how long do geese live

Geese are birds from the family Anatidae, specifically from a group that consists of grey, white, and black geese. Their close relatives are ducks, and distant ones are swans.

Besides wild geese, there are also domestic ones. Humans have domesticated these due to their meat, eggs, and also their soft down feathers.

But what many people wonder is, how long do geese live?

Geese usually live around 10 to 20 years, but they can live up to 25 years or more. The life expectancy of wild geese depends on the habitats and living conditions. If the conditions are perfect, geese can live a long life, but they can also come across a hunter or a predator that can end their lives abruptly.  

How Long Do Geese Live?

There isn’t a straight answer to this question if we consider many different types of geese. But geese mostly live around 15 to 20 years, while some can live even up to 30.

How Long Do Domestic Geese Live?

If cared for properly, domestic geese can live more than two decades. 

If you want your feathered friends to live long lives, you should pay attention to what you feed them, whether they have a clean and comfortable shelter, and if they always have water access.

Geese adore water, so you should provide them access to a water source.

Geese prefer to roam freely, but they should ALWAYS have access to grains, grass, and water. They also like clean environments. One or two times per week, you should be clearing their living houses.

Depending on the country-of-origin domestic geese are either derived from:

  • Greylag goose – Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia,
  • Swan goose – Eastern Asia,
  • Hybrid goose – Australia and North America.

Archaeological evidence confirms that geese domestication had been present even in ancient Egypt around 4,000 years ago.

Evidence shows that domesticated geese were also present in ancient Greece, Mesopotamia, Rome, and the Medieval Period all across Europe.

Same as today, domestic geese have been used for food, their rich and dense meat, and primarily for their eggs. The geese that are used for producing eggs are the ones that live the most.

In perfect conditions, and in if they don’t encounter some illness, domestic geese can live up to 30 years!

How Long Do Wild Geese Live?

Wild geese live in a different environment compared to domesticated geese. Due to that, they have a different, in most cases, shorter life span than domestic geese.

Wild geese can live from 10 to 24 years. However, the years they get to spend in the wild depends on many factors.

In many countries, it is allowed to hunt geese, so some won’t live long enough.

But in many countries, goose hunting is regulated by law, making geese to some degree protected. It means that the hunters can’t hunt geese everywhere and every time they want.

In most cases, there are specified hunting seasons and hunting parameters. However, these rules do not apply to various predators in the wild.

Wild geese are exposed to different wildlife; some of the most common animals that feed on geese are wolves, foxes, rats, raccoons, snakes, owls, and bears.

Life in the wild can be brutal, especially for prey animals such as geese. Fortunately, these waterfowl can swim and fly, and they’ll take advantage of this ability as the trump card in saving their lives.

What Breed of Goose Lives the Longest?

When it comes to the longest living breed of goose, it is undoubtedly the domestic goose. Some domestic geese have lived around 30 years.

But it is believed that the oldest goose on record is a barnacle goose.

This species typically lives only around 12 years, but this specific goose lived 30 years and four months from when they tagged it. (source)

Life Expectancy of Different Geese Species

As we have previously explained, the life expectancy between wild and domestic geese can vary due to various factors. Let us now see how long different geese species live.

How long do Canadian geese live?

The average lifespan of Canadian geese is 12 years, and they seldomly live for more than 20 years in the wild.

There are reports of long-living wild Canadian geese, one in particular talks about a wild Canada goose that lived for 30 years. Regardless of the geese species, surviving for 30 years in the wild is something special.

Domesticated Canadian geese tend to live longer than wild ones, still, rarely reach their 30th birthday.

How long do African geese live?

African geese usually live between 10 to 15 years.

However, these goose species are known to be long-lived species, and if treated properly, domestic African geese can live for 25 years or more.

Despite the name, the African goose, these birds are not from Africa. It is a hybrid between a Chinese goose and a Swan goose. They are usually healthy and bulky geese, and they can withstand cold weather.

How long do Chinese geese live?

The average lifespan of Chinese geese is 10-15 years.

Chinese geese are one of the most common poultry breeds. They are usually taller waterfowl species, and they are also known to hatch up to 60 eggs during the breeding season.

How long do white geese live?

White geese also referred to as swan geese, live 10 – 20 years.

The swan goose is a domesticated fowl breed that is rarely seen living in the wild as ferals. These long-necked species are known as “watchdogs” as they’ll alarm you in case something unusual is happening in their surrounding.

How long do Toulouse geese live?

The average lifespan of Toulouse geese is from 20 to 22 years.

These geese breeds do not live in the wild, and they can only be found on the farms. Toulouse geese are quite popular waterfowl breeds, but they are known for gaining weight rapidly if not treated correctly.

Are geese different from other birds?

Geese are a bit peculiar birds, and they have some unique traits and fun facts surrounding them. They are considered to be one of the most intelligent bird species.

Most geese have an excellent memory and can even remember people and other animals easily. It is recorded that they even can remember past situations.

Geese are monogamous birds. When they are around two years old, but mostly when they are three, or four they can form bonds with birds of the opposite sex. When they do it, they do it for life. It means that geese mate for life and that they have only one partner during their life.

They can be pretty protective when it comes to their partners and their offspring too. If a goose ends up without its partner, in most cases, it will stay alone for the rest of its life and won’t mate again with any other partner.

Geese can feel sadness and mourn the loss of their partner in solitude sometimes.

Conclusion

Geese are exciting birds coming from the family Anatidae, and they can be wild or domesticated. Depending on their breed, the condition of their life, and whether they live in the wilderness or not, they can live up to 30 years. But mostly, their lifespan ranges from 10 to 25 years. And the ones that live the most are the tame ones.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_goose

https://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Chinese+Geese

https://www.beautyofbirds.com/toulousegeese.html

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Snow_Goose/id#

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