The gosling chronicles

This past month our four geese turned into three geese.

Three geese

We still had four geese in the pen, but one decided to hatch some goslings. She stayed on her nest faithfully while the other three geese palled around.

Sitting mother goose

She built three nests, chose one, and then shifted the nest around in the goose shelter over time. It was the oddest thing.

Turning her eggs over easy

While the female goose was trying her wing at hatching, I expanded their pen with some portable fence netting so they could have more green grass. They were suspicious I was up to no good.

Suspicious geese

If the green grass wasn’t enough to blow their minds, I added a baby wading pool to their pen. They ignored it for three days–suddenly all of them were allergic to water.

Geese grazing

After the allergies wore off, they started doing things like synchronized bathing.

Synchronized bath time

They also scheduled fights by the pool (and in the pool). I could pretend the fights were over water rights, but actually they happened whenever one male goose made a move on the dominant male’s lady friends. All fights ended with the dominant male strutting around with a beak full of feathers.

Battle bite to the neck

A little less then a month later things got really crazy. The second female decided she wanted to be a last-minute mother. She started sitting on the nest next to the hard working mother goose. The dominate male goose started standing at attention outside the goose hut. The goose swearing and hissing reached epic proportions.

Three geese

Three little goslings hatched out. They were immediately stuck in the goose hut because the bottom frame is too high, so Lee made a gosling ramp. One gosling ended up not making it after two days. It was the runt.

Gosling ramp

With new goslings to watch over, all goose interactions were along the lines of, “GET AWAY FROM MY BABIES!!!!!”

Angry geese

Charging geese look pretty ridiculous. They always remind me of frozen holiday turkeys on little legs barreling towards you while saying, “I WILL KILL YOU”. We suffer an awful lot of smack talk from the geese now, but they always pull up their charge at the last moment. Probably because I am bigger then them. And I have boots.

Chaarrggeee

Right after the goslings were hatched, we saw the non-dominate male goose try to bite one of the baby’s heads. That started a new war between the males. Now we have one male goose that has been put on a solitary confinement of sorts. The top goose allows him to hang out with them sometimes, but at other times he has to keep his distance or there will be feather ripping.

lonelygoose15

When we go into the pen, the geese go into gosling herding mode and surround and shepherd them away from us. They are just sure we eat babies for breakfast and they aren’t going to allow that on their watch.

One day one of the goslings escaped the pen and I had to catch it. As I walked back to the gate with it, they circled the remaining gosling and started leading it away from me. I guess they figured the second gosling was a goner. As soon as I set the gosling down they realized their baby was back and I had two geese in formation with their wings stretched out running towards me screaming bloody murder. The gosling ran between them to the two mothers who herded them off quickly.

Goose family unit

In short, geese are pretty amazing and they know it.

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9 Responses to The gosling chronicles

  1. Phil says:

    I’ve had chickens and ducks, but never geese…. I think you’ve convinced me 🙂

    • robin says:

      I’ve never had ducks but they look like fun too. We have people stop on the road all the time to look at the geese. I think they are the neighborhood entertainment.

  2. ShimFarm says:

    Hilarious! I love that Lee built a “gosling ramp” which has to be the funniest combination of words, ever LOL! Are they ever cute, those little babies!

    • lee says:

      Perhaps I should have just called it a “goose ramp”, as even the adults cannot gracefully step over a 6″ board. Back when we used to feed them in their shelter, at least one of them would trip over the board daily.

      Judging by the piles and piles of goose poop on the gosling ramp, it’s now the cool place to hang out.

  3. John says:

    This story made me smile. 🙂

  4. hehe..very cute. I always have bad memories from childhood from geese attacking me but these guys seem calm and collective..they hardly seem like the bloodthirsty killing machine that I have built up in my mind.

    Must be great to have free lawnmowers like that…sometimes I think Loki is an ugly duckling.

    • lee says:

      Our geese are all talk, but I don’t think that’s a rule. The parents of our flock aren’t quite killing machines, but their owners told us they are trying to sell all their geese now because they are tired of being bitten.

      “I think Loki is an ugly duckling.”

      I’m not sure what the goose policy is on eating Japanese Maples.

  5. Pingback: Returning to our perches | Farm Folly

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