Pilgrim Geese

Pilgrim Geese are one of very few breeds of geese in which the sex can be distinguished at any age by colour. Pilgrims are medium sized geese with a calm temperament, good mothering abilities as well as being good foragers. As goslings males are yellow and light grey and a light coloured bill similar to an embden gosling, females are a darker grey with dark bills similar to toulouse goslings. As adults males are white with a small amount of grey on the rump and wings, females are grey with a small amount of white on their face. Both have orange legs and bills, however males have blue eyes and females have dark brown eyes. Pilgrim geese were admitted into the American Poultry Associations Standard of perfection in 1939. They are a medium sized goose and weigh 13-14 pounds at maturity. They are a higher egg laying breed and can lay 35-45 eggs per year. Ganders can easily mate with 3-5 hens. Pilgrim geese were originally thought to have come to North America with the pilgrims, hence their name, but the pilgrims we know are a recently developed breed. There are numerous references to an auto-sexing breed of geese in colonial america, England, and France however the breed was never referred to by name. Oscar Grow claims to have developed the breed in the early 1900’s in Iowa. Pilgrims were named after their pilgrimage to Missouri in the 1930’s. Pilgrim geese are listed as critical by The Livestock Conservancy.