Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Introducing . . .

Mustard, Flustered, and Custard, future egg-layers extraordinaire. It will be interesting to see what color their eggs are since they are all Araucanas (aka Easter Eggers) named for their colorful eggs in blue-green shades from turquoise to olive green. We already have some of these chickens. One lays blue/green eggs and one lays pinkish eggs. Compared to goslings chicks are unassuming and relatively clean, if a bit standoffish.

I told Rob that since he's finally joined the farm party (ordering geese was his ticket in) that we should read Enslaved by Ducks. I've read it once already and now that we actually have animals I think it's pretty much required reading. And hilarious. Bob Tarte is the Pat McManus of the farm world. No matter how much llama spit you stick your hand into Bob's gotten into worse. It can't help but make you feel better about your life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Accidental Goslings

How, you might well ask, can a farm without geese end up with accidental goslings? It's not like they were born here to a sneaky broody goose. The answer to that question is the same as the answer to another.

Question: What happens when you send your husband to the feed store to pick up some grain with the offhand remark, "While you're there why don't you see if it's possible to order geese through them."

Answer: Your husband orders geese. What kind? He doesn't know. How many? Two. Why? Refer to 'what kind'.

Then, a couple weeks later the feed store calls to tell you your goslings have arrived. (Presumably by stork.) And voila! Accidental goslings ordered by your husband who didn't realize he was actually ordering goslings but has a vague remembrance of the conversation going something like, "While you're at the feed store why don't you order geese if you want some." And why did he pick what turned out to be White Chinese Weeder Geese? Because they sounded exotic.

So now we have two exotic White Chinese Weeder Geese. Because we have no idea what the sexes are and have a 50/50 chance of getting it right we called one Cyrus and one Petunia (after the delightful, silly goose who was one of my favorite childhood characters.)

I have to say, goslings are a riot! They are nosy, boisterous, curious, hysterical, and quite the little characters. But they don't like to swim. At least not yet. They do love to follow people around and they are good at getting underfoot. Mostly they sleep and eat and dunk their heads under water. When they aren't pooping. And geese poop a LOT. About three times a day when we change their bedding (because they poop a LOT) we let them run around on the lawn where they follow whoever's moving. Cyrus is stronger and keeps up really well but poor Petunia always seems to take the hardest route. Today she tried to follow us and instead of going around the path like Cy she made a beeline through the wilderness of mint plants in the flower bed and nearly tumbled off the small rock wall at the end because she was so relieved she'd caught up that she wasn't paying attention to where she was going. (Though I have to say geese seem to feel they are invincible and would walk over the side of a cliff without a second thought.)

The day after the goslings got here the chicks arrived. So now there are goslings in the kitchen and chicks in the bathroom (and bunnies in the basement.) Ah, farm life. Can't beat it.