Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Four daddies

Before breakfast, I was in the barn having a talk with Coco about the importance of her giving birth to her kids, rather than keeping them inside forever, and Mike walked in to inform me that we had goslings! Our year-old goose hatched her first gaggle of geese, and they have four daddies.

When I walked out of the barn, I saw the four ganders standing next to the door of the coop where the goose has been setting. The first gosling was standing in the doorway, and a couple more were standing behind it. About half an hour later, seven of the goslings had made their way outside the coop, and the mama goose was standing with them. A eighth gosling was being left behind. When the goose family had traveled about 10 feet away from the coop, Katherine picked up the one left inside and set it down near the others. It flopped on its belly. It's legs stuck out to the side, and it tried again to move forward, but it sort of hopped and flopped. As slowly as the other geese were moving, it wasn't slow enough for Number Eight. Regular blog readers have probably already guessed that #8 is now living in Katherine's bedroom. At two-hours old, he still wasn't standing, so it will be interesting to see how he develops.
I ate my bowl of cereal this morning sitting on the deck, watching the mama goose, the four daddies, and the seven goslings slowly make their way around the yard near the pond. The mama was easy to recognize -- she was the one gobbling grass. Sitting on eggs for four weeks has to be as exhausting as giving birth, perhaps more exhausting, since she hardly eats for all that time. Yes, of course, she does eat, but she only leaves the nest once a day to grab a quick bite and then get back to her eggs before they cool off. The most beautiful part of the whole picture was watching the four daddies, standing as sentinels around the goslings as they explored their new world.

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