Waffle is the only goose here at the farm. No need to worry about her getting lonely though, as she spends all her time hanging out with the ducks!
Waffle was hand-reared on a farm park in Surrey however she didn’t get on with the other geese, so she came to live at Vauxhall City Farm in 2011 to live with our ducks, as it seemed a much better fit. Waffle is a female Embden goose.
Embden or Emden geese are thought to originate from a region around the North Sea, in Netherlands or Germany, potentially from the town of Emden in Lower Saxony, however waterfowl breeders are undecided over their definitive origins.
Embden geese are pure white with a short, orange bill, orange feet and blue eyes. Females weigh around 10kg while males can reach up to 15kg in weight.
A female is called a goose, a male is called a gander and a young is called a gosling.
Geese tend to forage for food. They do not necessarily need a pond to be happy, unlike ducks. Geese prefer access to grass and spend most of their time on dry land, only needing a small amount of water to regularly wash themselves.
Geese can be very aggressive and are often used to guard properties, as they will hiss and honk at anyone coming into their territory, especially strangers. Waffle is a very friendly goose, although she can sometimes be very loud!
Embden geese mature slowly, over 2-3 years at which point they will look for a mate for life. Geese will normally start laying eggs around Valentine’s Day (February) and lay around 30 – 40 eggs. At the beginning of spring, geese will start to sit on their eggs, to incubate them, and goslings will hatch 30 – 34 days later.
Even though Waffle doesn’t have a gander she will still get very protective over her nest and her eggs and can often be caught hissing and spitting at people walking past her on the street, if she thinks they are coming too close to her eggs!