Lately Georgie has been at odds with the world. He bites the dogs, challenges Bob and sometimes me, and beats up Polly in the nighttime so badly that I’ve had to separate the boys from the girls for sleeping!
Yesterday, while I was busy writing and posting about our weather, Georgie was making mischief. It was nearly a fatal incident for Frellnick.
I was looking for the promised snow, and just happened to look out the dinning room window to see this!
Getting stuck like this can seriously injure a bird. Getting stuck and lying in wet, slimy mud when the temperatures are dropping to freezing can kill you.
Getting on my muck boots and overcoat, I grabbed the utility shears and went out to rescue him. Frellnick was cold and trembling by the time I got to him. He had the netting twisted about both legs, one wing and his neck! His chest feathers were completely soaked down to the skin and he was simply shivering!
Talking softly to him I began the process of gently unwinding the netting. He was very calm through this process. Hearing a hiss, I reassured him that I was trying to help. I heard another hiss and realized that it was Georgie… hissing at me. With neck stretched he was heading in for the kill. I looked up and gruffly warned him away. . .
“You pinch me and your name will be changed to Dinner!”
He stood his ground, but did not deliver on his threat. Finally freeing Frellnick, I turned him loose, then stood guard in case Georgie decided to attack him again.
I watched as he limped away to the front of the house and thought he was OK.
He was unsuccessfully trying to clean off the mud.
Returning to the house I looked out again to check and saw him standing on one foot in the lee of the big oak out front. He was being pelted by the returning enormous sleet; he looked miserable. Taking pity on him I went back out.
I set up a corner for him in the barn with plenty of extra straw in his bed, some fresh water, and food. I toweled him off as best I could and then promised to come back and check on him. When I returned he was still there and resting in his bed. I could see that he had eaten, but he had no interest in coming back out into the cold. I couldn’t blame him! Later at bedtime he was still sitting, but on seeing Georgie he got up! He seemed a bit light on his injured left leg, but was standing on it.
7:00 AM: It is morning, and time to let them out. I will let you know how he is when I return.
8:00 AM: Unfortunately, he is not much better and still prefers to stay in. A goose’s leg is their weakest link. The rest of their body is built like a tank, and you would think that their legs would be too, but they are not. An injured leg that does not heal can mean death. He is interested in his food and water, and can get up. That is a good sign! Today is sunny and clear with a predicted high of 48 degrees. If it gets in the 40s soon enough I will fill the little goose pool with water and let him bathe. He needs it! I think Frellnick will be fine with a few days of bed-rest and spa treatments.
But what to do about Georgie?
NOTE: An injured bird will not show weakness. They will act as if they are fine because to show you’re not well can mean death for them. I’ve seen this a couple of times in my chickens and intervened (the other’s will pick them to death). I’m seeing this display in Frellnick.