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View Full Version : Can a goose break a child's leg?


frostythesnomn
11-29-2008, 03:13 PM
I've been hearing this factoid floating around, and have seen a few places on the internet making references to it, but I haven't been able to find any news stories or any really reputable sources to back the claim up. Anybody have any way to substantiate this?

Zsofia
11-29-2008, 03:39 PM
I actually know somebody whose arm was broken as a teenager by an angry swan. (He shouldn't have messed with it - it was his own damned fault.) Couldn't tell you about a goose.

Malacandra
11-29-2008, 05:04 PM
I can tell you that goose is really greasy, if that helps.

InterestedObserver
11-29-2008, 05:16 PM
I don't have any newstories or citations, but from personal experience I would say absolutely.
Have a lot of experience with geese, including helping catch and hold them to be beheaded for Christmas dinner, and their wings are INCREDIBLY strong and they use them as weapons when needed.

bathsheba
11-29-2008, 06:09 PM
Yes, if it's frozen.

panache45
11-29-2008, 06:35 PM
I suppose it can, if you pinch hard enough.

Sage Rat
11-29-2008, 08:04 PM
When I was eight or so, I was there when some people were using geese for a photo shoot.

At that age, they really are quite large compared to you, and seemed very foul tempered. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that one of them had mauled a little kid, let alone breaking an arm. Even the adults seemed pretty intimidated (as my memory has it.)

Colibri
11-29-2008, 08:08 PM
While I don't know of specific cases, it would not surprise me at all. Geese are strong, hefty, and often aggressive birds. If one hit a child with all its force, I think it might well be able to break a bone.

vison
11-29-2008, 09:51 PM
When I was 5, and a skinny little girl, a big gander struck my leg with his beak. It did not break my leg, but the bruise covered my entire thigh for weeks. I think it could have broken my arm, had it struck there. And it hurt an awful lot.

LSLGuy
11-30-2008, 10:37 AM
Also, birds that size can easily knock a small child off its feet. Kids break arms & legs from falls all the time.

I bet that if a goose knocked a child down & it's arm or leg broke on impact with the ground, the news report would indicate "The goose broke the kid's arm/leg."

Chief Pedant
11-30-2008, 01:24 PM
I've been hearing this factoid floating around, and have seen a few places on the internet making references to it, but I haven't been able to find any news stories or any really reputable sources to back the claim up. Anybody have any way to substantiate this?

I don't think so...I am assuming you are talking about some sort of direct blow, as opposed to causing the child to fall in some way.

They can be ill-tempered though. I put 17 stitches in a guy's head once after a goose attacked him. We got a good laugh out of it in the ED; poor guy was just out for a jog and came too close to the gander's clan, I guess. Patient saw some, but not all, of the humor in it.

We have a lot of Canadian geese here in northern Illinois, apparently too damn lazy to migrate. They are essentially suburban vermin and for the most part should be exterminated, but apparently they are protected...

InterestedObserver
11-30-2008, 07:04 PM
I stand by my earlier comment; YES, a goose CAN break a child's leg, or even an adult's. Not sure if any goose ever DID break a child's leg, but could one? Hells yeah.

They can be very bad-tempered birds, and are very strong to boot.

I figured out the origin of the term "goosed" when I was 12 or so, when our very mean, widower goose (they mate for life and his mate had been killed recently) GOOSED me, hard enough to leave a bruise, on my upper butt. (so funny, I would hear him coming, the tap, tap of his feet and whirl around and he would jerk up from his head-down stance and look all innocent, but this time, I was a bit late in my turn-around and he got me ) This same gander took off one of our dog's ears another time...not ot be messed with was he.

And as I said, I have been in the position of holding a goose for beheading (they don't go softly, let me tell you) I was 15 or so and the bastard almost broke my arm! (not that I blame him)

Yeah, geese/swans are dangerous birds. They will fuck you UP if they get the chance.

mmmiiikkkeee
11-30-2008, 08:36 PM
I'm not buying it; I think it's pretty well impossible for a goose to peck, charge, or beat someone with it's wings hard enough to actually break bones. If an arm DID get "broken", I'm betting the injury would be caused by some kind of yanking-twisting-and/or falling when the kid tries to get away from the goose, and that it would be more damage to the soft tissue rather than a compound fracture. Just look at the bone structure of a goose's wing; the bones are a lot smaller than those in a human's arm, especially towards the ends where they'd be hitting. You're not going to break a 1" diameter dowel by swinging a 1/2" sapling branch at it.

I too heard the warnings about geese breaking your arm since I was a kid, and was actually rather paranoid of it - until a couple years ago when I was sent into a coup on a friend's acreage to get a goose to be used for some kind of veterinary test.

When I got close it started hissing and acting really tough. Thinking I was about to do battle with some kind of mutant powerhouse and get thrown through the wall or beaten into a coma, I quickly grabbed it's head and pinned it to the ground, then sat over it's body with my knees before it could start flapping. I actually thought it had dodged my hand because I could feel no resistance or struggling from the neck; I thought I'd missed. Took another look and sure enough I had it's head. It's neck was very scrawney and had basically no power at all; nor did the legs or body. I was able to hold it's wings against it's body with one arm and wrap duct tape around it a couple times with the other with hardly any struggle. I through it into an onion bag and just walked around with it like a pillow with a head sticking out. Beheading it was nothing, no struggle at all. And this was the first time I'd done it and I was alone. In my experience geese are total wimps; they can't hurt you unless you get intimidated, panic, and basically hurt yourself (or just stand there and let them peck you or flap their wings in your face).

Bruises from pecks or wingtip whippings I can see; broken bones from blunt force trauma - no way. It's hard enough for a full grown man to break another's arm by hitting it in any similar way as a goose might. Boxers take punches to the forearms all night. A feather-padded coathanger swung by a 20lb bird won't do anything more than leave a red mark.

Mike Rowe from "dirty jobs" went out with researchers rounding up and sampling Canada geese. They were harmless. It's amazing how the mind works; if you're afraid of something - no matter how small - you'll do more damage to yourself freaking out when you think it's coming after you than it could ever do to you on it's own. And I'm not trying to be a tough guy here; I've smacked my hands and elbows against walls and other objects plenty of times by yanking my hand away from a garter snake or mouse I thought was going to bite me. Taking the bite would have hurt far less.

InterestedObserver
11-30-2008, 09:20 PM
I'm not buying it; I think it's pretty well impossible for a goose to peck, charge, or beat someone with it's wings hard enough to actually break bones. If an arm DID get "broken", I'm betting the injury would be caused by some kind of yanking-twisting-and/or falling when the kid tries to get away from the goose, and that it would be more damage to the soft tissue rather than a compound fracture. Just look at the bone structure of a goose's wing; the bones are a lot smaller than those in a human's arm, especially towards the ends where they'd be hitting. You're not going to break a 1" diameter dowel by swinging a 1/2" sapling branch at it.

I too heard the warnings about geese breaking your arm since I was a kid, and was actually rather paranoid of it - until a couple years ago when I was sent into a coup on a friend's acreage to get a goose to be used for some kind of veterinary test.

When I got close it started hissing and acting really tough. Thinking I was about to do battle with some kind of mutant powerhouse and get thrown through the wall or beaten into a coma, I quickly grabbed it's head and pinned it to the ground, then sat over it's body with my knees before it could start flapping. I actually thought it had dodged my hand because I could feel no resistance or struggling from the neck; I thought I'd missed. Took another look and sure enough I had it's head. It's neck was very scrawney and had basically no power at all; nor did the legs or body. I was able to hold it's wings against it's body with one arm and wrap duct tape around it a couple times with the other with hardly any struggle. I through it into an onion bag and just walked around with it like a pillow with a head sticking out. Beheading it was nothing, no struggle at all. And this was the first time I'd done it and I was alone. In my experience geese are total wimps; they can't hurt you unless you get intimidated, panic, and basically hurt yourself (or just stand there and let them peck you or flap their wings in your face).

Bruises from pecks or wingtip whippings I can see; broken bones from blunt force trauma - no way. It's hard enough for a full grown man to break another's arm by hitting it in any similar way as a goose might. Boxers take punches to the forearms all night. A feather-padded coathanger swung by a 20lb bird won't do anything more than leave a red mark.

Mike Rowe from "dirty jobs" went out with researchers rounding up and sampling Canada geese. They were harmless. It's amazing how the mind works; if you're afraid of something - no matter how small - you'll do more damage to yourself freaking out when you think it's coming after you than it could ever do to you on it's own. And I'm not trying to be a tough guy here; I've smacked my hands and elbows against walls and other objects plenty of times by yanking my hand away from a garter snake or mouse I thought was going to bite me. Taking the bite would have hurt far less.


I admire your hands-on experience, but still differ with your conclusions.

You were relatively skilled at tackling said goose, and knew your enemy well.
Yay you. :D

But if one were NOT as well versed in the risks or as talented in the capture, it is, in my educated opinion, entirely possible that a goose could fractutre a human arm, directly, and not as a result of indirect impact.

I mean, I have broken bones, both as a child and as an adult, and I have grappled with geese, and JMHO, YES, a goose COULD break a child's leg bone. I knew enough to defend myself, after dealing with geese and roosters for many yrs (those roosters will tear you a new one with their spurs if you don't grab them fast by the legs in their sleep!)

Northern Piper
11-30-2008, 11:41 PM
We have a lot of Canadian geese here in northern Illinois, apparently too damn lazy to migrate.
Where do you think birds from northern Canada go to migrate? south to Illinois!

:p

tzimmerman
12-01-2008, 01:01 AM
I'm not buying it; I think it's pretty well impossible for a goose to peck, charge, or beat someone with it's wings hard enough to actually break bones. If an arm DID get "broken", I'm betting the injury would be caused by some kind of yanking-twisting-and/or falling when the kid tries to get away from the goose, and that it would be more damage to the soft tissue rather than a compound fracture. Just look at the bone structure of a goose's wing; the bones are a lot smaller than those in a human's arm, especially towards the ends where they'd be hitting. You're not going to break a 1" diameter dowel by swinging a 1/2" sapling branch at it.

.


I would have to agree. I have come into contact with angry geese and actually been beaked (if that's the right term) by an angry swan, and they are i''l tempered animals. However you have to remember that avian bones are VERY light and porous out of necesity for flight, not too mention smaller just by the sake of being a smaller animal. And what your really talking about is a collision between a bird bone and a human bone, and which would crack first.

Cervaise
12-01-2008, 12:15 PM
We have a lot of Canadian geese here in northern Illinoisheading off a nitpicky hijack (http://languagehat.com/archives/001076.php)

Max Torque
12-01-2008, 05:00 PM
I can tell you that goose is really greasy, if that helps.

Jack Bauer (http://youtube.com/watch?v=9UyHa1mkB6Q)?


Anyway. Geese are mean. We raised lots of different fowl when I was a kid, and I learned this: chickens are completely harmless and will run away from you. A duck will bite you if you piss it off. But a goose will bite you just for the fun of biting you.

That being said, I can't imagine a goose breaking a human bone in any way. Swans, yes, they're much larger and stronger, but a goose, not so much.

The Great Sun Jester
12-01-2008, 05:36 PM
I can tell you that goose is really greasy, if that helps.
I seem to recall hearing that somewhere. :D

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