Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Gosling news

It’s been a fascinating week with the geese. Our two goslings, hatched in the incubator, have proved more charming and endearing than I ever imagined. They spend most of their day pecking at anything they can find to peck at inside their heated home, all the time emitting cute whistles and trills. They've grown tremendously in a short time.

 

Just occasionally they come out for a cuddle, which they seem to genuinely enjoy.

 

 
 
 
But most exciting of all is when they get to go out on the grass. They clearly see Sue and I as their parents, as I discovered when I walked away only to find them desperately trying to keep up, their clockwork legs whirring round and their stumpy wings vainly trying to flap.

 

 
 
 
 
Yesterday I brought a coop and run down from the chicken pen so that the two goslings can spend some of the daytime outside.
As soon as the two male Embdens heard them, they came running over doing the comical run that only geese can do and squawking for England.
 
Their calls brought one of the females off the nest and she too came out running and honking.  The goslings then spent quite some time, probably terrified, suffering the close attentions of three giant white geese. The hope is that at some point I can get the Embdens to adopt the goslings and take over their care.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meanwhile over to the Embdens’ nest. All three girls have been sitting tight for quite some time now.  In fact, too long. Their eggs should have started hatching by now but there is nothing. Just occasionally they honk excitedly and the boys hurry back to the stables. They are clearly expecting new arrivals, but just as was the case last year it’s proving a very frustrating experience for all concerned. I can’t work out what the problem is, for even if the white geese are firing blanks, some of those eggs are from the Giant Dewlap Toulouses and we know that they are fertile, even if not all of them.
 

The boys are still vigorously defending the nest!
At least  with three girls sharing sitting duties it does mean that they can take it in turns to stretch their legs and graze. I can’t help thinking that it’s precisely because three of them share the same nest that is causing the hatching problems. Maybe they are disturbing the eggs too much.

If that’s the case, then maybe we’ll have more luck here….

 
For one of George’s girls finally decided to sit. She has twenty eggs underneath her and they are due at the end of May.  I won’t need to cut the grass if all twenty hatch!

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