The phenomenon where geese are said to sometimes sit on eggs that are already dead is a highly interesting one. In this article, you will find information on how long geese can sit on dead eggs, the risks of them doing so, and what to do with dead geese eggs.
How long will a goose sit on dead eggs? Normally, a goose will just continue sitting on dead eggs until it realizes that they are actually dead. In some cases, it can take as little as 24 hours for a goose to realize that. But in some other cases, it can take weeks before a goose seems to realize that the eggs are dead.
Once a goose realizes that the eggs are dead, it will usually abandon the nest.
Indeed, if you research on why do geese abandon their eggs, you will find that one of the reasons is if they realize that the eggs are dead. Therefore that can be a reason behind interrupted incubation for goose.
The eggs in question may have died due to inherent deformities or due to freezing/exposure to too low temperatures. It could also be that the eggs died due to poor humidity levels.
There are also scenarios in which the eggs die on account of simply having been laid too long ago. Sometimes, you may find stray eggs from the previous season in the nest.
Obviously, such stray eggs from the previous season will have been long dead. But the goose will still sit on them alongside the ‘new’ eggs.
Then again, there are people who believe that geese are too intelligent to sit on dead eggs. So we may start by finding out whether, for starters, geese can really sit on dead eggs.
Will Geese Sit On Dead Eggs?
Considering the remarkably high levels of intelligence that geese possess, the very idea of them sitting on dead eggs can sound unbelievable.
This leads to questions like, will a goose sit on dead eggs?
The true position is that geese can indeed sit on dead eggs.
Sometimes, these may actually be stray eggs that were laid in the previous season..
There are also scenarios in which the geese’s ‘new’ eggs die soon after being laid. This may be due to inherent defects in the eggs. Or it may be due to problems like those to do with humidity or freezing.
So the eggs die, but the goose continues to sit on them.
Thus it is indeed possible for a goose to sit on dead eggs.
This question on whether a goose will sit on dead eggs normally comes up alongside other-breeding related questions. They include the one on how many eggs do geese lay at a time? And will a goose sit on unfertilized eggs?
Other questions in that ‘series’ include, how long does goose sit on eggs (and how long after mating do geese lay eggs)?
There are those who wonder, do male geese sit on eggs? How many eggs does a goose lay before sitting?
Sometimes, you even find someone asking, do geese eat their own eggs…
And we also have those who query the scenario in which you find that the goose is laying, but burying the eggs. What’s going on?
Thus such breeding-related questions in geese are very common.
As for geese sitting on dead eggs, yes, this is something that sometimes happens.
How Long Will A Goose Sit On Dead Eggs?
Normally, a goose will tend to continue simply sitting on eggs before it realizes that the eggs are dead.
In some cases, it may take just a day (24 hours) for a goose to realize that the eggs are dead. Then it abandons them.
In some other cases though, it can take many days – possibly even an entire incubation period of 28 to 35 days – for a goose to realize that the eggs are dead.
Much seems to depend whether it is a case of just one egg being dead, or an entire clutch.
If it is an entire clutch that has died, the goose normally seems to realize pretty fast. Then it abandons the clutch/nest.
But what if it is just one egg in the clutch that is dead? The goose may not realize. It may continue sitting on that egg, alongside the ones that are alright. Unfortunately, the dead egg often ends up messing the rest.
Thus in answering the question on how long will a goose sit on eggs that are dead, there are those variables.
By the way, what we are saying here applies to all geese breeds. For instance, if you are specifically to research on how long will a Canadian goose sit on dead eggs, you would find that the answer is along these lines.
This also applies for a Landes or any other type of geese really.
Sometimes, it takes as little as 24 hours for the goose to realize that the eggs are dead. Then it abandons the nest.
In other cases though, it can take days on end. Thus the goose continues sitting on them, as if they were proper (alive) eggs all along.
How Long Will A Goose Sit On Dead Eggs In The Wild?
The breeding behavior for wild geese is not very different from that of pet or farm geese.
Thus, just as with pet or farm geese, wild geese normally continue sitting on eggs until they realize that the eggs are dead. In some cases, that takes just a day: 24 hours.
But in some cases, it can be many days (as much as a full incubation period) before geese realize that the eggs were dead. In fact, some geese will continue to sit on the eggs even past the maximum incubation period of 35 days.
It would seem that it is the hatching of the eggs that gets the geese to stop sitting on them. But there is no chance of dead eggs hatching. So the goose continues to sit on them almost indefinitely.
How Do Geese Tell If Their Eggs Are Dead?
Geese seem to have an instinctive way of telling if their eggs are day.
It may be on the basis of things like how the eggs feel. Or it may be on the basis of how the eggs look, their temperature and so on.
In some cases, geese are able to tell if their eggs are dead pretty fast. That can be in as little as 24 hours.
But in some other cases, geese go for days on end before realizing that their eggs are dead. Or it could be a case of denial – in which the geese may realize that eggs are dead, but still continue sitting on them…
That is why in answering the question on how long will a goose sit on dead eggs, we said that the period can vary. It can be just one day. Or it can be a case of a goose sitting days on end on eggs that are already dead.
What Do Geese Do Once They Realize That Their Eggs Are Dead?
Normally, once geese realize that their eggs are dead, they abandon the nests.
However, there are some strange cases in which the geese seem to opt to continue sitting on the eggs, even after apparently realizing that the eggs are dead. Some think that these may be attributable to the geese being ‘in denial’.
Are There Any Risks To Geese Sitting On Dead Eggs?
Yes, there are several risks to geese sitting on dead eggs.
Firstly, the dead eggs may affect those that are alright. So if it is a mixed clutch scenario, in which there are dead and viable eggs, this can happen.
You therefore find the dead eggs affecting the viability of the ones that are alright. You could even end up with the proper goose eggs not hatching, due to the presence of dead ones in the nest.
There is of course also the risk of the dead eggs ‘exploding’ in due course.
What Should You Do With Dead Geese Eggs?
The best thing to do with dead geese eggs is to dispose of them.
If you allow dead geese eggs to stay alongside proper ones, they may end up affecting the good ones.
This leads to interesting questions: like how can you tell if a goose egg is rotten or dead? Another related question there is on how can I tell if the goose in the egg is dead (that is, the budding hatchling inside)?
For the most part, the way to tell if eggs are dead is by shining a light on them. It works best in a dark room. The ones that are alright will have veins running through them. They will also usually be smooth, and unmarked.
Once you ascertain that some eggs are dead, it is best to remove them from the nest. Otherwise they may spoil the viability of the rest. Or they may cause the goose to abandon the nest altogether.
Final Verdict – How Long Will A Goose Sit On Dead Eggs
A goose will normally simply continue sitting on eggs, until she realizes that they are dead. Sometimes, it takes just a single day (24 hours) for a goose to realize that the eggs are dead.
But there are also cases in which a goose sits on eggs for days on end, in spite of them being already dead.
The dead eggs in question may be from the previous laying season, which remained in the nesting spot. Then when the goose comes for the next laying season, she finds them still there.
And she sits on them alongside the new ones.
The dead eggs may also be new ones that have died due to inherent defects. They could also have died due to humidity and temperature issues.
If a goose sits on dead eggs alongside viable ones, the dead ones may affect the viable ones. They may make the viable ones end up not hatching.
Thus it is best to inspect geese nesting areas, before the laying seasons start. This is with a view to picking any stray eggs from the previous laying season that may have remained there.
During the laying season, it may make sense to be inspecting the eggs carefully. This is to identify any dead ones, and dispose of them.
Just remember that having a goose sit on dead eggs alongside viable ones may end up affecting the hatching of the viable ones.
Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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