Any white goose is not necessarily an Embden. There are many varieties of commercial geese which are white, but these are generally smaller, and also easier to breed because they have been developed as commercial crosses for a high output.
Domesticated Greylag Goose Anser anser
The Embden originated in Germany but is a popular breed in the UK and USA. Along with the Toulouse, it was the first goose breed standardized in the UK in 1865. Birds in the UK differ from standard-bred birds in Germany. British birds are heavier and reach up to 15.4 kg in exhibition strain ganders. Winning birds have to have the correct shape and stance. They are upright and confident, with a broad, well-rounded breast and dual-lobed paunch.
The UK Exhibition Embden Goose is on the RBST watchlist because of their importance in global terms, the UK represents a major part of that population. In the case of the Embden, although its origin is in Germany, the UK standard is for a bird which is heavier than the US and European birds, with a more solid, chunky build rather than the long-necked taller birds seen in Germany and the US.
Most of the standardised breeds of domestic geese are relatively rare – There are a great many white geese but few can be said to be Exhibition quality Embdens. This is also true of some of the other breeds such as Toulouse, where exhibition quality birds are produced by relatively few breeders.
The true Embden has a proud stature and reaches a metre in height. Ganders weigh 12.7-15.4 kg and geese can reach 12.7 kg. They typically lay about 30 eggs.