Hello and Advice Needed

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Hello and Advice Needed

Postby Kate Fraser » Thu May 18, 2017 4:58 pm

Hello there - after keeping chickens and ducks when growing up, I'm finally getting to enjoy keeping poultry again. That's one goose (widowed) and one peacock (divorced). They exist in mutual stand-offishness....

The broody goose is sitting on her last remaining non-viable egg (we ate the rest). It's been almost 6 weeks now and she's still sitting tight, and in the last week or two, only getting off very rarely (some days not at all, or not that I've noticed). Should I now remove the egg next time she gets off? Force her off?

Also, she has straw stuck in one nostril - should we be concerned? Or will it work its way out once she spends more time on - and in - the pond?

Many thanks!
Kate
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Re: Hello and Advice Needed

Postby RichmondHens » Thu May 18, 2017 8:15 pm

Broody geese can be tricky (personally I would rather tackle a gander than a broody goose) but if the egg is non viable then next time she leaves the nest to bathe or feed, shut her away from the nest (is it inside or out?) and remove egg, nest and all bedding completely. If she has nothing to return to then she will stop sitting, although she will shout and moan for at least a week afterwards - be prepared!!
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Re: Hello and Advice Needed

Postby RichmondHens » Thu May 18, 2017 8:16 pm

I wouldn't worry about the straw, once she has had a good bath it will probably work its way free.
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Re: Hello and Advice Needed

Postby rick » Thu May 18, 2017 10:13 pm

Hi Kate,
and sorry, I can see you have a dilemma there but it's been tickling me all day.
I find that straw stuck in the nostril is a definite sign of needing to get out more! :)
Hope she isn't too upset at being evicted.
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Re: Hello and Advice Needed

Postby Kate Fraser » Thu May 18, 2017 10:46 pm

Thank you both! I'm very fond of poor Goosie, and really feel for her since she lost her mate to a fox the winter before this after a long time together. This winter, she was nearly taken by the same fox - cue much noise and kerfuffling in the middle of the night and I ran downstairs to find her standing right outside the back door on the mat, under the two back door lights that stay on all night (and very close to the pots that the dog pees on all the time). The other half (mine, not hers) refused to let me let her into the kitchen to keep her safe, despite my tearful protestations, but she anyway took herself off to the pond for the rest of the night.

So the next day, I moved and laid out one of the posh but nowadays unused chicken coops for her use, under the granary, with the side permanently open and the door propped up. I put straw in there as I had the thought that I might get her used to it and then shut her in to keep her safe from Foxy each night. But she's far too wise to get trapped in a chicken coop, and would spend the day in and around it, but then head to the pond at twilight. Until early April, when she started nest building and spending each night in said coop. The nest was pretty good, as she added to her clutch (and as I quietly removed the plus ones). Then she started sitting in earnest, lining her nest with down and plugging holes in the roof of the chicken coop with bits of hay to stop the draughts (which made me smile as the entire side of the coop is permanently open...)

So, to cut a rambling tale a bit shorter, she is indoors - kind of - at night, albeit indoors with an open side and under the granary. Next time she leaves the nest and I am here, should I simply shut up the chicken coop, effectively shutting her out, and hope the she sleeps on the pond as she did, or remove egg, nest, etc from the coop, but leave her able to go in there (open as it is)?

Yours, concernedly, Kate
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Re: Hello and Advice Needed

Postby RichmondHens » Fri May 19, 2017 8:45 am

I would remove the nest but still allow her access afterwards. She needs to see that her nest has gone and make the decision herself to return to the pond. She may still try and sit on a bare patch of ground but I don't think she'll do it for long. Last year one of my geese made her nest in a stable and sat on a huge pile of eggs, most of which went rancid. The stink was horrendous! I needed to get rid of all but the goose knew what I was up to and despite shutting her out of the stable area she went completely beserk when she saw me loading nest and stinky contents into the wheelbarrow and shouted at me loudly each time I went near. I did really feel for her though when I allowed her back into the (now clean) stable, she made these awful keening noises for days, mourning her rotten eggs. I did placate her later on though by giving her a couple of half grown goslings to foster.
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Re: Hello and Advice Needed

Postby Marigold » Fri May 19, 2017 10:12 am

Would a couple of goslings be an option for Goosie, Kate?
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Re: Hello and Advice Needed

Postby Kate Fraser » Sun May 21, 2017 1:58 pm

Marigold wrote:Would a couple of goslings be an option for Goosie, Kate?
Oh I so wish! Still working on the other half to agree to that..... :-) If I do persuade him, is there a risk she won't accept them? There are day old goslings for sale just up the road....

Goosie came out today, to eat some feed I put down for her (though she was very wary of me) and to go for a bathe on the pond. I swiped the two eggs (she'd obviously snuck in another one at some point) but she came rattling back before I could do anything else. She's back on her nest, which is a true thing of beauty, every now and then hunting for the missing eggs. I'll see how she goes, and if she stays on there, will swipe the nest next time she gets off.

Thank you all for your feedback!

Kate
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Re: Hello and Advice Needed

Postby LadyA » Sun May 21, 2017 6:43 pm

For all you know, there MAY have been a stray gander that happened by, at some point, and so there MAY just mysteriously "appear" a couple of goslings some day......! Nobody's fault. These things happen. And bless her, she must have been lonely. ;)
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Re: Hello and Advice Needed

Postby Minorcafan » Sun May 21, 2017 10:51 pm

As the goose is guarding one egg, can you swap it for a gosling? Or will OH know
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