Sebastopol geese are a breed of medium-sized domestic goose that are known for their distinctive curly body feathers that trail to the ground making them look like ballerinas. They arrived in North America at the turn of the 1900's from Eastern Europe. Sebastopol geese are calm, quiet (unless disturbed), and easy to handle making them excellent pets. Due to their feathering, they cannot fly.
They are considered a rare breed and are listed by the Livestock Conservancy as being threatened. They come in two types: curly breasted (heterozygous mutation) and smooth breasted. While white is the only recognized colour, Sebastopols can also be found in Gray, Buff, Blue, Lilac, Gray Saddleback, and Buff Saddleback.
Standard of Perfection
The American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection calls for a bird that is: medium in length and size, stout at base, bright blue eyes, covered in profuse feathering, curled and developed feathers with the curlier and longer being preferred, round, deep breast, oval plump body, orange bill and legs, and pure white feathers. A great resource for Sebastopol information is the National Sebastopol Geese Association.
Sebastopol geese are calm, quiet (unless disturbed), and easy to handle making them excellent pets.They are good foragers and can be kept in a free-range environment where 98% of there diet in summer months is grass, weeds and other plant material. In the winter, they can be fed a combination of orchard grass hay, chicken/duck grower pellets (non-medicated), and additional grains and corn. Geese require niacin supplementation. This can be achieved through adding Brewer's Yeast to food or vitamin supplements to the water. Goslings are fed non-medicated chick starter for 10 days before being switched to a non-medicated grower feed for life. Ganders can weigh between 12-25 lbs while females can weigh 10-20 lbs depending on the time of season.
Sebastopols reach sexually maturity at roughly 10-12 months of age. Generally you can expect a goose or gander to participate in the following breeding season. The breeding season depending on climate zone runs from January through February. Here in Southern Ontario, we begin to see ganders display aggression towards the end of January. Females begin nesting at the end of February and again in May-June. The amount of daylight hours, dictates the cycle.