Ruddy-headed Goose


Ruddy-headed Goose (Chloephaga rubridiceps)

The Ruddy-headed Goose (Chloephaga rubridiceps) is a sheldgoose from the family of water birds that includes ducks, geese, and swans (Anatidae).

Species name

Dutch name:
English name:
Ruddy-headed Goose
German name:
French name:
Ouette à tête rousse
Scientific name:
Chloephaga rubridiceps

Scientific classification




Has a bright chestnut-colored head and neck, with a white eyering, while the breast, abdomen and flanks are all finely barred black over a buff background, becoming chestnut on the under tail coverts. The rump and tail are black and the upper parts pale grayish. The wing has an iridescent area formed by the greater secondary coverts, while the secondaries and the other coverts are white. The bill is black, and the legs and feet are bright orange, variably spotted with black. 

Females are slightly smaller than males, but otherwise essentially identical.

Juveniles and sub adults through their first year have no iridescent greater secondary coverts.


Incubation is performed by the female alone, while the male typically waits at the nearest pond, which may be a considerable distance from the nest. After incubation, the newly hatched young are led to water and thereafter the family leads a semiaquatic life.

Standard Measurements

Body Length (cm):
The male (drake) of the Ruddy-headed Goose measures approximately 45-51 centimeters. The female measures approximately 44-49 centimeters.
Body Weight (grams):
The male will weight about 1800-2200 gram. The female will weight about 1770-2170 gram.
The weight is notoriously variable and can only be used as indication!
The female Ruddy-headed Goose usually lays from 5-8 cream-white eggs and incubates them for 28-31 days.

Artificial incubating:

The ideal relative humidity for incubating most waterfowl eggs is 55% (ground nesters) and 40% (cavity nesters). The temperature is usually 37.4°C. Set ventilation as recommended by the incubator manufacturer. Eggs must be turned, either automatically or by hand, a minimum of 4 times a day. As the duckling develops there is a loss of water from the egg and the air sac gets bigger. In normal development of an egg with a 28-31 days incubation, the air sac occupies about a third of it three days earlier. Cleanliness is vital and ideally eggs should be moved to a separate hatcher at this point, where the humidity should be increased to 65% and even higher once they have pipped internally.

Bird banding:
Recommended closed leg band ring size for the Ruddy-headed Goose is 14 mm.
The leg band ring can only be applied on a young sheldgoose at around 14 days old.

It doesn't matter what leg that you band, but it's good to have a consistent system.
Suggested: Left leg = Female, Right leg = Male
Lundi Micro Regular
Lundi Micro Regular
Lundi Micro Regular

Floatable special rearing feed for all types of aquatic ornamental fowl - especially for the cultivation of trees as well as greening ducks.

This well-balanced complete feed with 20% protein content convinces above all by its good compatibility and forms the basis for visibly healthy growth from day one.

Made exclusively from wholesome and selected raw materials, Lundi Micro Regular is also ideally suited for the year-round feeding of waterfowl.

Maintenance food:
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular
Lundi Regular

Lundi Regular with a protein content of 20%, valuable Spirulina and high-quality by-products is optimally balanced in its composition maintenance food for water ornamental fowl of all kinds. Especially green teal and Whistling ducks that are not dependent on a very high protein content, are well supplied.

Lundi Regular contains all the minerals and vitamins in full form that are important for the animals. Therefore also suitable as breeding food.

Photos of the Ruddy-headed Goose