Toulouse Geese originate from the countryside around the city of Toulouse in Southern France. The French created this incredibly heavy goose. This has been, and still is, a delicacy in France. Forced feeding used in the production of foie gras production is controversial, due to the procedure of forcing a tube down the throat and the health consequences of an enlarged liver. A number of countries now have laws against the sale of foie gras and the force feeding of animals. It was the British and American breeders that increased the size and dewlap of the Toulouse Goose even further. German Toulouse have smaller keels than British Toulouse.
In the past, goose fat was a primary source for cooking fats and lubricants. Historically farmers often raised Dewlap Toulouse geese in cages to limit their movement, valuing their ability to put on large quantities of fat when fed plenty of food with no room to exercise. Modern farmers fatten Dewlap Toulouse geese for production of foie gras, or raise them on pasture for a large roasting bird. Even when not confined, these massive birds do not wander far from their food and water. During their early life, Dewlap Toulouse geese must have access to unlimited food during their first three months, with additional calcium provided to support development of their large frame.
The Grey Toulouse Goose (together with the Embden Goose) was one of the first Geese to be standardized in 1865 in the UK. The White version was standardized in 1982 and the Buff in 1997. In France they are called L’oie du Toulouse.
Uses: Utility – meat, especially when crossed with Embden Geese. As a broody although due to their size, can break their eggs.
Eggs: 20 to 40 white eggs per year.
Weight: Gander: 24-28 lbs. Goose: 18-22 lbs.
Colors: Grey, Buff and White
Useful to Know: A popular fast growing commercial hybrid is an Embden Gander crossed with Toulouse Geese. Dropped Tongue is common in Toulouse Geese.
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.