Roman Geese are small chubby white geese with a short neck that carry a large amount of meat on them. They are slightly bigger than Czech Geese and slightly smaller than Diepholtz Geese. They are originally believed to have come from selected strains of Italian geese created as far back as 350BC during Roman times.
Roman Geese were imported into the UK during the early 1900’s. They have light blue eyes and orange to pink bill and web feet. Some Roman Geese are tufted. Both tufted and non-tufted can be shown in the UK although the American Poultry Association Standard requires a tuft. The tuft of feathers on their crown, for which they are named, begins just over the eyes and inclines backward. The tuft appears somewhat like a tiny bicycle helmet perched on top of the goose head.
Roman geese in North America descend from a small group of birds, resulting in a small genetic pool. As a result, special care must be taken when selecting breeders to avoid genetic defects, including crooked toes, wry tails, kinked necks, and lack of vigor. Look for calm, gentle, robust birds with small, compact bodies, and large tufts centrally placed on the head. The front edge of the tuft should be over the back of the eyes. Ganders can be mated with two to four geese.
The temperament of the Roman Goose can vary although as with all geese, their upbringing has a fairly large part to play in this.
Uses: Utility – good meat to bone ratio. Eggs: 40 to 60 white eggs per year.
Origin: Germany / Poland.
Weight: Gander: 11-13 lbs. Goose: 9-11 lbs.
Useful to Know: Occasionally, the odd grey patch can appear in offspring of Roman Geese. This is a fault, although light grey feathers on the back and rump in first year females will fade and is permitted.
The ancestors of the domestic goose are derived from two distinct wild species. Western (European) breeds have been developed from the greylag, and Asiatic breeds such as the African and Chinese from the swan goose. Despite their separate origin, the Asiatics and greylag types do inter-breed.