Blue-winged goose(Cyanochen cyanoptera)
Genus – cyanochen
This is a stocky grey-brown bird about 70 centimeters (28 in) long with a slightly paler head and upper neck. It has a small black bill and black legs. In flight, this species shows a pale blue forewing. Sexes are similar, but immature birds are duller. The plumage of these birds is thick and loose, furlike as an adaptation to the cold of the Ethiopian highlands.
The blue-winged goose is endemic to the highlands of Ethiopia and remains locally common and widespread.
It is apparently largely nocturnal, loafing during the day. It can swim and fly well, but this terrestrial bird is reluctant to do either, and is quite approachable. It forms flocks outside the breeding season.
These birds are primarily herbivorous, grazing on grasses, sedges and other herbaceous vegetation. However, it is also reported to take worms, insects, insect larvae, freshwater mollusks and even small reptiles.
It breeds by mountain lakes and streams. This species is believed to build a lined nest amongst grass tussocks, and to lay 6–7 eggs.
Lifespan in captivity is up to 25 years.
When keeping this species, it is necessary to have a pool with water or a natural reservoir. The optimal ratio of the reservoir area to pasture is 20% water and 80% pasture. The optimal area of the entire enclosure for a pair of geese is 300 sq. m.The optimal height of grass in the pasture is 7.5 cm.
It is necessary to build a poultry house on the territory of the aviary. Geese will be able to hide in it from the cold and wind in the cold season. You need constantly to update the litter in the poultry house. For such bedding, you will need about 40 kg of dry straw (hay). It is important to replace the wet bedding in time. Otherwise, the plumage quickly becomes dirty and does not protect the bird from the cold.
The poultry house should be made of wood or mud. Humidity and drafts are not allowed in it. In the poultry house, you need to install electricity and put heating lamps or ordinary incandescent lamps for heating birds in the winter. Lamps should heat the roost. As a perch, a shelf or crossbar is usually used, rising a meter above the floor of the poultry house.
During the construction of a poultry house, it is very important to take into account that at least one square meter of floor space should be allocated for one adult goose. With a higher density, the room will quickly become polluted, and the air in it will stagnate. This can cause diseases of wild geese and significantly reduce their productivity. Once a year, you need to whitewash the walls with freshly slaked lime.
Geese eat natural grasses. You can add to herbs: wheat grains, waterfowl pellets, and chicken feed. If there is not enough grass on the pasture, it is necessary to bring mown fresh grass. In winter, you can feed sliced vegetables, especially good to give cabbage and salads. Not averse to eating worms, insects and shellfish sometimes.
During the breeding season, males become very aggressive, so during this period it is better to allocate a separate aviary to the pair.
This species is quite difficult to breed, but some breeders successfully cope with this task. In captivity, blue-winged geese are placed in sheltered places in special nesting boxes (50x40x40cm) with a low opening for entry and containing dry grass as a lining.