Conservation Priority List
Breeders Directory
Breed Comparison Chart
Breed Clubs and Associations




Breed Facts



Egg Color:

Egg Size:

Market Weight:
11 - 15 lbs



Steinbacher geese were developed in the early 20th century in the Thuringia region of Germany, where they are known as Steinbacher Kampfgänse (Steinbacher Fighting Goose) from both eastern and western varieties of geese. The breed’s origins are not well documented, but most sources point to a cross between Chinese and various local German geese. A cross with the Russian Tula goose is also likely. The breed was admitted to the German Poultry Standards in 1932 and the U.K. Domestic Waterfowl Standards in 1997.

Although originally developed as a fighting breed, most have calm dispositions toward humans and toward other geese. They are often described as “confident.” The breed retains good mothering instincts but lay rate varies widely among strains and in some can be poor. They have a distinctive orange bill with a black bean at the end, black “lipstick” lining the bill edges, and an orange ring around the eyes. The goslings hatch with pure black bills, legs, and feet and change to the desired color as they mature. In Germany the geese exhibit much color variation, including grey, blue, buff, and cream. The blue variety was accepted to the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection in 2011. They have been advertised as monogamous, but many breeders report otherwise. Additionally, they have been advertised as needing a special diet, but again, many breeders disagree.

The paunch develops in the females after they first lay and is single-lobed. Once formed, it never diminishes. “There is some [international] controversy over the most desirable paunch for the Steinbacher. It is generally agreed that in young birds, that there be little sign of a paunch. In older birds or females after they have layed, the German Standard specifies a single lobed paunch while the British Standard calls for a double lobed paunch. Since the breed originated in Germany, I would think that a single lobed paunch in older birds would reflect what the original foundation stock possessed. In terms of weight ranges, the German Standard calls for old birds to be in the 15-17 lb. range while the British Standard specifies weights from 13-16 lbs.” – American Waterfowl Judge, Mr. Lou Horton

They were first imported to the United States from Germany in 2004 by Mr. and Mrs. Krebs of Steinbacher Poultry Farm in Michigan, and are a conservation priority for The Livestock Conservancy because they are globally endangered, even though they are a relatively recent import. They are very popular with the public at shows due to their attractive color and outgoing personality with people. There is often a crowd of people gathered around their cage(s).

You may be interested in...



  The Book of Geese
- Dave Holderread
  Storey's Country Wisdom Bulletin: Raising Ducks and Geese

An Introduction to Heritage Breeds
- D. Phillip Sponenberg, Jeannette Beranger. Alison Martin