Friday, May 4, 2012

Chicks and Goslings

Our goslings came this week. They were meant to ship two weeks ago, but the hatchery had an under-hatch and couldn't send them until now. 

This is our first time raising geese. They are so different than chickens. First of all, they are not frantically afraid all the time. They are goofy and clumsy on their feet. I often see them trying to do something and 'oops!' roll over themselves.  This is true despite their being very rugged and hardy. They are ecstatic about eating grass. When I reach my arm down to do something in their brooder they waddle over to my hand, unlike the Black Australorp chicks next door that fly into a panic and huddle together in the corner, leap frogging over each other to get as far away from me as they can. The unfortunate confession I have to make is that I cut one of the gosling's beaks by accident yesterday. I was cutting up some grass into small pieces, and one of them was so eager that it went in for the blade I was cutting right then, putting its beak between the shears. It was so sad. It bled, but that seemed to be the worst of it. 

We read that if you become bonded with geese when they are young they may see you as a threat to their authority in older age and be more aggressive towards you in time. It's similar to raising bulls. The ones that stay under their mothers and are not cared for exclusively by humans are less likely to challenge humans later when they are vying for dominance. This challenges all that I've heard about the mutual affection between people and geese. Whatever the case, if what we read is so, it seems like it's going to be very hard not to become fast friends with them. 


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