The Chinese is an elegant, fine, small goose, active and good at foraging. Although it shares the same wild ancestor (the swan goose) as the African, which can be seen in the similarity of colour and marking, in shape and size the two breeds are very different. Chinese have been present in Britain since at least the early eighteenth century. As mentioned in the UK Standards of 1923 the breed is now standardised in both brown or grey and white varieties. The most distinctive feature is a prominent knob rising from the base of the beak.
They are highly vocal by nature and have a reputation for being good ‘watch dogs’ – they are famous for guarding some whisky distilleries in Scotland. The Chinese goose is also the most prolific layer of all geese.