Monday, December 31, 2007

The Christmas Goose

My daughter says we are becoming a regular Charlotte's Web around here. This is our latest:


About a week before Christmas we had some nasty weather move through our part of Michigan - very dense, heavy fog and moisture in the air that began to freeze on roads and everything else! When the fog finally cleared a bit in the early afternoon and I could see out to the pasture, I saw a goose. (I had to get the binoculars to really see what it was - at first I thought it was an injured deer or dog - LOL!) Anyway, I didn't think any more about it until the next morning, when the goose had moved closer to the barn. I watched it for awhile and it appeared weak. When I went to do chores, I took some corn and oats out to throw to it. It moved away from me but when I went back to the barn it quickly moved in and gobbled up that feed!!!

A little while later it seemed to be feeling brighter and was even honking some. It is in the pasture with the sheep and comes close to the barn but will not go in. Now, this wasn't so bad when the temperatures were hovering around 36 degrees, but now we are getting very cold temps and more snows! But, I can't coax her in (I don't really know if it is a he or a she - LOL) I took out a flake of straw for it to make a bed plus a small rubber water pan and I keep taking her feed.

I guess a goose knows if she gets to cold/wet that she needs to come in the barn, right? I mean, geese do live in the wild, so I am not to worried about that - the barn door is open and she is free to come in if she chooses to. But so far she has made a nest in that straw and seems content to let me come within about ten feet of her and throw her some feed.

So we have a Christmas goose that came to visit and decided to stay. A goose is one animal that I never had any desire to have...but Bill and Alex tell me they have always wanted one.


And now, I feel like she has chosen to live here with us, for however long, that
I kind of like having a goose, too!

(If anyone has any tips on goose care, I would be happy to hear them!)

Happy New Years Eve Everyone!


Carissa said...

What a colorful life you lead on the farm! I'm sure that the goose is happier in the cold than on the dinner table!

Prayerful Knitter - Shelly said...

Happy New Year! I pray for you and your family to have a new year filled with blessings, health, and love!

We have geese, too! They come to live on our ponds and farm. They are great watch dogs and they are lovely to watch swimming on the ponds.

Margaret at Heritage Yarns said...

Cary, I don't know about this goose but Canada geese and some domestics mate for life. Possibly this one's mate was killed? Occasionally on our rides we will see an odd number of geese and comment there are 2 married couples and 1 old batchelor. (-; I agree with Carissa. What a colorful life you live there on the farm!

Stasia said...

Hi Cary, we have two ganders who protect our ducks and our chickens. They get along very well with our sheep and donkeys and share a pasture with them.

You did exactly right by putting the straw out for her so she wouldn't freeze her feet. If you feed her close to an open barn, she will indeed learn to go inside (ours scramble up a small ramp into our chicken coop at night) to sleep on a straw bed.

Give her food, water, and someplace to sleep, and you'll have a great barnyard alarm should any varmints come near in the night. Geese are extremely cold-hardy (except the feet, but you've got that handled!)

They are vegetarians so if you have leafy greens (not rotten!) you can put in with the corn and oats, she'll like that. In the summer you'll hardly have to feed at all as she will graze.

She will need a water dish deep enough to get her entire beak in, as they sort of "flush" their food around and out their nostrils... hard to explain, but they like something deep enough to get their heads into after eating. They will mess up their water daily and need it changed often.

Perhaps she was dumped at your place by someone who no longer wanted the noise of a goose? A domestic goose of that weight shouldn't be able to fly very far...

When it warms up, she will appreciate a spray with the hose or a tub of clean water a couple of times a week, to bathe in. :-)

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions. You might want to seek out another goose, or a duck, as geese really like companionship.

Deb said...

Hi Cary! Can you please lead me to your Mitten Questionnaire or post it if you have not done so yet? Thanks!