Monday, 18 June 2012

Meet Mother Goose.......



Meet Mother Goose (the hen) and Harry, Larry and Mo, her little Gosling children.



Lovely Hubby let them out of the Eglu for the first time yesterday, and sat on a log drinking his coffee in Chicken World to supervise the reaction of the other chickens to the newest babies on the farm as they mingled together.




He need not have worried, Mother Hen  is a fantastically attentive Mum and she always protected her babies when the others got too close.  The only birds she backed down to were the Hylines, my only idea about this is that probably as the oldest chickens in the flock she didn't see them as too much of a threat to her motherhood, they are secure in their position at the head of the pecking order so they were just curious and then left the goslings completely alone.



Harry Larry and Mo, and no we don't know if they are boys or girls yet.  I hope they are all girls as I've been told Goose eggs are absolutely delicious and twice the size of hens eggs, but knowing our luck they will be boys, if so they will be still welcome here as guard geese and lawn mowers.

 To be honest we don't know much about Geese, these are Chinese Grey Geese, but in our usual have a go fashion we are simply staying one page of the book ahead of their development and needs.  We do know that in a couple of weeks they will be needing a bowl of water for them to paddle in and wash and waterproof their feathers, but at the moment they are all fluff, so they just need lots of drinking water.

They are brilliant lawn mowers and have a preference for all the weeds and clover that is lurking in the grass, we have to move the Eglu to a new position after half a day to give them access to more,  hence LH's idea to get them used to mixing with the big birds.  Although at the moment this can only be when we are home and the dogs are around as they would be very susceptible to predators, especially the overhead sort.  We have Red Kites and other birds of prey around here.




You can see Mother Hen holding out her wings slightly here as LH approached to take the photo, this is what a hen does to protect her young from danger, in a frontal attack she stretches up her neck puffs out all the feathers and holds out her wings to make herself as big and as aggressive as possible. She looks very impressive when she does this.

Luckily she is a very big bird, bigger and heavier than all our other Hylines so she is coping well with looking after these large babies.  It's lovely so see them all cuddled down for the night with the goslings cuddled under Mum, just their heads peeking out to see what is happening as we check them last thing.



When they start to sit down in a little cluster and fall asleep we know it's time to herd them back to the safety of the Eglu after an exciting half hour or so playing out with Mum, it also means Mum can relax again too and not have to be so alert.





It's so nice to have new, young life here on the farm again.

Sue xx

15 comments:

  1. Mother hen and the ducklings are so pretty. Love them.

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  2. Aww, lovely. I didn't know you had goslings (out of touch AGAIN). xx

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  3. Oh they are so cute.. glad mummy is taking care of them ok.

    My hubby's parents kept geese when he was small, he can still remember when he was about 5yrs old being pinned against the fence by one of them...lol

    Julie xx

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  4. How lucky you are. Have always wanted chucks but am afraid our postage stamp in town just won't do. Hope they continue to flourish.

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  5. Campfire, they are Goslings, funnily enough when we were at the auction we both thought they were ducklings, even though their cage was clearly labelled. It was literally one minute before bidding started that the penny dropped I was about to bid on a Mother Hen and baby GEESE, but we looked at each other and grinned, so they became ours.

    Charlotte - keep up to date....Lol!!

    Julie - It's said they can choose folk to dislike, that's why we are trying to have LOTS of contact with them while they're tiny, they get very BIG when they're big!!

    We are lucky Winni, such a shame you can't have any chooks of your own .... pulls sad face!! Couldn't you squeeze in 3 little Bantams?

    Sue xx
    Our New Life in the Country

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  6. awww...aren't they sweet! your post made me smile.

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  7. O wow..that is the best thing i have seen today..how lovely..a mum is a mum no matter what the babies..amazing
    sara,fern,iris

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  8. What cute little goose's. They are fascinating to watch when they are little, probably when they are older too. Good old mother hen taking care of them :)

    I was just thinking when I saw this post that we should have sourced some fertile goose or turkey eggs and put under our broody hen. Will have to wait until next time now, oh well :)


    x

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  9. Beautiful little ones and lovely mother.

    My dad always said that geese were great guarders and can be quite fearsome lol.

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  10. Awww! They are adorable, and what a good gob, mother gooseyhen is doing!!

    This is my favourite line, would sum my approach up too! ' but in our usual have a go fashion we are simply staying one page of the book ahead of their development and needs'


    Haha! Would love to keep geese, we will some day!!

    Martin

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  11. They are soooo cute. It makes me want little babies of anything.

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  12. Sweet little things! Which one is Mo? ;)

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  13. Thank you for all the lovely comments.

    Mo - to be honest I have no idea which one is Mo!! Can you tell the difference.....haha...they are all absolutely identical so I just went for the first trio of names that came into my head.

    So Harry, Larry and Mo could be all boys, all girls or a mixture, I'm hoping they have some slight differences when they get their adult plumage and I can give them each one of the names...whatever their sex!

    Sue xx
    Our New Life in the Country

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  14. How adorable. When I went to a small village school, one summer we were allowerd to use the swimming pool at a private house. We walked there in our classes & when arrived had to dodge the geese in the driveway ... scary stuff !

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  15. A lovely tale, what a tribute to a great mama! RIP Mother Goose x

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