How to treat eggs in the nest to prevent hatching in Pennsylvania | Canada goose

How to treat eggs in the nest to prevent hatching

Targeting goose reproduction through egg addling (shaking), oiling, or puncturing is a common way to prevent hatching and curb population growth. Federal and state regulations apply to nest and egg disturbance and treatment, so check both sets of regulations before initiating this control measure.  In order to conduct these activities, landowners must register online with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service between January 1 and June 30 of the year in which the activity will take place.

After treating the eggs in a nest, replace them so the female will continue to incubate them for the nesting season. If you simply destroy the nest or remove the eggs, the female most likely will lay additional eggs.

Geese, however, are long-lived species; most resident (non-migratory) geese residing in urban areas can live upwards of 15 years and can be productive for 12 of those years, with an average clutch size of 6.  Egg addling will halt population growth, if, and only if, >80% of the nest are treated annually.  It is very difficult to reduce the local goose population by merely halting annual production because egg addling targets the segment of the population (young) that already has the highest mortality rate. 

Laws and regulations to be aware of

Federal regulations

Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act makes it illegal for anyone to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter, any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird except under the terms of a valid permit issued pursuant to federal regulations.

Migratory birds may seek respite within trees or on buildings considered private property. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 prohibits the removal of all listed species or their parts (feathers, eggs, nests, etc.) from such property.

More information

While we attempt to provide guidance about state and federal regulations pertaining to specific species and control techniques, we do not provide information about local jurisdictions (city, town, county, etc.) where regulations may be more restrictive, especially as it applies to discharge of firearms, transport of animals or use of trapping equipment. Contact your local city or county government to inquire further. No guarantee is made that information (or lack of information) associated with a species or control technique is completely accurate or current. You should become familiar with federal, state and local laws before beginning any wildlife control activities.

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