Breeds in fo­cus

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - SPORTING ANSWERS -

Only two species of geese have ever been do­mes­ti­cated: the eastern grey­lag — a sub­species of our fa­mil­iar grey goose — and the swan goose. Wild swan geese are na­tive to the Far East, breed­ing in Mon­go­lia and win­ter­ing in eastern China. Like their cousin the grey­lag, they are an Anser goose. Their name comes from their long bill and slen­der neck, which gives them a swan­like ap­pear­ance.

There are two breeds of do­mes­ti­cated swan goose: the Chi­nese, which can be grey (fawn) or white, and the African. Like its wild an­ces­tor, the Chi­nese is an el­e­gant, small­bod­ied goose and it re­tains the long swan­like neck. The fawn va­ri­ety is a pro­lific layer, pro­duc­ing up to 140 eggs a year, far more than any grey­lag type. The African is shorter necked and has a larger, deeper body. Both are tol­er­ant of warm cli­mates, so are the most widely kept geese in the trop­ics.

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