Our poor Mama geese are working so hard sitting on their nests and hatching their little ones (the first 11 arrived on Sunday). What is a mother to do! The problem is--what does a mother do when she has a gaggle of little geese running around but still has 2 or more eggs in the nest? The little goslings can't get back in the tire nest and will suffer from hypothermia and die from cold if she doesn't brood them and the eggs will die from the same thing if she gets off of them! This is where family--sisters, Aunts, and mothers come into play. We had three geese in the same little pen. Two were in tire nests and the third had her eggs on the floor. The prospective mother on the floor brooded the goslings on the floor while the mother hatched the rest of the eggs in the nest. They don't seem to care whose babies are whose and will steal nests, eggs, and goslings from each other. This morning we moved the two mothers with all their eggs hatched and a total of 21 goslings into a new pen where they can enjoy the outdoors, but still have a little building for shelter. Poor Mack has a bunch of terrible bruises on his arms from the ordeal. I wore leather gloves, goggles and a very loose coat so fared much better. Two of the goslings in the picture are female, the other is male. Pilgrim geese are sex linked so you can always tell the males from the females. Males have orange bills and blue eyes; females have gray bills and brown eyes. Hey--do you know anyone who would like to buy some goslings?
This morning when we looked down to the pond we saw two ganders fighting! Big Deal! Right! It is spring and that is what males do--they fight each other for dominance. Any time we look out there will be two, or three, or more fighting. They grab each other by the neck and run round and round making a weird honking noise until one is victorious. Then they are best friends again.
What surprises us is geese (the females) fighting over nesting sites. They are absolutely vicious! The prime nests are in tires we have set up. Two or three females and several males will jump on to the goose in the tire or any of the other nest sites and pick and pick on her. It is horrifying to watch. The side affect is that eggs get kicked out of nests and are ruined. The picture is of an egg that was accidentally kicked out of a nest.
We thought we had all of our computer problems fixed, but new ones keep popping up. First, we had to get a new computer, then we had trouble with our host. Now we seem to have something which reduces our access on a totally random basis. Sometimes we can get on, and sometimes we get a message that says our page is no longer available or has been discontinued. Who knows? IT seems to be working again--so HOORAY!
We have had a problem with our website the last couple of days (at least, I hope it wasn't longer). Fortunately, an alert customer called and told me. We think we have it fixed, so should be back and running as usual!
No, not Thanksgiving! We were walking our dogs, as we do every morning and noticed that the hill across from us was moving-like the wind was blowing tumbleweeds across our fallow field. Only, there are no tumbleweeds in Ohio, at least not that I know about. We got a little closer and looked a little harder--the gray blobs were wild turkeys. There must have been at least 100 of them. They were on two knolls and in the valley and gully between, sort of flowing slowly to the woods. We got closer and could see their long legs and their gray bar feathers. All of a sudden a big gobbler stopped and stood watching, like a guard as the females trotted past. Just about as quickly, another gobbler came up and both toms puffed up like you see in picture. They strutted and tried to intimidate each other. After the others passed by and were safely in the woods the two toms, still bickering and fighting, disappeared into the woods. Spring is finally coming!
On the way to work today we say about 12 wild turkeys in a field just before Marrtown Rd. It is wonderful to see them! Not to many years ago they were very rare birds i