Saturday, 3 May 2014

Our First Goslings

Remember those eggs we stole from George and the girls? Well Sue's been looking after them in the incubator for the past month and two days ago a couple of them started rocking around and pipping. We did put six eggs in, but the whole venture was pretty speculative and we are more than happy that two have come through. Goose eggs are notoriously difficult to hatch, so these two adorable little critters have done very well.
Meanwhile, close approach to the Embdens in the stables is not to be advised as their eggs should be hatching within the next week. I'm not holding my hopes too high though, as last year they failed to hatch any of the eggs they were sitting on. And over in the other goose house, one of the Giant Dewlap Toulouses has finally decided to sit. So, in theory at least, we could end up with an awful lot of geese.

But nature, or fate, has a strange way of balancing itself out. I noticed yesterday a crow in the long grass near the chickens and thought nothing of it. They often hang around. I think maybe they find the guinea fowl eggs, which appear all over the place. Not much later I went to give the chickens their early evening feed and noticed Elvis agitatedly walking up and down on the wrong side of the fence. One of her chicks was back in the pen with the other birds. The others were with Elvis, having just grown too big to squeeze through the gaps in the fence. But I could only see four of them. Then I noticed, in the long grass, the body of the missing chick. Sadly, it was the brown one, the only pure female Cream Legbar which we had hatched. I felt a pang of sorrow, but I am hardened enough now to accept these things. I could keep them cooped up in safety, but I'd far rather see them wandering and exploring, even if it means that they are a little more prone to the big wide world. Of course, if this happens too frequently, then the balance of my decision may have to change. In the meantime, the incubator's free now and the children at Sue's school would love to see some blue eggs hatch out!

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