Ok, first I have to tell you how it came about that I have aquired these new lovies. Their story is really a sad one. I'll start at the beginning. Early last week, I had gotten in contact with Barb S. from here about the pair of Embdens that needed a home. She drove all the way down here and together we rode out to get them. She fell in love (as did her DH!) and I fell in envy. My DH had told me I could not get them. But, he came out to see the noise makers while we were loading them back up (I'd helped her clip their wings, just in case) and he was upset with himself that he had told me no. So....he told me if I came across anymore...I could get them! So I was just going to keep my ears open and wait. I didnt have to wait very long! The next day, the gentlemen that had given the pair of Embdens to Barb called me. He told me that he knew of someone that was 'selling out' all their critters, and that they had baby ducks, geese, turkeys...you name it. So he gave me the number and I called to get the scoop. The guy 'sounded' alright. He named off several of the breeds of geese and ducks he had, told me about some of the chickens and chicks he had too, and his prices seemed quite fair. I knew that Barb was also looking for goslings, so I called her and she wanted to come right down! So we set it all up for a Tuesday adventure. So, she (again) drives the 3+ hours to my home from hers, we pack up our combined children (I had my own and 3 day care kids, and she had her son) and head out. I had told the kids we were going to a "big" farm and they were all excited. Little did we know this "big" farm was to be a "huge" disappointment. It was like a farm animal puppy mill. There were rows and rows of tiny pens (think 10x10 dog kennel) CRAMMED with creatures. One pen had maybe 30 or more guineas. No shelter, no grass, no food. Another pen had over 100 chickens with a TINY coop and small attached pen. Again, no grass, and no visible food. Another pen housed several adult geese. No shelter, no grass, no food, no water to dunk in. And on and on it went. I could read the discust on Barbs face, as my blood boiled. These huge majestic geese were locked 3 or 4 to a tiny pen, with no escape from each other leaving them looking like sorry excuses for the creatures they should have been. They were battered, scraped, missing feathers, filthy...with peeling bills and transperant feet. I was mad. The baby ducks and geese were housed in a nasty "barn" that used to be a house. It was now filthy and crawling with mice. The "pen" that held the baby geese was maybe 3x3 and about a foot tall. There again, was no visible food only a coffee can about 1/4 full of icky water. My heart sank because I wanted to take home all these sorry looking babies, but sadly I could not. (He somewhat upped his asking prices on a few of them, and I'd only brought a certain amount, and we had a small pen to transport them home in and I didnt want to overcrowd them.) So, I picked out 2 of the "older" goslings (a Roman Tufted and a Buff/African cross) and 2 of the "younger" goslings (a White Chinese and an African). Barb picked out 1 adult Buff gander that so needed her to take him home, and we left. We let "Gus" (thats what Barb named the Buff gander) down in my yard when we got back to my place, and he practically DOVE into the tiny wading pool I have set up for the ducks until we get the pond done this weekend. She headed home shortly after and I compared the goslings to my ducklings. My heart really sank. My ducklings are chubby, with clear bright eyes, nice orange bills and legs and are right where they should be in growth for 4 week old Pekins. The goslings were scrawny in comparison, with peeling bills lacking all color, no color in their feet and legs, and flaking skin from dryness. The White Chinese baby is supposedly 1 week older than my 4 week old Pekin ducks and is about HALF their size. I did check them for parasites or fleas and thankfully found none, so I let them go meet the ducks. They all took to each other immediately. They knew nothing about water, and ould not figure out the pool for the longest time. Finally one of my ducks actually 'taught' them how to get in and out by getting out and then climbing in, over and over until they finally got it. Now they are in it all the time! I had to monitor how much they drank over the first day, but now they are much better. They are currently living the high life ranging the yard all day for grass, clover, bugs, and whatever else they find and swiming in their little pool. Today I even saw them all playing in the sprinkler I set up for the grass! They dont have names yet, although my daughter is thinking of calling the Buff one "Buffy" if its a girl. So....without further adu...here they are. And keep in mind these are to be their BEFORE photos. I will post again in a couple weeks so we can compare, and see if I cant do right by these beauties. (Pictured from left to right are the Roman Tufted, then one of my Pekins, then behind the Pekin is the little White Chinese, then the big Buff/African cross in front, and the little African in the back with two more of my Pekins on the side.) They explored every inch of my yard.... The Roman Tufted tells the world how happy it is now... Notice the lack of bill color in the Tufted (on the right) compared to my Pekins... Poor dears... The Tufted and African nuzzle each other... And this was one of my favorites I shot today. I made me think of my ducks telling them "And this is the corn field but we cant go in there. Now lets go for a swim!"