Monday, April 30, 2007

No goslings or ducklings this year

I can't believe I haven't posted for two weeks. I frequently think about what I want to write, but I am so busy with the farm and grad school that I can't seem to find the time. Plus, I frequently think that I'll wait until I have pictures to go with the post, and I never get around to the pictures, so nothing gets posted.

There is really no picture that needs to be posted with this sad news though. A couple days ago, Katherine called me on my cell phone to tell me that the buff goose was walking around looking very beaten up, and her nest had only one egg left in it. She started setting on Friday, April 6, so her eggs would have hatched at the end of this week. She had 17. As "they" say, don't count your chickens before they hatch. The same obviously goes for goslings. We are, of course, very sad. We were looking forward to seeing our first buff goslings. They are very rare, and we were hoping to add to their numbers.

As it turns out, we have four ganders and one goose. We really need to butcher some of these ganders, because they are now driving the poor girl crazy. She was swimming and screaming like crazy yesterday. The poor girl just lost her whole nest on Friday, and by Sunday, the ganders are chasing her like a bunch of gigolos. Considering how rare these geese are, you would think they would sell them in sexed pairs, rather than just letting you play the odds. Somewhere out there, someone got more girls than boys. Hopefully they at least got one boy to go with their girls. I know how sad that is -- our goose Lucy sat on infertile eggs that we knew would never hatch after Ricky the gander died.

To make matters even worse, we are now down to only one duck. We had four, but something happened to them. I think that somewhere in the woods is a coyote who is getting very fat! A couple weeks ago, when I first got out of bed, I was looking out the window. I had only been awake for a few minutes, and I didn't think my eyes were working right, but I saw something moving behind the pond -- too small to be a deer and too large to be a raccoon. Finally, I realized it was a coyote, and he had one of our chickens. Mike shot at him, but missed, of course. The coyote dropped the chicken and ran into the woods. Katherine went running out there and picked up the poor hen that was still alive. He hadn't quite killed her yet, but Katherine said it looked like he was plucking her feathers off. The hen died in Katherine's arms before she had walked very far.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I've missed your posts! Not that your newest post is what I wanted to read; how sad for you and your birds. Sounds like you need a large livedstock guardian dog or two!

ivy said...

Who says farmer's life is easy? My husband has this crazy idea of moving to Montana and start a farm... I had to remind him the only thing he has raised were dogs and kids! I am sorry about the lost birds. Even though you do eat some of them, I know you do care about them more than just livestocks.


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