Thursday, May 9, 2013

Gosling update, out of the office and onto pasture.

3 weeks old, growing fast, with new feathers.
Our five little "Office Goslings" are growing fast and although they spend their nights in a corner of our shipping room, during the day they forage behind the building eating weeds, tender grass and taking turns bathing in their mortar box swimming pool.  Now that the weather has finally warmed and the birds are quickly growing feathers, the next move is a pen sharing a fence line with our adult geese.  They are imprinted upon Dianna and Anne Marie and come when called, but are now starting to grumble when its time to move into the building for bed, but then, what child doesn't? 

Too big to do this now!

Bob mentioned last week that the babies were looking a bit ruffled; yellow fuzz interspersed with tiny white feathers (and soft adult down) here and there, but they are growing normal and healthy.  (Actually, he really said they looked, "like they got too close to the weed eater", with their uneven feathering and "moldy" colors.)  Three will have patches of light grey for their first year and two will be pure white, but the grey color will mostly disappear after the first molt, which is normal for the Tufted Roman breed. 

Since the goslings all had their "first bath" within three days of hatching, their wax glands are in full operation and they furiously preen themselves after each romp in the water.   Two or three more weeks and they'll spend day and night with the mature geese for protection from aerial assault.  We can hear the next crop of coyote pups yipping in the hill behind the lily field, so its time to fortify our fencing with electric wire soon.  We do like the coyotes eating the rodents within the grassy edges of the field and are happy to have the varmint control, but have to draw the line when it comes to our pets. 

This timing of moving the goslings will work out very well, because our Ancona ducklings will be here next week and after a few days in the shipping room office for warmth, will move to our newly cleaned out, insulated bulb cooler for a couple of weeks.  (BTW - Thank you everyone for helping to clean the #2 cooler of Asiatic bulbs last week!) The nice thing about insulated rooms is that you can regulate the temperature control to either freezing or toasty warm.

Also see the original post:  Five Little Office Goslings

 Bob and Dianna are on the way to Eastern Washington for Garden Expo in Spokane this weekend.  If in the area, come by and see us.  This is a one-day, Saturday-only garden sale.

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