Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Gruesome Goosome.

Today, as I passed the stables, an unfamiliar odour wafted through the air. Not manure. Not dead animal. Not the methane smell which wafts over from the Crowland compost factory on a Westerly wind. No, none of the usual unpleasant farm smells.

This was an odour I had never before encountered. I followed my nose which led me straight into the goose stable, where two of the girls still sit with total dedication on their clutch of eggs, which we think have gone way beyond their due date. The most dedicated of the girls is in quite a poor state now, her feathers dirty and abraded. She has left the nest only a couple of times in well over a month. I had even thought about evicting her and taking the eggs, but decided that it would be best to give it a little longer and hope she realised for herself that her eggs were not going to hatch.

Well, today things took an unexpected turn. For as I entered her domain I could see that she appeared to be devouring the contents of an egg. But something looked wrong. I braved the attentions of the guards on the door, hissing and baring their teeth, and edged closer to see.

And yes, as I suspected, it wasn't a yolk she was eating but an unborn gosling. A gruesome sight, which is why I have left the photo till the end of this post.


But it does open the game up again.For it shows that at least some of those eggs were indeed fertile. And as she stood to defend her nest, I could see that a few of them were still intact underneath her. So maybe, just maybe we will end up with one or two goslings after all. Or maybe something has happened and today's incident has pointed at the fate of all the eggs.

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