Goose Breed Profiles: Get to Know the Sebastopol

The Sebastopol is known for its beautiful feather pattern. It's a slightly smaller breed that's more friendly than some others.

by Kirsten Lie-Nielsen

Sebastopol gees are some of the most remarkable looking birds in the farmyard. Once you’ve seen a Sebastopol you won’t soon forget its beautiful feathering. The ragged and unkempt look of a Sebastopol has its origins in Eastern Europe. The geese were developed as exhibition birds in the late 1800s, and they quickly became popular at poultry shows thanks to their stunning looks.

Appearance of the Sebastopol

sebastopol goose breed

Sebastopols are relatively small geese, weighing only around 10 pounds when fully grown. While this heritage breed can be raised for meat or eggs, the Sebastopol is most commonly kept as an ornamental breed. Their feathers are snowy white and their beaks and feet orange, their eyes a bright blue. It’s the way their feathers grow that make Sebastopols distinct. Their feathers have flexible, soft quills allowing them to grow out in curls and waves, making them resemble a roll of paper towels that’s been attacked by a cat.

Because of their loose feathering, Sebastopols are not as cold hardy as some goose breeds and require a shelter that protects them from wind and snow in the winter months.

Uses for the Sebastopol

sebastopol goose breed

While they might not be as hardy to the elements as some goose breeds, Sebastopols do have talents beyond simply looking showy. They can be the ideal bird for a family with children or folks who are skeptical about the friendliness of geese. Rarely aggressive, most Sebastopols are a bit shy and are not as vocal some other breeds. They can still be effective alarm animals because they will honk when anything unusual happens, but they don’t constantly broadcast their locations. Between their striking feathering and sweet personalities, Sebastopols make some of the most approachable and easy-to-keep geese.

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Sebastopol geese can be reliable egg layers during the goose laying season, early spring into summer. Their eggs are smaller than those of some other goose breeds, but still significantly larger than chicken or duck eggs. Once again, thanks to a more cautious and sweet personality than some of their cousins, Sebastopol geese can make excellent and caring parents to goslings. While they are prone to going broody, they do suffer from issues with fertility, so careful care must be taken to ensure any offspring have the traits and characteristics, especially the loose feathering, of the Sebastopol breed.

Whether for entertainment or practical use, the Sebastopol is a striking and fun goose to raise. These geese will certainly catch they eye of anyone visiting your farm.

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