Ashbrook Pilgrims

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Omniskies, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I've done it. I've stuck to my goal of living on ramen and eggs in order to purchase a pair of purebred Pilgrims out of the original Ashbrook line.

    The pair should be arriving in early February. Hopefully early enough for them to settle in and start laying eggs. I really doubt I'll be selling any eggs from the pair this year - especially since I'm all nervous about the age of the female (she's extremely old).

    I've never had adults shipped to me from across the country. Absolutely any advice for settling the pair in, making them comfortable, and getting them to lay this year would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm still not sure whether to put another goose in with the pair or not. On one hand, I think the gander could handle two females. On the other, I don't want to stress the older female out.

    Gah.
     
  2. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    How much did they cost? You must be super excited! How old is the female? how old is the male? I'd wait to introduce another female....
     
  3. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When all's said and done it's costing me around $300 for the pair. The gander is young and no one knows exactly how old the goose is. She's from the original flock. Bare minimum is seven years old.

    I'm extremely excited, and more than a little nervous. I don't know if I'll be able to stomach letting them free range. I'd be terrified something would happen to them. I found out the hard way that predators have the ability to see how much everything in your yard is worth and go after the most expensive/valuble/irreplacable animals first. I'd be sick if anything happened to the pair.

    I'll wait. The gander is young enough that I can always pair him up with someone else next year. I may as well make sure all of his attention is devoted to the hen.

    I already have a spot cleared out inside the barn for a gigantic pen just for them. One with plenty of places for her to make a nice nest.
     
  4. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congratulations! [​IMG]
    Is this a famous line of Pilgrims?
    Just make sure to close them in every night
    to keep them safe.
    There is some risk during the day depending on your location.
    Are you near a heavy woods?
    Stray dogs seem to be my biggest threat during the
    day time.
    You could always but a hot wire around your pen.
    Give them a week or two to settle in before introducing the other goose.
    Seven isn't extremely old for a goose since they can live to be 20 years old, but shes a bit past her prime egg laying years. Never-the-less if you feed them right, provide a stress free environment and they have plenty of greens and fresh water you should be able to get some goslings out of her.
    If these are quality, old foundation bloodlines you may want to hold on to as many of her goslings as you can.
    Best Wishes!
     
  5. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what little I know, the Ashbrook strain is extremely high quality and very difficult to come by since the flock was sold. Now getting "pure" Ashbrooks can be a hassle.

    She's at least seven. No one knows how old she was when she was bought - she could have been two or she could have been 12. I'm buying her with the understanding that last year may have been her final season to lay. However, due to her age we worked out a deal for me to buy a second pair of Ashbrooks. That way if she doesn't lay anymore I will still have a pair and an extra male to line breed to one another.

    I plan on keeping every egg they lay this year. They'll be put under my most reliable muscovies in a royal pen stuffed with golden straw and silver fish treats inside the barn.

    We have a bobcat who lives down the road, at least one large owl who nabbed a couple of geese one year before we figured out what in the world was going on, a fearless fox who so far hasn't fallen for a single trap, and at least one coyote pack in the area.

    Plus I swear I saw a solitary wolf one night. Other people have reported catching glimpses of wolves in the past, though very, very, rarely.

    Because of that we have completely closed pens made out of 2x4" cattle wire wrapped in chicken wire. We buried barbed wire all around the base as an exciting treat for anything that tries to dig under and also lined the base with cinder blocks.

    If something is in a pen then it's safe from snakes on up to roaming dogs.

    I just hate having everyone locked up all the time. We free range during the day and pen them up at night. I have a feeling this is going to be really good incentive for me to get a pair of LGDs.
     
  6. Tailfeathers

    Tailfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats Omni!

    I'm glad you were able to get them. I wish I had been in a better place to get them but things just weren't meant to be.

    If I were you, I would also be taking all the precautions I could with those geese. As far as I know, Dave is the only one who has all the Ashbrook strain left since Paul sold all his birds to Dave. I'm sure there are probably some others around in the country who have kept Paul's line pure but I sure don't know of any.

    Cottage Rose, I don't know if you can call Paul's strain "famous" but the Rev. Paul Ashbrook has won many, many awards in poultry and I believe is an APA recognized Master Breeder and Master Exhibitor for many breeds. He is well known for having some fabulous birds. I don't know how many awards he may have won with his Pilgrims. I only know he told me that he sold his whole Pilgrim flock to Dave Holderread and Dave promised to keep his line separate. When I talked with Dave he said he had.

    Now, I am going to go and fix myself a cup of Ramen Noodles...

    God Bless,
     
  7. Omniskies

    Omniskies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Tailfeathers. I have wild ideas of keeping all of the offspring back, showing all of them to find out which are the best, and doing some serious line breeding to build up a pure flock. I don't want to risk problems with a limited gene pool, so I think I'm going to be stuck with multiple pens and bands so I know who to pair up with who each season.

    Geh, if this keeps up I'll end up having a barn for each line of Pilgrims I'm working on. The addiction is rapidly getting out of hand.
     
  8. Tailfeathers

    Tailfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, this addiction do have a tendency to do that!

    God Bless,
     

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