The Tale of Supermom, The Goose

Discussion in 'Geese' started by greyfields, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I have this goose, Supermom, who's been through a lot. We got her as a week old gosling last year. She is a Pilgrim (m) X Roman Tufted (f). As a crossbreed, all her brothers went to be Christmas geese. But, I have a soft heart and decided to keep a female or two because she was in a very tight flock we call The Sopranos.

    Well, she was one who was destined to be processed. Several days before, a neighbor's dog broke loose and mauled her. She was ripped from neck to tail. A different neighbor was able to stitch her up and we washed the wound with Penecillin and gave her injections for about 2 weeks. She pulled through without even an infection. As we market our goose and duck as antibiotic free, we figured it was a sign to keep her. She was named "Lucky" or "Limpy" depending on what mood we were in.

    Pop forward to this Spring and we are hatching ducklings and goslings every Sunday. We collect eggs to get the most out of the birds, rather than have them set a clutch and then go broody. Well, at about 3 weeks of age (or 2 if they're big) we start putting the goslings out on grass inside poultry netting (electric). They have a tractor we herd them into at night with a heat lamp, out of the wind, and it seems to work.

    One goose, paced around the outside of the netting herding any back in which dared escape through the net. She reached her neck through the netting and groomed them. She wanted desperately to be inside protecting them. It turned out to be Lucky the goose.

    Here she is 'herding' any back inside who get out:


    If we came too close to 'her goslings' she told us who's they were:


    Now, if you have geese, you probably find that photo awesome. That just says "goose" to me, that pointed stretched neck and intense defense instincts. If you don't have geese, you probably think she's vicious!

    So, in the end, we relented and let her inside the netting:


    As they now all follow her around, she has been renamed "Supermom". I believe at that time there were 12 ducklings and 16 goslings in there. I just know what she is thinking.... "I don't recall laying this many eggs?!?"

    And she even leads them into the tractor at night:


    Supermom's moms, the original Tufted Roman and Pilgrim female hatched 3 goslings on Wednesday. So they have joined Supermom inside. But, the two groups haven't integrated yet. I bet they will after just a few days, though.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Are we turning into Goose lovers? I think I am.
  3. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    I have been telling everyone that the gooses are my favorite animals here at Greyfields. [​IMG]

    If I could retire tomorrow, I would sit on the back porch and watch the geese all day. It's serious comedy and entertainment.

    I often chuckle to myself and wonder if dinosaurs were really more like geese than like lizards? Wouldn't that just be a funny though? These massive beasts going "honk, honk, honk honk" at eachother rather than some fabricated growl which comes to our mind?
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2008
  4. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Funny how these things work out.

    My husband and I believe that it is valuable to keep the oldest members of the flock around. They seem to have a better sense for danger and strong nurturing skills. In our case, though, the only reason we are keeping them is that they have become our buddies. This pays off for us though, because they know how to herd the newbies, who we have purposely not intensively raised and who, thereby, prefer not to follow our commands.
  5. eggzettera

    eggzettera Songster

    The attack goose brought back memories, still a tad afraid...... its when to spread their wings & do that I need a change of.....
  6. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Good job Supermom! I especially love the last picture, I hope she eventually decides to rest too!
  7. DuckyBoys

    DuckyBoys Songster

    Apr 2, 2008
    Oh that is a very happy story. i'm glad you kept her - it's funny how some have such personality isn't it! She's the real Mother Goose - all she needs is an apron and a bonnet!

    Does she like hats??? [​IMG]

    I like all your photos, especially the one in the tractor at night.
  8. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Yay supermom!!! [​IMG] That's so sweet how she has adopted them all.
  9. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Quote:LOL, love the idea of dinos being like geese. I can just see/hear it ... [​IMG]

    Our geese are turning into my favorites too ... They are such characters!!!

    I just put up a pen for them outside so they can spend the whole day out there a couple days ago. They follow me from the front door in the am all around the house and through the gates to their pen ... it's a pretty far distance. It's funny ... when I say "goose goose" they know I'm talking to them, but if they are busy eating, they will ignore me and let me get a little distance away. But if I say "hey hey c'mon c'mon go go go!" they instantly stop what they are doing and race after me with their little stubby wings stretched out, LOL. (And those flat feet flapping sound like a herd of tiny elephants!)

    Yesterday I brought them in while a few of the chickens were still out and about. One of the barred rocks approached them and he actually stretched his neck out at her and chased after her acting like he would bite her! She got spooked and took off.

    Today, they got in line behind the ducks and started to follow them to the far corners of the yard. I called them back and they seemed a little confused for a moment, but came running back to me. I'm actually very surprised the drakes don't try to attack them ... the drakes attack *every*one these days, including humans, cats, and dogs.

    I love the story of Supermom ... hehe, too cute with ALL those babies! Geese are really awesome! I don't know that I have much more space to allow mine to raise any babies, but I'm thinking I'd love to watch them sometime. I need a bigger place ... (LOL!)

  10. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    We have another hatch going on right now, so I just popped out the back door to inspect the tractor. Supermom is in there, standing vigilant. It's pretty cold tonight and windy, but I don't think she sleeps.

    Her mother, our original Tufted Roman and father the Pilgrim (both from Holderread) have joined the tractor/nursery flock as their 3 goslings are now out in the netting during the day. Supermom still takes care that her babies don't mix with the three new ones. I imagine, though, that they will integrate pretty soon since there is no animosity.

    I have also noticed Supermom niping some of the ducklings and keeping them separate. I wonder if she recognized them as ducks and not geese, or if they're just larger and she wants them to eat less and the babies more? We'll never know.

    I spent all day today in an Extension office course about lambing (9 hours of lambing, ugh). Everyone was waking romantic about the signs of spring being the lambs on the ground. I agree to some extent as I love our sheep. But, to me, Spring is seeing goslings ripping grass out of the ground and whistling away at eachother. There is something just charming about the awkward, goofey, uncoordinated adolescense that waterfowl go through this time of year. Now if summer would just get here.

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