Geese: my ‘epic fail’ and a happy ending!

I am a neophyte when it comes to chickens and geese.  I have only been at raising poultry for three years, and while I can feel pretty successful at raising chickens (just keep those dogs at bay thank you!) well, I’ve got to admit I certainly stink at goose husbandry.  What is more regrettable is the fact that I love the geese so much more than I do the chickens…

Shhhh!   Now don’t you dare breathe a word of this to them, because it would certainly hurt their feelings!

Without going into heartbreaking detail I have lost, one way and another, all of Polly’s baby goslings.  Yup, I lost the last one.  I had just come to naming little Helena and POOF!  She was out of the picture.  However as heartbreaking it was for me you have to know that it was a crushing blow to Polly!  She spent her whole day calling and looking for that little gosling girl to no avail and that was killing me…

I have learned that geese need companionship.  They will die without it.  I had to act fast for both our sakes!  I quickly contacted my favorite goose lady Connie of Sassafras Valley Farm, and asked if she had a spare goose/gosling I could buy.  She wrote back saying that she did!  Awesome!  Then I found that she lived all the way up in Missouri.  That surely was not going to work (You may recall the distress that driving that far caused me when I went up to visit Jayme.).  This meant I had to look local and what a surprise!  Seems raising geese is on the rise here in Alabama!

And so it is I found Kim in Moulton  via Craig’s List, and she had three Embden goslings for sale!  Moulton was only an hour away.  Hmm… Moulton vs. Missouri?  No contest there!  😉  Though I am certain I would have very much enjoyed visiting with Connie on her goose farm, and who knows?  I may have the opportunity someday.

And so it is that I drove to Moulton and OH-MY-GOODNESS!  These goslings are positively of Baby Huey fame and proportions, and although I was told they were just over a month old, they are already half the size of Polly!

We caught the triplets, I put them into the dog crate, Kim field dressed the scratches on my arm, I paid her, and I was off.  Unfortunately for me I had the dog crate in the back of the cab and not in the truck’s bed.    With the temperatures in the mid to high nineties the truck bed was simply not an option, so crate and all, into the cab they went.   Hopping into the cab I suddenly realized, that by the time I got home, I would certainly be suffering from the deleterious effects of the off gassing from that much goose poop!  I rolled down the windows and turned the air conditioner down to arctic blast!

Do I spoil my critters?

Now I wondered what would happen when I got home… Would Polly reject the three Hueys?  Would there be honking and pinching all around?  I, being a world class worry wart, began to worry in earnest.

Turns out I needn’t have.  Bob helped me to set the crate down and Polly came running over to see what was going on.  Right away she was interested in the goslings, and they, though hot and frightened from the ride home, were definitely interested in her too.  I opened the crate door.  No one came out.  Then Polly stuck her head inside and started a low soothing honking, almost like a whisper, and slowly the Hueys came out of the crate.

Polly was amazing!  She began honking loudly and walked over to get a drink.  They followed!  Later at dusk I heard her honking in earnest and, worried (did I mention I am a worrier?)  I ran to the window to see what was happening…

Surprisingly, she was honking ‘command’ and the three Hueys were walking in file right behind her into the barn and to bed!

Crisis averted!

And to think I was worried.

~*~

OK, this one begs for a caption!  Feeling witty?  Post one in the comments section and then we’ll take a vote.  Now don’t be shy!

~*~

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12 thoughts on “Geese: my ‘epic fail’ and a happy ending!

  1. Lindy says:

    Lynda, thank goodness for that happy ending. Are the goslings going to be Huey, Dewey and Louie? As for a caption – I’m still thinking. 😀

    • pixilated2 says:

      No, they are the Hueys until each presents its distinct personality and gender. It may be difficult with the Embdens since they are all white. Though one has gray feathers at the moment. (I read that the gray feathers turn white at the first moult.)

    • pixilated2 says:

      First tag line in!

      BTW, I went to your blog. Great stuff! We have a ratty too, and you can read about him by searching “Tucker.” Thanks for stopping by!

  2. missusk76 says:

    “You want us to Eat That???”

    You could have given up, but you put your energies into makng it work. I admire your strength and determination very much. And it has paid off. You’ve created another wonder from the ashes of disappointment. Bravo, Lynda. You are a hero.

  3. pixilated2 says:

    Cindy, Don’t know how much of a hero I am, but just know how much it was breaking my heart to listen to that Polly Girl go on and on honking (wailing?) for her last baby. She seemed to handle the loss of the others… and then she was alone. Geese grieve so!

  4. sassafrasvalley says:

    your geese look very healthy and happy! There is nothing nicer than to see a mom and babies walking about together. I have the 2 moms who share the three goslings and they are the only ones allowed to walk about the yard and eat my new grass and plants. (sigh)

    I am sending Gunther, our farm mascot goose, to the vet next week for a leg amputation. (it disloacted as a baby and rejoined in a painful way) Once he is free of the pain I am sure he will figure out a one legged life. He is beyond bonded on to me….. just a snuggly, friendly fellow. He actually snugles into the nape of my neck, breathes deeply and sleeps. He likes to sit on my lap indoors and watch TV at night. I know…. Im a nut. But he is adorable and likes people. I also take him with me when I garden to sit and watch. Or in teh grass under a tree while i paint the buildings. And I put him onto the kitchen floor while I cook. He just happily keeps me company and the spainels leave him be. Annabelle – the buff spenial- likes to lay next to him…..just be near him. Yup… all very strange behavior on the farm.

    • pixilated2 says:

      Thanks Connie! Gunther sounds amazing! I have been sitting here trying to imagine a one legged goose… or for that matter a goose who will let you put him in your lap and snuggle! Yup, it is strange behavior, but it sounds fun too. I would love to be able to hold Polly like that, but she is content to just cock her head, look deeply into my face and talk. She accepts Bob now, but is very protective of me with strangers. Yesterday, my neighbor came to visit and brought a friend along to see the critters. Polly was right there. She didn’t hiss, but she was displaying quite a bit of neck ruffling and nibbling!

      Oh, and anyone who loves their goose that much is my kinda nut. 🙂

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