Friday, 24 January 2014

Someone please tell these geese!

George comes to say "hello"
It's a few months since George and the girls moved onto the farm.
They've been given the goose paddock all to themselves and have settled in well. The advantage of the goose paddock, if you are a goose, is that our friendly neighbour Don feeds you various goodies over the fence. And if you can't be bothered to break the skin and chew them yourself, he'll even cut them up into pieces for you! You also get to be first to HONK when a car or van pulls into the drive.

The Embdens, the white ones that is, go mad for an apple or a potato. They'll even go mining in the veg patch for root vegetables if allowed. The oldest boy has learned to gently take apples from my hand now. And we're not short of potatoes and fruit for the geese. We often get bags and boxes donated from friends' trees, or I'll find a box of apples or pears deposited down by Daisy's pen (courtesy of Don).

But George and the girls haven't quite cottoned on yet. They'll take the odd exploratory nibble, but then they just turn their nose (beak) up and walk (waddle) away. In fact, it was quite a while before they really started tucking into the grass. They just stood by the gate, as geese always want to be on the other side of a gate, and did not do very much at all. Goodness knows how they got to be such fine figures. I guess they may have been a little spoilt at their last home. After all, alongside horses, alpacas, rheas, an emu and some very fancy ornamental chickens, they must have been accustomed to a little luxury.
But not here! Animals have to earn their keep. Which means mowing grass.

Anyway, all the geese are getting along fine. The two groups only see each other through a fence, but as we get closer to breeding season - our friends had their first goose egg two days ago - the boys spend more time macho honking and neck stretching at each other. But they have their own, separate stables into which they put themselves at night and there is plenty of other grass for the white geese so they can live apart and there should never be any trouble. In fact the Embdens have done such a good job of cutting the back lawn that I have now opened the gate to the meadow and orchard for them. They never wander very far though.

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