One of only three American breeds of geese, the Pilgrim Goose is a real charmer. Although it is unlikely that the name “Pilgrim” is the result of the breed being raised by the original colonists, they are truly an American treasure. Today, Pilgrim geese are listed on the Livestock Conservancy’s website as “critical,” their most endangered classification. This is a true tragedy when you consider the value of the breed:
“Pilgrims are rugged, quiet, docile, good foragers, excellent natural parents and make good medium-sized roasting birds. Because they are sex-linked for color, it is a simple matter – even for the novice – to keep the correct ratio of males to females when selecting young for future breeders. Ganders can be mated with three to five geese” (Holderread, 1981).
This is the only domestic breed that is auto-sexing, meaning you can tell the light colored ganders from the grey geese at birth. Their eggs are delicious, and some have compared roasted Pilgrim to tri-tip… brisket for some of you.
Our friends at Valley Fog Farms have been delighted to find one of their geese sitting on a nest of about 16 eggs. If you know anything about Pilgrims, you know this is a wonderful find. They have goslings hatching as we speak, and they will be available in limited supply for those interested in preserving this wonderful poultry antiquity. Send us an email if you’re interested: firstname.lastname@example.org