Thursday, May 14, 2015

Erika's Geese

So, I've promised twice now to write about my goats.  My goats.  I love the sound of those words.  I can't believe I have goats!  I can't quite find words to describe how I feel about finally keeping goats; how grateful I am to have them and how grateful I am to Erika and Christian for letting me keep them here on their side of the property until Glenn's and my house is built.   If not finding words was my only problem, I'd introduce the goats to you in a post full of photos.  But the bigger problem is that I've found the little boogers to be very difficult to photograph well!  So, once I accumulate a few more decent photos, I'll be back to tell you all about them.

In the meantime, how about I show you Erika's geese -- her favorite animals on the farm -- favorite just behind her husband and daughter, and running neck-and-neck or just the tiniest smidgeon ahead of Bonnie and Bailey!

If you've been reading the blog for a while, you know that Erika got two goslings last spring --  Winston and Clementine Wobbles.  Mr. Wobbles met an untimely death in a farm accident and Clementine was left to spend her days on the fringes of turkey and chicken society.  Then, in early April, three two-day-old goslings arrived! At first they lived in the brooder in the workshop.  Once they were old enough, Erika started letting them out to wander in the yard and eat grass, snails and other yummy things,   Instinctively, they followed her everywhere. 

The middle creature is a Tufted Roman.  He or she has a top knot on his head that you can see better in other photos.   He will be pure white when he grows up.  The goslings on either side of him are American Buffs, the same breed as Clementine.  We suspect one is a girl and the other a boy.

See his sweet little top knot?  Erika suspects he is a boy and has named him Spartacus.

At first, Clementine wanted nothing to do with the goslings.  She was still broody -- spending a lot of time in the nest box waiting, we supposed, for the goslings that never hatched out of the chicken eggs she had incubated.  (The chicks hatched, but didn't survive.)  

One day, after sitting in an empty nest box for weeks,  she went for a long walk with us out to the stream on our property.

It seems like the change of scenery and some paddling around in the stream may have knocked the last of the broodiness out of her.  

She started hanging around the goslings when Erika put them out in a play yard.  When she didn't show any signs of aggression toward them, Erika let the goslings out of the play yard and after sizing each other up for a very short time, Clementine and the three goslings are now inseparable
Photo by our neighbor/friend, Sharlene.

Sometimes it seems as if the goslings follow Clementine around and other times it seems she is the one following them.  Poor Bailey found out just how protective she can be when he ventured just a little too close to the goslings.  She ran at him with her wings spread, neck stretched out, hissing and honking the whole time.  He backed off immediately!

Erika isn't the only one who has a goose here on Snake Oak Farm.  Finley's papa gave her a vintage Mother Goose for her first Christmas.  It will be fun when Finley is walking and pulling the goose along behind her.  

Dogs, chickens, turkeys, geese and now goats! Life is quite interesting here on Snake Oak Farm!  

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