Sebastopol Geese are a heritage breed originating in England in 1860. They were also known as Danubian geese in Britain in the 19th century. The Germans can them Lockengans or curl-goose and Struppgans meaning unkempt goose. They came to the US from southeastern Europe around the Black Sea. They are named after the Russian City that exported them to the US, They were accepted in the Poultry Association in 1938. A flock of geese can also be called a gaggle. Sebastopol geese are bred for meat and as ornamental geese or pets. The male is called a gander and the female is called a goose. The babies are called goslings. The goslings can swim 24 hours after hatching. A Sebastopol goose can lay 25 to 35 eggs each year. They lay large white eggs. They do not lay all year long but in a few clutches. Ours lay from February through April. Sebastopols are good parents. The gander watches over the goose as she sits on her nest. He is very loyal and protective keeping all those passing by away. The goose sits on her nest for 30 days. After hatching, the goslings will follow the parents and graze eating grass and other greens for food. The goose and gander are very dedicated to their goslings. They will walk one on the left and one on the right. When the goose is grazing the gander is watching over his family. He often waits for the gander and goslings to sit and rest before he will eat. When breeding Sebastopol geese, it is important to breed a curly breasted to a smooth breasted Sebastopol. If you breed a curly breasted with a curly breasted Sebastopol you can get a totally straight feathered Sebastopol or have wing abnormalities.
The Sebastopols are docile and easy keepers as far as geese go. The loudest they get is during nesting and hatching season. My gander will come up and sit in my lap. He follows me around the garden and honks when he needs a pet or to be talked to. He is protective over his gander and myself. He has to be reminded that my children and other animals are allowed to come close to me. He can be led by carefully taking hold of his neck and gently walking him to his pen. Most times they are easily herded to their pen at night. But they seem to wait for us to tell them that it is bed time. Then there are a few customary honks, wing flapping and then they will waddle to their house.
Sebastopol geese are beautiful. They are typically white but the colors can vary with striking blue eyes. The distinctive feature is their long curly flowing feathers. Many people affectionately call them "sebbies". They have also been called wedding dress geese. They can not fly. However, they are very good watchmen and will let you know day or night if something is not right. They are listed on the Livestock Conservancy Board as a threatened breed. They weigh between 10 and 12 pounds. And it is said that the females are darker colored when they hatch than the males. They can live up to 25 years if provided a good safe environment to live in. Dogs and coyotes are their biggest predator.