2021 55¢ Heritage Breeds – Cotton Patch Goose
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: May 17, 2021
First Day City: Mount Vernon, VA
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Flexographic
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 25,000,000
While some heritage breeds are named for the areas in which they were first bred, others are named for the purpose they originally fulfilled. One such animal is the Cotton Patch goose.
The Cotton Patch goose was bred to eat the weeds in cotton and corn fields. Its exact ancestors are unknown, but it is believed to have descended from European geese brought to America by early colonists. The Cotton Patch goose is known as a "sleek" goose and is small to medium sized. Their smaller size allows them to withstand hotter temperatures better than other larger farm geese.
Cotton Patch geese have pink to orange-pink bills and lightweight bodies (females generally weigh 8 to 10 pounds while males weigh 9 to 12). This has allowed them to retain the ability to fly, making them exceptionally good at escaping predators. In fact, a Cotton Patch goose can take flight and clear a five-foot fence without a running start.
Cotton Patch geese were common with farmers until the 1950s, when they gradually became less popular. Today, these geese are extremely rare and may very well disappear altogether without help. Devoted heritage breeders are doing their best to save these historic geese. We can only hope more people will step forward and help in the future.