I'm hoping to get some advice from some of you that have experience letting your geese hatch and rear their own goslings.
I have a pair of American Blue geese in their 4th year of laying. I just noticed today that they have already made their nest, and there are two eggs in it. In past years, our goose has not started laying until mid to late February. This year I have been using a red heat light directly over their water bowl to keep the water from freezing. They are in a very large pen and the light is concentrated over a very small area, but this is the only thing I can think of that is different from past years.
Now I'm not sure what to do. Should I turn the light off and try and let them get back on schedule, or should I leave the light on and hope for the best? Holderread in The Book of Geese says that once production starts, it's vital to not decrease light or the rate of lay and fertility will be severely curtailed. However, I'm concerned that the eggs may freeze before the goose becomes broody, and that it may be difficult for them to keep the babies warm once they do hatch. Temperatures in my area don't stay above freezing at night regularly until March.
Any advice you can give is greatly appreciated!