Emden goose

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An Emden goose at the Birmingham Zoo

The Emden goose is a breed of domestic goose. The origins of this breed are thought to be from the North Sea region, in the Netherlands and Germany. The eminent author Lewis Wright wrote around 1900 that he was of the opinion that they originated from the town of Emden in Lower Saxony, Germany, although Edward Brown in his 1906 Races of Domestic Poultry believed that the breed was created by crossing the German White with the English White and then, by a process of careful selections, creating the goose as it is today. Others suggest that the English Emden's great weight and size was produced by selective breeding with the Toulouse breed, which was then bred out leaving the large size of this breed. In any case, the continental stock used in breeding the modern birds is most likely descended from the great white landrace of Frisia, which has been attested as early as the 13th century. In German the breed is known as Emder Gans or Emdener Gans; the latter is actually a hypercorrection.


A flock of Emden Geese

The breed is pure white with a short, light orange bill, and orange feet and shanks. They are fast growing birds and will quickly reach about 9 kg (20 lb) for the Goose, and 14 kg (30 lb) for the Gander. The Emden's legs are fairly short. The head is oval-shaped and they have a long and graceful neck. The eyes are an ocean blue. The body is bulky and well rounded, having a long back and a short tail. The wings are very strong and of a good length. The feathers are close and very hard.

The breed’s habits are to forage for tidbits in the grass and water. They are omnivores and prefer living near some water as they eat small insects and water dwellers. They are a very hardy breed and don't mind fairly mild sub-zero temperatures. Males are more vocal than females and can often be heard honking loudly if approached but geese in general talk quietly throughout the day. Emden geese that are accustomed to their owner's presence don't mind being in close proximity but tend to keep their distance. When cornered or defending their nest male or female geese will try to warn away predators by loudly hissing at them and ruffling their feathers. If provoked, especially in an enclosed area their strong wings can be used as a weapon. Being domesticated they can fly but don't migrate.

An Emden goose matures in about 2–3 years and will start to look for a mate for life. The adult bird will commence laying eggs fairly early in the year, in February as a rule, laying 30 to 40 eggs. The goose starts incubating the eggs around the beginning of spring for about 28–34 days.

Emden gosling

See also[edit]


  • Batty, Joseph (1996): Domesticated Ducks & Geese: Beech Publishing House. ISBN 1-85736-091-5

External links[edit]