Monday, 18 March 2013

A birthday egg from the geese

I've not mentioned the geese for a while, but the other day they came up trumps with their first ever egg...on Sue's birthday.

Since then we've had a few, though it's a bit unpredictable where they turn up. Today's was just laying in the middle of the goose paddock.

All this is very good news. It means the geese are settling in. We were a bit worried that no eggs had been forthcoming, as the traditional date for them to start laying is Valentine's day, though friends of ours have geese which started laying way back in December.

A quick resume of our history of goose-keeping, for those new to this blog. We chanced upon five geese which turned up on a friends perfectly manicured lawn. But we had no idea of their age and only one seemed to be a female. Our best guess was that this was a pair and their three young sons. The three sons proved overly boisterous, to say the least. The goose paddock was not a peaceful place. We sold one to somebody who was after a gander, but then we lost the female (who had never laid anyway) to a fox.
Apart from their grass-cutting abilities, this left us with three rather useless males.
Not wanting to give up, though, we managed to get our hands on four rather delicate new girls, but this just made the young boys more aggressive.

Scene of the first egg find.
So one was given away (with an offer to take him back if he proved too aggressive). He was subsequently named Edward and settled in well to start with, but has since become too aggressive to the other geese and is now being lined up for the pot.

But Edward's departure did the trick as far as our clock was concerned. The old male has established dominance and is fairly gentle about it. The girls have learned to stand up to the young gander when he gets ideas above his station.

The goose flock are now living in harmony.

The dominant old male.
Should we name him?

We'll give them a while longer, but if they carry on like this we may have to give them names.

Anyway, back to that egg. It was huge. Somewhere on the way to an ostrich egg.

Goose, duck, hen

Tonight Sue had it scrambled and I had one fried, on toast with our own bacon.
There was certainly a lot of egg! And delicious it was too.

It's a pity, though, that the geese choose to lay when the ducks and chickens are popping out eggs left, right and centre. As soon as the building work's over it will be cake-making season again.

And, while we're on the subject of eggs, I found another secret clutch today, tucked in the corner of the leaf mulch heap. Fifteen in all! Daisy tried to eat the lot, though the piglets managed to snaffle a few of them.

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