Key Characteristics

Most strains have good temperaments when hand reared, lay well and are reasonably plump so make a good all round goose. They will often go broody if kept as a pair or trio.  


  • Geese of this kind have long been known as “Saddlebacks”. The Saddleback race, in both grey and buff forms, has been bred entirely for utility throughoutEuropefor many centuries.
  • Pyde geese referred to by Gervasse Markham in 1615 in Britain which pre dated the introduction of Toulouse and that neither Embden/Toulouse were the precursors of pied birds.  


  • Buff Back / Grey Back Geese are pied medium weight geese.
  • They are an attractive goose with a white background overlaid with buff or grey markings on head, part of neck, a saddleback and thigh coverts. 
  • In the UK, they are two different breeds. The English Buff Back and Grey Back are dual lobed geese, usually orange in the bill, and the same shape as the English Embden and commercial Embden geese.
  • The two types were first standardised in the UK in 1982. 


Birds produce good medium sized meat birds. Birds are quite good layers, tending to produce about 30 eggs in the Spring.

Did you know?

Grey backs are sometimes confused with the German Pomeranian geese. Grey and Buff backs are dual lobed whereas the Pomeranians are single lobed. 

Breed Societies

British Waterfowl Association