When it comes to domestic goose breeds, you aren’t going to find anything older than the Roman Goose. First domesticated 2,000 years ago, the Roman Tufted Goose is thought to be the oldest breed that still exists. It was pretty important in the past too, forming a focal point of ancient Roman religion.
Of course, we aren’t here to discuss that part. We are here to discuss whether the Roman Goose is the right breed of goose for you.
Where Do Roman Goose Come From?
As with most breeds this old, the geese enthusiasts do not really know about the early history of the breed. About the only information we have is that it was likely bred in Italy during the Roman era.
It was also regarded as being a sacred bird, specifically to the Roman God Juno. However, that is about it.
Legend says that it was the Roman Tufted Goose that helped to save Rome. They are an incredibly loud breed, and they alerted the Roman military when the city was under attack.
This is actually a story many historians agree on, so if you pick up a Roman Tufted Goose now, you really have your hands on a historical breed.
Modern history of the bird is a bit easier to decipher. There are actually two off-shoots of this breed now. You have the standard Roman Goose, which is more prevalent in Europe.
You then have the Roman tufted goose that is mostly found in the United States. While they do look likely slightly different birds they are, to all intents and purposes, regarded as the same breed.
The Look of the Goose
This goose is a lightweight bird, they are likely going to weigh more than 12 lbs, although most will be a bit lower in weight than this.
The Roman Goose is always going to be a white breed. Some may have gray feathers a little, but this is going to be incredibly rare.
As we said before; there are two version of the Roman Goose. You have the American version which will have a tuft on its head, and the European version which tuft is optional.
Other than this, they are going to look the same. That being said, they will have been bred for completely different purposes, which leads us onto the next point.
The Roman Goose As a Show Bird
The American version of the Roman Goose (i.e. the Roman Tufted Goose) is purely going to be a show bird.
The whole aim for breeders with this version of the goose is to improve the quality of the tuft on the forehead.
The better that tuft, the more desired the goose is, and the more likely it is to win shows.
As with all show birds, even if you do not plan on entering goose shows, the goose is also going to make a decent decorative bird for the yard. In fact, this is a reason why many people breed the goose.
The European goose isn’t really going to be used as a show bird. Obviously, there will be shows for the bird, but they are not going to be all that prevalent.
As a Meat Bird
The European version of this goose is almost always going to be a meat bird.
The European version of the Roman Goose has been bred especially to grow fast. This way it can be slaughtered quicker. Obviously, this can lead to health issues.
Fast growing birds will never live that long. However, to be honest, anybody breeding the European Roman Goose is going to be slaughtering it a lot quicker than they need to, so this probably isn’t going to be that much of an issue.
Obviously, the goose is still a bird on the smaller side of things. This means that you will not be getting a huge amount of meat from it.
Although, it should be more than enough to provide a decent meal for the family.
It is very rare for people to breed the tufted Roman Goose for meat. Obviously, it will still produce a decent meal, but there are far better birds available in the United States if you want a breed that grows quickly and that you can eat.
The Roman tufted goose tends to grow slowly. Although, this does mean that it is going to live a lot longer.
Roman Goose Eggs
Like most goose breeds, the Roman Tufted is probably not going to be laying enough eggs per year for it to be a viable egg bird.
On average, you will only get about 35 eggs per year from this bird, and they are going to be concentrated to a certain part of the year. Anybody raising the Roman Goose is likely to use these eggs for breeding as opposed to anything else.
Luckily, also like most goose breeds, the Roman Goose is fairly easy to breed, and this means that you can create a fairly steady flock that can deliver a decent amount of food throughout the year.
Raising Roman Tufted Geese
The Roman Goose is an incredibly loud breed of goose. This probably means that you will not want to be raising this if you live in an area with other homes in the close vicinity.
That being said, the loudness of the goose can work in your favor. This goose is known for being a decent ‘watch goose’. This means that it is brilliant at keeping an eye out for intruders on your property.
This includes alerting you to whether there are any predators close-by.
For the most part, this goose is going to be a friendly breed of goose. Although, they will probably be a lot friendlier if you rear them from when they just hatch.
This is why many people will opt for this breed as a ‘first goose’. It is just delightfully easy to look after.
As we said; the main issue with this goose breed, well the European version, is that it grows quickly.
This means that it will need to be slaughtered early on, otherwise it will suffer from organ failure, which is not a pleasant way to go by any stretch of the imagination.