Last night I spent time w/ my gander whose brother had insisted that he move to a secondary site last winter. I'd planned on seeing all the geese before Halloween eve, but when you've a sweet heart calling you back about 5 times to keep you from leaving, you come back each of the 5 times and sit a little more. He ate well (Nutrena scratch, feather fixer, sunflower seed hearts and tender, baby grass) and I love him dearly. 5 mosquito bites on one hand, one for each curtain call. Totally worth it.
This morning I got out to my injured goose, her sister (in-law) goose and her husband. That foot's really sore (I don't see any punctures, bites or tears, but there are so many things it could be...) She's had a touch of arthritis/rheumatism in the other leg from last year, so having to stand on that foot to preserve the other isn't easy. I took advantage of the cooler morning weather to see that she'd eat as much of her feed as she wanted (same mix as above--feather fixer, thankfully, has pre- and probiotics--except I gave her more sunflower hearts to balance out the medicine.) Gratefully, my girl ate w/ ardor & likely ate most all of her mixed in, powdered, cherry baby aspirin (any gain's a gain, it doesn't have to be 100%).
When she was full, she stepped into their other "room" of earth for preening and napping. My beautiful girl is wise: she tucked herself into an unreachable spot before tucking her beak into her back for a snooze. After a little while, her sister and husband called her over to a still small, but sunny spot, near enough to the water that they could flush if people lunged w/ their dogs.
When the people did, I was cleaning up their shoreline for dangerous bits--fishing ephemera, hooks, line, etc., long, thorny acacia and mesquite branches fishing people had broken off to hold their rods, then thrown back into their habitat when done. When people let their dogs lunge on their leashes, I just made a point of cleaning up btwn my 3 and the cruel people and shook my head in shame for our species. They walked on.
Somewhere btwn 3 and 5 fire ant stings from this morning. Totally worth it, esp. if she's had any peace from the pain today. I hope to look in again tomorrow. (O.k., I really *do* despise fire ants, but she is, they are, worth it.)
Besides, there's pure joy in birds and an animal-hearted person drawing to each other like magnets, or having bonny little ducks stand atop your shoes to be first in line for food (or tickle your sides w/ their beaks as though you were a feed ATM.)
I'm hurting from being in the light today, but, my stars, are the little ones are worth it.
(However...If *anybody* knows a good way to fend off fire ants (I cover from head to toe), I'd be in your debt <3 )
Thankfully we don't have fire ants here but I wonder if the insecticide wipes would work you can get them with natural botanical plants in them I use them for the no see ums we have here and they work.
Those geese and ducks are blessed to have you caring for them.. I hope your goose starts feeling better. Can you look on the bottom of her foot for a cut or injury? if they get a splinter, cut ,anything where the skin is open they can get an infection called bumble foot.