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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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Chinese Goose?

A Chinese Goose is a breed of domesticated goose descended from the wild swan goose. It's easily recognizable by its long neck and prominent knob at the base of the bill. These geese are often kept for their eggs, meat, and ornamental value. They are known for their active foraging behavior and can contribute to pest control in gardens.

How can you distinguish a Chinese Goose from other geese?

Chinese Geese are distinguished by their long, graceful necks and a basal knob on their bills. They typically have a more upright posture compared to other domestic geese. Their plumage is often white or brown, and they have a loud, distinctive call. These features make them stand out from other goose breeds.

What is the typical habitat of a Chinese Goose?

While the Chinese Goose is a domesticated animal, it thrives in environments similar to its wild ancestors. They prefer areas with access to water, like ponds or streams, and enjoy grazing on grassy fields. They are adaptable and can live in various climates, but they do best with space to roam and forage.

What do Chinese Geese eat?

Chinese Geese are herbivores with a diet consisting mainly of grasses, weeds, and other plant material. They are efficient grazers and can be used to control weeds in agricultural settings. They may also be fed grains and specialized waterfowl feed to ensure a balanced diet, especially in a farm setting.

Are Chinese Geese good for small farms or homesteads?

Yes, Chinese Geese can be an excellent addition to small farms or homesteads. They are valued for their egg production, pest control abilities, and as weed eaters. Their alert nature and loud call make them good watchdogs for other poultry. They are also relatively low-maintenance and hardy birds.

How long do Chinese Geese live?

Chinese Geese have a lifespan that can range from 10 to 15 years, sometimes even longer with proper care. Factors such as diet, environment, and overall health care play significant roles in their longevity. They are known for being robust and can be long-term companions for those who raise them.

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