How to process geese?

Marel PMJ offers easily convertible lines for combined duck/goose production

Baked Goose Stuffed Oranges 2400

Goose is eaten worldwide. Often related to traditional celebrations, goose is considered a valuable food, that is also healthy and nutritious. To provide goose meat to the family’s tables, industrial processing is needed. This is a specialized business, often combined with duck processing. Marel PMJ offers the right flexible solutions to add the most value to the meat production of both waterfowl species.

Where and when is goose eaten?

Roast goose is a dish found worldwide, from Chinese and European to Middle Eastern cuisines. Traditionally, German families eat roast goose around 11 November to celebrate St. Martin’s Day. It is called Martinsgans – or martin goose. Tradition has it that out of humility, St Martin hid in a barn full of geese to avoid being ordained a bishop. All over Europe, goose is a traditional dish during Christmas; in the UK alone, about 250,000 geese are eaten every Christmas. And of course, France is famous for its foie gras. However, contrary to common belief, the great majority of foie gras is made of the livers of Mullard ducks, fattened by force-feeding. Only a very small part really contains goose liver.

The taste of goose meat depends largely on how it is prepared, but it can taste surprisingly like beef. Compared to chicken or turkey, the high fat content of a goose makes the meat juicier and closer in taste to roast beef roast or even roast pork.

Foie Gras 2400

The great majority of foie gras is made of Mullard duck livers. Goose livers only account for a very small share of foie gras.

Mixed production

On average, a goose is considerably bigger and heavier than a duck. Therefore specialized equipment is needed when geese enter the processing plant. For that purpose, Marel PMJ provides dedicated goose processing components.

In practice, most goose processors will have a mixed production program, processing ducks too. That is why Marel PMJ developed a range of machines that can process both species using one single line. Marel PMJ’s versatile designs and innovative solutions accept extended weight ranges and feature quick-exchange tool sets, to enable hybrid duck and goose processing. It is precisely this experience that makes Marel PMJ the waterfowl specialist and the equipment partner to work with.

Accommodating geese

In many parts of the world, most goose processing lines are combined duck/goose lines. It is Marel’s challenge to enable proper processing of such a mixed supply of birds with different shapes, sizes and weights, from Peking ducks of about 3,5 kilos live weight to geese weighing 7,5 kilos on average.

In the immersion processes such as stunning, scalding and waxing, the water and wax tanks have slightly larger dimensions than regular duck lines, to accommodate the bigger geese – especially their wider wings. The size of scalding tanks, where the walls should be tight around the carcass (to prevent upwards agitated water go past the carcass), can easily be adjusted by moving the heat exchange plates.

With a few minor conversions, processors can change their duck processing line into a goose-specific line.

Goose Processing

Challenging variations

The duck-goose variations are especially challenging in the evisceration department. Fortunately, Marel PMJ makes it easy to exchange a few basic parts of the eviscerator, such as the spoon and the leg spreader. The bird pitch of the evisceration line also changes from 8” for ducks to 16” for geese.

After evisceration, some other exchanges have to be made. The Beak Cutter needs a different carcass-lifting unit and the NIC needs a different drill to separate the trachea and esophagus from the neck. The Final Inspection Machine has an exchangeable leg spreader and for gizzard lobe cutting, the shape-specific molds in the product carriers must be exchanged.


Marel PMJ combined duck/goose processing system is not only innovative and flexible, but also fool-proof with quick and relatively easy changeovers. With a few minor conversions, processors can change their duck processing line into a goose-specific line. In total, the exchange operations needed for a switch between ducks and geese will take between 15 and 45 minutes of work. When the line processes ducks during one shift and geese during the next, a changeover can be done during cleaning time, making combined processing very profitable.

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