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In our country, not only domestic breeds of geese are successfully grown, but also promising foreign varieties. They are prized for their excellent production characteristics. Consider the description, advantages and disadvantages of Italian geese, breeding technology, feeding, growing conditions and care. And also what diseases geese can get sick and how to treat them.
History of the breed
The breed of Italian geese was bred in the 20th century. At first they were bred in Italy itself and neighboring countries, but then they began to spread further. They began to be transported to the territory of the Union in 1975. The Italian breed is considered promising, the purpose of breeding is to obtain tender meat and liver, the weight of which is greater than that of birds of other breeds. Italian geese were used to breed new domestic breeds.
Description and main characteristics
The body of the Italian geese is compact, horizontally set. The neck is short, thick, the head is medium in size. The geese may have a crest and a small fold under the head, but they are not peculiar to the bulk of the breed. The legs and beak are short, orange in color. The feather is white, but sometimes there are blotches of gray feathers, which are considered a defect, but acceptable.
Zarechny Maxim Valerievich
Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.
Italian geese weigh 6-7 kg in adulthood, geese - 6 kg. At 2 months of age, the goslings weigh 3 kg. Females lay 4-5 dozen eggs with white shells per season.
Pros and cons of Italian geese
goslings grow quickly;
high quality carcasses;
Can be grown to produce large liver
birds left for breeding can withstand long-term operation (more than 5 years);
can do without a reservoir.
The breed was bred in a warm country, but, despite this, the geese were able to adapt to the cold climate of Russia.
Maintenance and care requirements
Italian geese are mobile and active, keeping themselves apart from birds of other breeds. They are aggressive towards strangers, therefore it is impossible to graze and keep them with other representatives of the avian genus.
The rules for keeping and caring for geese of the Italian breed do not differ from the rules regulated for other breeds. They should live in a goose house, the area of which should be sufficient so that the birds do not feel uncomfortable. For 1 adult goose of the Italians breed, there must be at least 1 sq. m.
But the breed is not suitable for permanent keeping only in the poultry house. Next to it, you need to equip a walking area, where to drive out the birds during the day so that they actively move and breathe fresh air. It is worth letting out even in winter, if it is not cold and there is no wind. Thanks to their adaptation to cold climates, geese can also tolerate low temperatures. Walking has a positive effect on the health of geese, both physical and mental, and egg production increases.
The rules of care relate to the observance of cleanliness in the room where the bird lives and the walking area. There should be litter on the floor to absorb moisture and droppings. You need to change it as soon as it gets dirty. Suitable materials for bedding are straw, old hay, dry old peat. You need to change it as it gets dirty or 2 times a year - in spring and autumn. In this case, a thin layer of clean straw is poured over the dirty layer.
Equipment, feeders and drinkers must be washed and disinfected, at least scalded with boiling water. Any leftover food that has not been eaten should be removed from the feed before serving.
In the goose house, you need to arrange ventilation, conduct lighting, turn on the lights when the day is short. This is necessary for the geese to feel comfortable and the geese to lay their eggs. If there is no additional lighting, the birds will not feel comfortable.
The food of Italian geese consists of fresh grass and moist mash. Birds can find grass on grazing, so if there is a meadow nearby, you can graze there. A pond is also suitable - like waterfowl, geese can feed on aquatic vegetation and living creatures. On the pond, they can find so much food that they do not need to be fed at home.
If there is no nearby pasture or reservoir, Italians need to mow the grass, prepare wet mash from the grain cut. Add juicy feed - root crops and vegetables, vitamins and mineral supplements - salt, chalk, bone and fish meal. Distribute food 2 or 3 times during the day. Feed goslings up to 2 months up to 5 times a day.
In addition to food, geese should always have fresh, clean water. Birds can also be fed on a complete poultry compound feed. The use of ready-made combined mixtures is cost-effective and convenient. Dry granules are stored for a long time, do not take up as much space as simple feed, birds willingly eat compound feed.
During the time preceding the period of egg production, the geese need to be additionally fed. Most of the diet should be green grass, and synthetic vitamins should be given to the bird a week before laying.
Birds that are fattened for slaughter are fed with food that consists of half green and succulent feed, half grain. It is recommended to boil the grain, so it is better absorbed. On such a nutritious diet, goslings gain weight in 2.5 months.
Breeding the breed
Italian geese reach sexual maturity at 8 months. The female lays 4 or 5 dozen eggs. The fertility rate for the breed is 70-90%, for this you need to make families of 1 gander and 5 geese. To obtain thoroughbred goslings, you need to select only purebred parents. When crossed with other breeds, offspring are obtained that inherit the characteristics of both breeds.
Since Italian geese do not seek to incubate eggs, home incubators are used to breed goslings. After hatching, the chicks are reared in a brooder. A month later, they are transferred to the poultry house.
Diseases and prevention
Geese bred by Italians do not get sick, subject to the rules of keeping. But if the rules are violated, they can get sick with digestive disorders, infections. Infectious diseases can cause significant harm, sick birds not only reduce productivity, but can also die.
Geese cannot be treated without a diagnosis by a veterinarian. Only a doctor can correctly establish the cause of the disorder and prescribe treatment. Antibiotics are used to treat infections. For the treatment of digestive disorders, dietary food is used. In order not to cause disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, do not feed the birds with old, unusable or moldy feed.
Italian geese are suitable for both industrial and home keeping and rearing. These are large, fast-feeding birds. It is not difficult to grow them, they are not demanding either to feed or to conditions of detention.