Chinese geese are considered by many to be the most graceful and beautiful member of the goose family. They are elegant and dignified on both land and water. Sometimes referred to as "Swan Geese" because of their long and graceful necks, they, in fact, descend from the wild swan goose native to Asia (Holderread, 1986).Chinese geese are exceptionally practical. Of all breeds, they are the best layers, most active foragers, produce the least greasy meat, and, except for Pilgrims, are the easiest to sex at maturity (Holderread, 1981). With good management, the average Chinese goose produces nearly twice as many goslings as other geese, laying 40 - 100 white eggs annually. Because they are alert and vocal, they will raise the alarm if a threat is perceived (Holderread, 1986). Geese eat many grasses and herbaceous plants. If properly managed they can be employed as "weeders." "Chinese geese are by far the most popular breed for weeding chores due to their active foraging habits, moderate size, unmatched agility, good availability and reasonable prices." (Holderread, 1986). Poultry catalogs will commonly refer to this breed as "Weeder Geese." Domestic geese (Anser anser domesticus or Anser cygnoides) are domesticated Grey geese (either Greylag geese or Swan geese) kept as poultry for their meat, eggs, and down feathers since ancient times. Pekin duck, or Long Island duck (Anas platyrhynchos domestica, or Anas peking), is a breed of domesticated duck used primarily for egg and meat production. It was bred from the Mallard in China. The ancestors of those ducks originated from the canals which linked waterways in Nanjing and originally had small bodies and black feathers. With the relocation of the Chinese capital to Beijing, supply barge traffic increased in the area which would often spill grain on which the ducks fed. Over time, the ducks slowly increased in size and grew white feathers. By the Five Dynasties, the new species of duck had been domesticated by Chinese farmers. In 1873 nine ducks were exported from China to Long Island, New York in the United States and the animals and their meat are sometimes referred to as "Long Island duckling".[unreliable source?] It is the most popular commercial duck breed in the United States, although some farming has since relocated to Indiana from Suffolk County, New York. Around 95% of duck meat consumed in the United States is Pekin duck. The Mallard or Wild Duck (Anas platyrhynchos), is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate and subtropical Americas, Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and has been introduced to New Zealand and Australia. The male birds have a bright green or blue head, while the female's is light brown. The Mallard lives in wetlands, eats water plants, and is gregarious. The Mallard is the ancestor of most domestic ducks, and can interbreed with other species of genus Anas. Among close relatives of the Mallard this hybridisation can cause genetic dilution, which is contributing to the decline of rarer species of ducks.
Spotted them in a field beside a country road.
That Chinese Goose got all "riled up"...wasn't about to let me get too close to his duck friends.... :)