What We Do Watchlist Geese watchlist West of England Key Characteristics 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. History 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. Appearance 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. Uses Although only a medium sized breed, the breed produces good meat birds that grow quickly. They lay 30-40 eggs a year in the Spring. 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.