The Embden Goose (or Emden) is a German breed of goose. While it is now regarded as a ‘critically endangered’ breed. For those that are interested in an egg-laying goose, this is one of the breeds that simply cannot be beaten. Let’s take a look at the white Embden Goose in some more depth, shall we?
The Origins of the Embden Goose
The Embden Goose originates from Germany. Well, at least the region that Germany is now in. ´Germany didn’t exist when this breed first appeared at some point during the 13th Century.
That being said, the look of the Embden Goose that we know nowadays is likely to have its origins in the 19th Century when the breed went through the final ‘refinements’.
This goose breed isn’t that popular outside of Germany. This is actually a huge shame because it is a beautiful bird. What makes it more of a shame is that despite this breed being able to trace its roots back to the 13th Century, it is on the cusp of becoming extinct.
There are just not enough breeding pairs of the goose around nowadays. We do hope that this changes in the future, but when your breed is pretty much confined to one country, you can’t really hold out much hope that this will end up happening.
That being said, this is only in Germany.
In the United Stated the white Embden Goose was imported in 1820. Today , there are small off-shoots of the breed throughout the US, and the Embden Goose is popular in commercial meat production.
The Look of the White Embden Goose
This goose weighs, on average, about 26-27 lb (12 kg) and it stands at around 3.3 foot (1-metre) tall. Actually, Embdens are the tallest geese.
This means that it is a pretty large goose breed, at least for Germany. In fact, it is actually the largest goose breed in Germany.
In the United States it is admitted to the APA back in 1874, in the class of ‘heavy goose’.
The Embden Goose boasts white feathering. It stands up nice and tall, with a pronounced and well-rounded breast. Their legs and feet will be orange, as will their bill.
As a Show Bird
Oddly enough, the bulk of the Embden Goose shows seem to be taking place in the United Kingdom. The breed is slightly different there, often being a bit heavier than the average Embden Goose.
It is also likely that most shows take place here, simply because this was the very first goose in the country to have its own breed standard. This happened near the end of the 1800s.
Outside of the UK, particularly in Germany and the US, the bird isn’t really all that popular as a show breed. We are positive that you will stumble across a goose show on occasion that allows the Embden Goose to be shown but, to be honest with you, in these two countries this breed is seen more as a ‘productive’ breed of goose as opposed to anything else.
Since the Embden Goose shape and color is so common, we can’t imagine that there are many people that are breeding this goose purely as an ornamental goose.
However, if you do have one of these, it does look like rather a majestic bird with the way it carries itself. It certainly is one of the better looking purely white geese, at least.
The White Embden Goose Eggs
As we said before; the Emden goose is fantastic when it comes to laying eggs. It is likely to be able to lay somewhere between fifty and sixty eggs each and every year. Of course, like most geese, there will be multiple months per year where the bird will not be laying any eggs.
So, you can never rely on a goose for consistent egg laying. This is a huge number for a goose. Their average weight is around 6 oz. (170 g).
This goose can be quite a broody goose, which means that you shouldn’t have that much difficulty trying to breed it, as long as you have some breeding pairs available.
Although, most people report that this bird isn’t really going to be broody enough to allow you to use it to raise the eggs of other geese. So, we probably wouldn’t introduce these to a flock for their broody nature alone.
The Emden Goose For Meat Production
Nowadays, the Embden Goose is raised purely for meat production. In the United States, this is a breed that has managed to find its way into many commercial meat farms.
Although, do bear in mind that many people do not regard these strictly as the Emden Goose, as the breed has been tinkered about with to make them more viable for meat production.
There are several reasons as to why this breed is fantastic for meat production. Perhaps the main reason is down to the fact that they tend to grow rather quickly, and they are ready for slaughter at a little over a year old.
They tend to be pretty easy to breed too. While they are not the heaviest goose in the world, they are easy to raise.
If you have eaten Goose from a commercial meat farm before, then it is likely that you will have eaten an Embden Goose, or at least something that has been bred from the Embden Goose.
Raising the Embden Geese
As we said before; this is a goose that should be fairly easy to raise, you can check out our article where we describe what do geese eat.
It is rather friendly for a goose too. Although, some Embden geese can be aggressive, especially during the breeding season.
But overall, they are very gentle, this means that it should be ideal for those that want a ‘starter’ goose, perhaps for a homestead.
The only major issue that you are going to have with this breed of goose is that some of the strains of the breed can grow rather quickly.
This does, of course, mean that there may be health issues on occasion. When you are purchasing your initial breeding stock, then you may want to find out what strain of goose you are purchasing.
If it is a meat strain, then the goose will likely need to be slaughtered before they reach the age of 2, otherwise they will start to suffer health issues. Anything else should be fine.