Hi everyone! I am new to this site, but not new to the goose and chicken world! Our story is an interesting one! I once had a friend that was going through a bad break up. One day, I asked him to join me at the park to cheer him up. We brought tons of bread to feed the geese!! There were hundreds of domestic and Canadian geese at that park that day. We proceeded to walk over to one particular large pond and two beautiful white Chinese Swan Geese approached us. Then the larger of the two put his neck down and proceeded to come after us. I knew this wasn't good. We ran for a few and he chased us just as quickly as we could run. We laughed and laughed but did not understand geese then so figured it was best that we put as much distance between him and us as we could. We found a picnic table quite a far distance from where we had first encountered that mean bird. We unpacked our bag, poured the wine and began to eat our lunch when low and behold, guess who pops up? That mean nasty white bird. I admired his persistance and decided then and there that I would make that bird my friend. Afterall, there wasn't an animal on the planet that didn't like me. So, he bit at our feet and tried to put the fear of God in us for 30 minutes. I refused to back down. I insisted that he eat bread from my hand, and he did. I could sense that this bird was so much more than just a bird. He seemed so intelligent and studied my every move. He and his mate did not leave our sides until we left the park. We were so mezmerized with these lovely creatures that we did not leave the park until four hours later. I felt compelled to come back the next day. I purchased my bread and looked for the same two birds. Once I found them I sat down on my blanket and within no time the male bird hopped up and sat on my lap! I was shocked!!. I know now that they do this to show dominance, but still-it was so cool!! I just felt like we had connected in some way. I named him Hank and his girlfriend Henrietta. I returned again the following day with my same friend to show him all of this and he was shocked too! The bird would just walk over to me-almost like he wanted to be picked up so...I picked him up and it was all over! I fell madly in love with that bird and so did my friend. Over the next few months, my friend and I visited the park just about everyday. It was Winter, so we felt bad for the birds. We bought huge bags of dog or cat food, lettuce, and bread to feed the birds. They would all flock to us, eat and hang out for a few and then leave-except for Hank and Henrietta. They would stay close by our sides. Hank was the biggest, most dominant, and loudest bird in the park! He would scream with excitement when he saw us coming. It got so that he recognized our cars when we drove in. He was so excited to see us. Something else exciting happened to us over those few months-my friend and I fell hard for each other. We continued to visit the birds and feed them every day. We would sit on the grass and Hank would chase ANYONE that came within 50 feet of us! He was protecting us! He even bit a few people. We felt pretty bad about that, but most of the time it was hilarious to watch-we woud even sit close to the walking path at times just to watch Hank in action-lol. Our love affair continued for months and in the Spring Henrietta began laying eggs. I just wanted one of those babies so badly that I decided to take one egg that she laid right in front of me. I found out later that park staff shakes all of the eggs they can find to limit the population-a very smart thing! People think that this park is such a great place for the birds to live. I am here to tell everyone that it is far from that! The birds are constantly chased, they starve in the Winter, people try to run them over with their cars sometimes, and stupid fisherman leave their hooks right on the ground for the birds to step on and injest. In addition, the park is terribly overpopulated and people just dump their birds there when they are tired of them. It's horrible. Back to the egg-I looked online and learned how to incubate an egg, in fact, I use this site etensively and so many of you helped me through the process! About a week into the incubation, I was at the park and I saw Hank but I noticed that Henrietta was not around. Immediately I panicked as she NEVER left Hank's side. I ran through the entire park looking for her. Park staff later told me that they thought she was taken as there was no sign of distress. Apparently during certain Holidays (it was after the 4th of July) people have been known to steal birds from the park and have them for a barbeque celebration. Who the HELL steals a bird from the park to eat?!? Oh it was the saddest thing you have ever seen. Hank would not come near us for months. He sat and stared at the tree for two months. He was totally depressed and so were we! We were heartbroken for him! That was the love of his life!!! I told my boyfriend that day that we would take him into our home somehow, someday. Several weeks later, their son, Chachi was hatched! I had my own baby gosling and he was the cutest thing I had ever seen!! I decided to domesticate him even more. I bought him a diaper and he rode in the car with me, swam in my pool, and got ready with me every morning. He was perfect and he looked just like his mama that had likely died several weeks prior. He was such a fun goose and still is to this day! We took him to the park to meet his dad Hank and the other birds and he wanted nothing to do with them, afterall in his mind, he was a human, not a **** bird! Chachi lived with me for 6 months at my house, which was in a gated community and certainly did not allow for geese lol. My boyfriend and I were now very close and talked seriously about rescuing sick or injured birds that we often came across and making a home for Hank and Chachi. We actively sought out a home with a large piece of land, a horse property or something of the sort where you could have farm animals. We found one! It was perfect!! We immediatly moved out of our houses and in to the new house-as a family. We retrived Hank from the park and several injured geese-one was missing a foot, one had one eye, a chicken that had seizures, you name it! We worked hard over the course of the next six months to build a large pond for them to swim in, a hay play area, and lots of other things to spoil them. Currently we have 10 geese and 19 chickens. We love them all. Hank is still so special to us and we often talk about had it not been for him, what we have today might not exist. In addition, we have a very close friend that works at the park. Anytime there is an injured bird, she brings them over and we care for it. The park and those birds are so lucky to have her-she is an angel! Now some people think we are crazy when we bring our Hank into our house to visit during a dinner party. I mean here is an ex NHL player and a teacher that seem relatively down to Earth-until we do that lol. Most people, however, are intrigued by it all and appreciate it for what it is-a simple love affair. We are all so happy and the birds are spoiled rotten. There will never be another bleek Winter for these birds again! I am happy to be here and I love my life!!!