Is that a duck or a goose, how do you tell the difference?
Both are considered waterfowl, they love to have water to swim in, and often use it to get their food wet. While some seem to have a greater need for water than others (for example the Muscovy Duck is often kept without a pond), of more a puzzle is how to know which is which?
As we look at these basics I will point out that there are exceptions to every rule.
Ducks tend to eat slugs, snails, insects, and so forth, and are often used to control ticks.
Geese prefer grains and grasses and are often used for weed control.
The down of a Duck will often have more of a smell to it than Goose down (soft underfeathers).
Geese (the plural of Goose) tend to be larger than ducks, with most having longer necks in perspective to their body than ducks.
Geese tend to be more apt to challenge a human, and sometimes are kept as guard animals.
Ducks (particularly the males) tend to be more colorful than geese, and often male ducks exhibit different colors than female ducks (except when moulting or young).
Geese often have more webbing on their feet than a duck.
Geese tend to migrate further than ducks.
A Call Duck with her Ducklings.
An African Goose Gander.
Duck and Geese Facts
Young Ducks are called Ducklings, young geese are called Gosling’s.
Female Ducks are called hens, Female Geese are called dames, or “goose”.
Male Ducks are called Drakes, Male Geese are called Ganders.
Pilgrim Geese are interesting among geese, because the males are off-white, and the females are gray.
Ducks and Geese do not have teeth as we know them, but the inside of their bill has serrated edges.
Both female ducks, and female geese can lay eggs without males, but their eggs will not be fertilized and will not hatch.
Typically if a male is present she will lay a clutch of eggs before she starts to sit on them, after which they may hatch out anywhere from 25-35 days later (depending on the species of bird).
While both can be kept as pets some require permits and in most areas it is illegal to keep wild geese or ducks as pets.
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