Schooling Geese

7 May

I found someone to take two of the goslings.  The geese have kind of a strange family.  There are three parents raising the seven goslings.

African Dad, Chinese Dad, all the babies, and African Mom

They are the world’s worst parents.  This is the longest they have ever kept any babies alive.  I think it is partly because I have them isolated from the Embden half of the goose flock.  There was another African Dad, but I finally got him kicked out.  With so many parents, they would fight over who got to raise the babies and end up stepping on them.  When the teacher next to my room said she would take two I was thrilled.

They would stay in my classroom and then go home with her.  I started to gather everything I would need to take them to school for the day.  First I found a big enough cage for them to be comfortable in.

You can see by the cat behind it, the cage would be roomy.  I spread newspapers on the bottom, and I added a board to provide a solid surface for the water container.

I tried the white plastic container that went with the bright red bottom, but I couldn’t get it to fasten tightly.  I went with the old Ball canning jar instead.  Next I rounded up some cracked corn for them to nibble on.

The last thing I thought would be necessary was a source of heat.  After all, they are only five day old babies.  My classroom does tend to fluctuate in temperature.  Do you know how hard it was to find a heat lamp that wasn’t covered in bird poo?

All I needed now was to gather two downy goslings in the morning.  Lucky me, it was rainy and cold.  I grabbed the first two I could get my hands on and stuffed them in my sweatshirt.  It took a couple of tries before I could get them zipped in because they were so lively and squirmy.  When I finally got into the other part of the barnyard, I was suddenly surrounded by big Embden geese hissing because they heard the babies.  Finally, I made it into the house.  Hmmm…Now I had to get them to school so I could put them into the lovely cage I had set up.  Do you think Leo hears something?

Finally, I was on my way.  I was happy that it only took them a few minutes to settle down for the ride.  I got to work, put the pen together and added the goslings.  It should only take a few minutes to settle down.  That’s how it always works when I take goslings.  The squawk a time or two, discover it’s warm with water and food and then it’s all good.  Not this time.  They were…No, one gosling was trying to settle down, but the other kept up it’s yelling at the top of its lungs for most of the morning.

I think it looks like an okay place for two goslings to spend the day.  The one kept trying to jump out of the cage, scream and try to get out.  After a couple of hours, one of my students and I were arguing over who got to strangle it.  No gosling was injured, but it did unnerve me and the kids enough that I didn’t get a better picture showing how they got to sit at the front of the classroom.  We actually abandoned our classroom for a quieter one.  I was so thankful when my neighbor teacher came and took them with her.

Now if only I could find someone to take more of the goslings.  There is another goose with four eggs that should hatch in the next few days.  The Chinese goose has thirteen eggs under her!  Oh, no.


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