West of England
Like other medium breeds, they are hardy birds which grow quickly and do well as meat producers. They are quite calm birds and will become confiding with human contact. They will rear their own young readily.
- Although only standardised in 1999, the breed is an ancient one.
- Similar birds were once common in farmyards throughout the UK and particularly in the West Country.
- These birds may have been bred for countless generations from the same stock, which means that, although likely to be pure-breeding, they may be somewhat inbred. One effect of this is that, in these situations, the size has often decreased.
- Adult males are white, but may have the odd grey feather, and females have a saddleback grey and white pattern, with grey on the head and neck.
- The grey on the head usually decreases with age, and some more mature females may have very little grey on the head.
- Somewhat larger than the Pilgrim, this is a medium goose, with ganders up to 9kg and geese up to 8kg.
- As in most domestic breeds, the paunch should be dual lobed.
Did you know?
The distinctive feature of this breed is that it is autosexing - not only are the adult male and female distinct but it is possible to sex goslings at hatch, or even after pipping, as the females have grey patches on the beak rather than the plain pale orange of the male. For many, this is a major advantage, as otherwise, geese are notoriously difficult to sex.
The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.