The Sebastopol goose is the equivalent of the Frizzle fowl in domesticated land birds. Instead of the feathers lying quite flat they curl and generally appear to be growing the wrong way. However, the feathers of the Sebastopol goose are not as strong as the Frizzle fowl and it has been pointed out by various Sebastopol breeders that they resemble in texture the feathers of the Silkie. The latter, noted as a perpetual broody, has a sort of furry growth which, though feathers, are not properly formed, when compared with conventional breeds.
The Sebastopol goose appears to have originated from the area around the Danube and has been know as the Danubian goose.
In size the Sebastopol goose weighs between 10lb to 14lb. The overall colour is white and matching colour for bill and feet are orange. It is worth noting that the Sebastopol is classed as a ?light? breed.
Sebastopol geese can suffer from slipped or oar wing. This fault may emphasize the ?wrong way? of the feathering but, of course, a physical defect should not be tolerated.
The Sebastopol are attractive and a very unusual geese which are worthy of a wider following. They are easily managed and are classed as a rare breed.
Please note before embarking on owning the Sebastopol breed or any other geese breed their life span can be 20 years or more!
Geese eggs take 30 days to hatch. The goslings are raised a lot like ducklings.
Waterfowl need somewhat less heat than chicks. The first week they should have 90 degrees. You can lower this in 5-degree increments each week through the fifth week. After this they are usually ready to do without supplemental heat.
Although I use wood shavings for chicks i never use it for the waterfowl under 2 weeks. There is a risk that they will accidentally eat them and get blocked up.
A slick surface like newspaper is a real no-no for newly hatched waterfowl. If you must use newspapers, for the first few days spread paper towels over them.
A favourite surface is plastic mesh. Take a piece of plastic mesh and cut it to the dimensions of the brooder (a cardboard box will do fine). Then put down a layer of newspaper and lay the mesh on it. At cleaning time just lift out the mesh and hose it down, replacing a clean layer of newspaper beneath it.
Another excellent alternative, old bath towels also make great brooder floors. Just shake them out, wash them, and use them all over again.
It is very important for goslings to have good footing right after they hatch. They are prone to a condition called splay-leg, or spraddle legs, as they are quite unsteady for the first couple of days. If this does occur, you can lightly bind the legs together above the hock for a few days, using a rubber band or light cord. If the weather is warm, a short time walking on the lawn each day is very good for their legs, plus this is a good introduction to eating some grass.
A constant supply of fresh water is necessary to ducklings and goslings. For the first week, a saucer will work well. After that they get too large to submerge their heads and clean their faces in the water. All waterfowl need to be able to do this. But you can't just give them a bowl of water. There are two problems with this. First, you don't want them walking in their drinking water or leaving droppings in it. Second, if they stay wet hypothermia will set in resulting in death.
You may have to be a little imaginative to figure out how to put together a water vessel that lets older ducklings and goslings submerge their heads, but not get in it or tip it over. (If it tips over you will have a mess of wet litter and chilled babies.)
Just remember that the nature of waterfowl is to play in the water, and as the surrogate parent, you have to control this for the first few weeks. And be aware that you'll go through lots of soggy cardboard boxes, even with the best watering situations.
Waterfowl often fill their mouths with feed and then drink to wash it down. Therefore, you don't want the water too far from the feeder, or they'll drop all the feed on their way there. Also you don't want it too close as you want to prevent the feed from getting too wet and developing mould (which can kill). Try to set your feeder up in a way that the youngsters are unable to climb into it.
Feed should be available at all times. Use a duck starter feed or if you are unable to find this use turkey starter crumbs. It is good to supplement the diet of goslings with fresh grass clippings or lettuce (and great if you can give them a short run daily--if it's warm out--to pick their own). If they get greens they should have grit available.
You can see more photos of our Sebastopol Geese here.
Warning: Never give young waterfowl medicated chick feed. Goslings are voracious eaters and can overdose themselves and die from a medication that is correctly proportioned for chickens.