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7 Reasons Why A Goose Abandon Her Eggs and Nest

7 Reasons Why A Goose Abandon Her Eggs and Nest

There are several reasons why a goose may abandon her eggs and nest. Here are some possible explanations:

  1. Disturbance or Threat: If a goose feels threatened or disturbed by humans, predators, or other animals, she may abandon her nest and eggs to seek safety. Loud noises, sudden movements, or frequent disruptions in the surrounding environment can cause stress and prompt the goose to leave.
  2. Nest Site Disruption: Changes to the nest site, such as flooding, destruction, or disturbance of the nesting material, can lead to a goose abandoning her eggs. If the nest is no longer suitable or feels unsafe, the goose may choose to start a new nest elsewhere.
  3. Infertility or Poor Egg Quality: If a goose realizes that her eggs are infertile or of poor quality, she may abandon the nest. Geese have the ability to recognize non-viable eggs through instinct or hormonal cues and may abandon the nest in response.
  4. Inadequate Incubation Conditions: Geese require proper incubation conditions to hatch their eggs successfully. If the nest location does not provide suitable warmth, humidity, or protection, the goose may abandon the eggs in search of a better nesting site.
  5. Predation or Nest Parasitism: If a nest is repeatedly targeted by predators or other birds that lay their eggs in the goose’s nest (nest parasitism), the constant threat may cause the goose to abandon her eggs as a survival instinct.
  6. Inexperienced or Young Geese: Young or inexperienced geese may lack the necessary skills or instincts for successful nesting and egg incubation. In such cases, they may unintentionally abandon their eggs due to inadequate nest construction or incubation behavior.

How Do You Save Abandoned Goose Eggs?

If you come across abandoned goose eggs and want to try to save them, follow these steps:

  1. Assess Egg Viability: Carefully inspect the eggs to determine if they are intact and undamaged. Cracked or damaged eggs are unlikely to survive.
  2. Create an Incubator: Prepare an incubator with stable temperature and humidity. An incubator can be a homemade setup or a commercially available one.
  3. Incubation: Place the eggs in the incubator, ensuring they are positioned horizontally and not vertically. Maintain the appropriate temperature and humidity levels as recommended for goose eggs.
  4. Egg Rotation: Regularly rotate the eggs manually to mimic the natural behavior of the mother goose. Gently turn the eggs several times a day to prevent the embryos from sticking to the shell.
  5. Patience and Observation: Incubation for goose eggs typically takes around 28 to 35 days. Monitor the eggs closely for any signs of development, such as veining or movement within the egg.

What To Do With Abandoned Goose Eggs?

If you come across abandoned goose eggs, you may wonder what to do with them. Here are some considerations:

  1. Determine Egg Viability: Assess the condition of the eggs. Inspect them carefully for cracks or damage. If the eggs are damaged or cracked, they are unlikely to be viable and may not hatch.
  2. Observe the Eggs: Leave the eggs undisturbed for a period of time to see if the mother goose returns. Sometimes, she may temporarily leave the nest to feed or attend to other needs. It is best to give her a chance to resume incubation.
  3. Seek Professional Advice: If the mother goose does not return within a reasonable timeframe or if the eggs have been abandoned for an extended period, consider seeking advice from local wildlife authorities, wildlife rehabilitators, or avian experts. They can provide guidance based on your specific situation and local regulations.
  4. Obtain Necessary Permits: Depending on your location and the species of goose, it may be illegal to handle or hatch abandoned eggs without proper permits. Check with the relevant authorities to ensure compliance with wildlife regulations.
  5. Contact Wildlife Rehabilitators: If permitted and appropriate, you may reach out to licensed wildlife rehabilitators in your area who have experience with waterfowl. They can provide guidance on the best course of action or offer assistance in hatching and raising the eggs.
  6. Incubate the Eggs: If you have the necessary knowledge, equipment, and permits, you can attempt to incubate the abandoned goose eggs. This involves creating a suitable incubation environment with the correct temperature and humidity. Seek advice from experts or experienced breeders to ensure proper incubation procedures.

Remember that successfully hatching and raising goose eggs requires specialized knowledge, equipment, and permits. It is essential to prioritize the welfare of the eggs and comply with legal requirements. Seeking professional advice and assistance is recommended to ensure the best possible outcome for the eggs and the well-being of the geese.

Why Is My Goose Not Sitting On Her Eggs?

There could be several reasons why a goose is not sitting on her eggs:

  1. Infertility: If the eggs are infertile, the goose may instinctively recognize this and choose not to incubate them.
  2. Inadequate Nesting Conditions: If the nest is poorly constructed or lacks suitable warmth, humidity, or protection, the goose may not feel comfortable sitting on the eggs.
  3. Inexperienced or Young Goose: Inexperienced or young geese may not have developed the proper nesting and incubation instincts, leading them to neglect the eggs.
  4. Disturbance or Stress: If the goose feels threatened or disturbed, she may temporarily abandon the nest, leaving the eggs unattended.

Why Would a Mother Goose Leave Her Eggs?

A mother goose may leave her eggs for various reasons:

  1. Predation Risk: If the nest is constantly targeted by predators, the mother goose may leave to protect herself and ensure her own safety.
  2. Nest Site Disruption: Changes or disruptions to the nest site, such as flooding or destruction, may cause the mother goose to abandon her eggs.
  3. Infertility or Poor Egg Quality: If the mother goose realizes that her eggs are infertile or of poor quality, she may choose to abandon the nest.
  4. Disturbance or Stress: Human interference, frequent disturbances, or environmental stressors can cause a mother goose to leave her eggs out of fear or concern.

Related FAQ’S

How Do You Tell If a Goose Egg Is Still Alive?

Determining if a goose egg is still alive requires careful observation. Candling is a common method used to examine the embryo’s development within the egg. By shining a bright light through the egg in a darkened room, you may be able to see veins, movement, or signs of life within the egg.

Will a Goose Move Her Eggs?

Geese typically do not move their eggs once they have been laid. They are known to be highly protective of their nesting sites and will defend them against potential threats. However, if the nest is disturbed or becomes unsuitable, the goose may abandon the eggs and find a new nesting location.

Do Goose Eggs Go Away on Their Own?

Goose eggs do not “go away” on their own. If abandoned or not incubated properly, the eggs will not hatch, and the contents will eventually decompose. It is important to handle abandoned eggs with care, as they may contain bacteria and emit foul odors.

How Long Will a Goose Sit on Dead Eggs?

If a goose realizes that her eggs are not viable or have died during incubation, she may continue to sit on them for a period of time before eventually abandoning the nest. The length of time can vary, but typically, if the eggs show no signs of development after a few weeks, the goose may recognize their condition and move on.

Do Geese Bury Their Eggs?

Geese do not bury their eggs like some other bird species. Instead, they create nests using surrounding materials such as grass, leaves, and feathers. The eggs are usually laid directly within the nest structure and covered with additional nesting material for insulation and camouflage.


It’s important to note that abandoning the nest and eggs is a natural behavior in some cases, as geese have evolved to prioritize their own safety and reproductive success. If you encounter a situation where a goose has abandoned her eggs, it is generally best to leave the nest undisturbed and allow nature to take its course.

If you have concerns about the well-being of geese or their nesting behavior, it is advisable to consult with local wildlife authorities, conservation organizations, or experts who can provide guidance based on the specific circumstances and local regulations.