Toulouse range tremendously in size and quality. Exhibition birds weigh 9-11 kg in the geese and 12-13.5 kg in the ganders. They are usually grey, the pearly grey being preferred to dark grey or brown-grey birds. Toulouse have also been bred in white (rare) and buff, but grey is the most popular and readily obtainable.
The Toulouse was developed for table purposes in France, where it attained its celebrated reputation towards the beginning of the nineteenth century. It was first imported into Britain by the Earl of Derby in the 1840s and exhibited in the first National Poultry Show in 1845.
Because of their weight and blocky body, with a prominent keel on the breast, these birds should not be rushed about and are happiest on flat ground. They are popular as garden pets because of their quiet temperament and also because of their looks. The dewlap on the throat and loose feathers gives them a soft appearance, and they are rarely aggressive. The breed is often in high demand but relatively short supply because the exhibition quality birds are hard to breed (because they are big).