basal knob.


As prolific egg-layers, Chinese geese can produce up to 100 eggs per year. Most geese, however, will produce about 50 eggs per year. Breeders of these fowl have noted that younger geese are generally able to produce more eggs. They will generally care for their eggs without much prompting from a caretaker. Male Chinese geese can, however, become aggressive towards other males in their flock if enough females aren't provided, so it's generally considered best to make sure each flock contains at least four females for each male.

Warm temperatures are considered ideal for the Chinese goose, which can suffer frost damage to its face at temperatures below 25° Fahrenheit (-3.8° Celsius). While it's possible for a poorly socialized Chinese goose to become hostile towards humans and especially children, a well-socialized goose will usually be friendly, and may even develop a dog-like attachment to its owner. These geese tend to have a noted preference for sweets and sugary fruits.

Since these geese can be quite sweet-tempered, many people choose to keep them as pets, even inside the house. Socializing these geese when they are young can help overcome their natural apprehension of children. Many owners have taught their pet Chinese geese to wear diapers to solve the problem of housebreaking.

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