Cotton has been accepted into the group. It took several days but now they are acting like a flock. They are eating, grazing and bathing together as if they were hatch mates.
We did have one gander after all. The one that survived the dog attack with the broken foot has made his presence known. Cotton ignored him and the girls are obviously torn between the boys. They tend to stand on opposite sides of the girls and have honking contests. I thought maybe I had been wrong on sex when they were little but I guess I was better at sexing then I initially thought.
I don't know if the broken footed gander will be able to breed next year or not. The foot has healed but it is deformed enough that he may not be able to mount. Only time will tell. I have been told by several individuals to put him down but he survived a dog attack, was missing for 2 days, had lots of cuts and scraps (I sewed them up), and a severe compound fracture of his outer toe (at this rate I am going to need some survival first aid training). He survived all the trauma and drama, so he gets a retirement home even if he can't breed. I guess he can hang out with the African goose when she gets bigger. We both know I am too much of a softie to find her another home. Ironically, he was named Lucky as a baby because my husband had to keep getting him out of trouble stating- he would be lucky to live. For example we went through several weeks in which we had torrential downpours, everyone would be soaking wet and he would be the one we had to rescue. He was a late hatch and still didn't have all his feathers. He was the first goose I ever had to blow dry. Odd how things work out as he was lucky to have survived the dogs.
Sandra came over again yesterday to play with the babies. She said she is ready to have some poultry so now she needs to convince her husband. She was totally enchanted with the ducklings. She named them Moe, Larry, and Curly on the way home. She had never gotten to play with baby ducks before and I believe your little ones won her over to the dark side of poultry ownership.
I can't thank you enough for the opportunity to get Cotton. I can't wait to see what he fathers next year.