A Mostly Happy Ending

14 May

As I was doing chores tonight, I decided I’d take the time to do a little nest tidying.  The goose up north had a few eggs that hadn’t hatched, so I got rid of those.  I took one egg out of a nest in the middle section.  Then I decided I’d get rid of the eggs that hadn’t hatched with the second goose (she had two hatch three days ago).  She had been out all the last couple of days with her babies, the ones that I had to try and get inside during the thunderstorm.  I pushed the hay back from the remaining eggs, and saw a small dime-sized hole in one.  I felt bad that it hadn’t finished hatching, but as I picked it up to remove it, I heard the faintest cheep.  This is what I ended up with.

It looks pretty pathetic.  I don’t know how long it had been trying to break out of its shell.  It hadn’t had anyone on it for the day to help it stay warm.  It was a nice big baby.

For size reference that is my hand.  Because the baby was wet when it hatched and there was nobody to keep it warm, it would have died if I hadn’t put it under the heat lamp.  That’s why the pictures are a little funky.  I really didn’t want a gosling.  It would be raised all by itself if it stayed my baby.  I don’t have time to give a gosling right now.  I did know somebody who really did want goslings.

The brown goose is Lucy, my Toulouse goose.  She wants goslings, but she’s never gotten to hatch any.  I figured I might as well try to give it to her.  After all, she had been in there the day before laying an egg.  One problem, she really doesn’t like me.  I decided to give it a try anyhow.  I showed her the baby.  By this time, he was talking a bit.  She was interested.  I lured her into the barn and set the gosling back in the nest.

She was definitely interested.  Unfortunately, the poor  baby was still not completely dry and getting chilled.  I had to put it back under the lamp.  When it had a chance to warm up and dry off, I put it back into the nest.  Lucy had stood there the entire time.  I had it perched on the edge of the nest, but it rolled down into the nest and started crying.  That really got her attention.

She must have decided I was totally incapable of taking care of the baby and she should do it because when I reached for the gosling, she hissed and was not about to let me touch it.  Mission accomplished.  She still looked a bit confused, but she was caring for the baby.  She couldn’t quite figure out how to nestle down with it under her wing, but it was not shivering any more, it was all fluffed out, and she was sitting with it.

I was hoping to post about how wonderful it was, but the goose who had already hatched two babies from the nest brought them back along with two more adults, and they chased Lucy away.  She was sitting with all three babies under her wings, and I guarantee nobody is getting close to any of her babies, so it is a mostly happy ending.  The baby was hatched and warmed, so it will live.  It has been accepted by the goose family and will have siblings and three parents to care for it.  I don’t have to raise it.  Poor Lucy is the only one who doesn’t get a happy ending.  She was very upset, trying to get back to the baby.  Maybe next year I can arrange for a private place for her and her gander.

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