Goose Breed Profiles: Get to Know Chinese Geese

Prolific layers, Chinese geese are small, graceful and thought to descend from the Asian Swan goose.

by Dani Yokhna

Use: Chinese geese are the layers of the goose world. They are very prolific, laying from 40 to 100 eggs with proper management. They are in the Light class so are not particularly useful as a market fowl, but will dress nicely with less grease than other breeds. Very ornamental and noisy, they have been used as guardians. They are also active foragers and have been used as weeder geese in strawberry, tobacco and other crops.

History: Like the African, the Chinese is thought to descend from the Asian Swan goose. They were brought to the United States early on as both varieties were well established in Colonial times and admitted into the first Standard in 1874.

Conformation: Chinese geese are available from many sources but geese that meet the American Standard of Perfection description and weights are difficult to find. Chinese geese are small with a long arched slender neck meeting the body at a 45-degree angle. Their body should be short, compact with a prominent breast. Chinese geese have no keels, lobes or dewlaps. They should have a very large, round, prominent knob – the larger the better. White China geese are all white with light-blue eyes and orange bill, feet and shanks. Brown Chinese are colored similarly to the African, with shades of brown and gray and a brown stripe running down the center of the back of their neck. Bills should be black or dark slate with shanks and feet being orange. Standard weights: Old Gander: 12 lbs., Young Gander: 8 lbs., Old Goose: 10 lbs., Young Goose: 8 lbs.

Special Considerations/Notes: Pure Chinese geese are very small, with a graceful appearance. The long arched neck and compact body are very important breed characters. Some sources sell Chinese that are heavier, with shorter necks and larger bodies. Pay particular attention to the Standard description when selecting Chinese geese for breeding purposes.

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