ASHTON WATERFOWL

White Geese:
Czech - Bohemian - Roman

 Roman geese have never been that popular in UK show pens. They are just small white geese. They are not as interesting in colour as Buff or Pied geese. And what indeed makes a Roman? Is every small white goose a Roman – such as the feral birds which can be found ‘dumped’ on various lakes?

Central European breeders seem to have grasped this nettle. In Bohemia, a special small white goose was developed from the local white goose stock. Named the Czech (Tschechische) goose, it is immediately apparent that it is different. Weighing only 4–5 kg, these little geese are the ‘Call ducks’ of the goose world. Egg production can average 45 eggs with an egg weight of 140g. Small, chatty and with chubby cheeks these birds have instant appeal and have now become so popular that they were included in the UK Waterfowl Standards of 2008. Developed in the 1950s, breeders chose a small white goose which could fend for itself on mainly grass, and provide a good meal for the table. The breast is rounded, and the abdomen carried clear of the ground on short, strong legs. A feature of the goose is its short, fairly thick neck with pronounced feather partings. The geese are busy little birds which do talk to themselves. Goose breeders have found them good sitters, and woe betide anyone who interferes with their brood! They are very defensive parents if they are near other birds. As garden birds they are sweet-natured geese. All 2013 birds now (September) sold.

Rather confusingly, the ‘Czech’ goose standardized in Germany has now been re-named as Bohemian (2009). The birds typical of the Czech Republic have retained the Czech name. They are also small white geese, a little longer in the body and shorter in the leg than the German strain.

 Brief facts on keeping geese

Book about geese