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The Year of the Greylag Goose

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Kim65, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Kim65

    Kim65 Songster

    May 29, 2009
    Washington state
    Has anyone read Konrad Lorenz's book? I ordered it from Amazon, it is a big color picture book of the year he spent (along with several young scientists who were foster parents to a flock of wild greylags in the Alps) studying their life and behavior.

    I am completely enchanted!! It is a beautiful book to just own, and it is so easy to read, and I don't know how many times I burst out laughing. This man loves him some geese [​IMG] . Lorenz was an "ethologist" and studied all sorts of animal behavior.

    One thing I've learned so far is something I thought would be useful info for us goose lovers here, us "foster parents" to our goslings.

    Lorenz discovered, like we all have, that a fostered gosling (no goose mama) is not "waterproof", and must be watched carefully for the first few weeks around water. They soak water like little sponges and can even drown. Lorenz and his team first tried to "milk" the oil gland on their tame geese's behind and rubbing the oil on the goslings. But this made the goslings get even wetter!

    Then by observation, they realized more than the oil from the mother's feathers, it was the static electricity of the goslings rubbing up against the mother goose that caused their down to be water repellant. When a goose preens, she creates a high level of static electricity in her feathers, which is more water repellent than her oils. So, they got silk cloths and rubbed the goslings down very thoroughly . . . and viola . . . waterproof goslings [​IMG]

    Something to do when you can't wait to put your babies in the bathtub for their first swim [​IMG]
  2. The goose girl

    The goose girl Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    I haven't read the book you mention, but I read some other of Konrad Lorenz's books when I was a teenager. I still re-read them from time to time; his descriptions of animal behavior are fascinating and funny. His story of Martina the baby gosling is what inspired me to get geese. I don't think I ever saw a live goose up close before my two first darlings, Martina and Goostav, but I felt I knew all about them from Lorenz's books.

    I found this picture of him - it really says it all!
  3. Kim65

    Kim65 Songster

    May 29, 2009
    Washington state
    Oh my God!! I had to copy and save that picture!!

    Sometimes I think I've missed my calling, but I really haven't. I'm one of those folks who gets to even more thoroughly enjoy her pet geese because of people like Konrad Lorenz. Now I'm reading King Solomon's Ring, the book that brought his name onto the table. It's about all sorts of animal behavior, but I just started reading it.

    I am a city girl from Seattle and San Diego, who never had any idea how much she loved farm critters as pets. I love dogs and cats and tweetie birds in their little cages, but there is something different about geese, ducks, chickens and goats (and now llamas, I have two). They still retain much of their "naturality", I guess. I can't sleep with them like my cats or dog, and they don't need me as much.

    Anyway, I just want everyone who wants to put their goslings in the bathtub to know they can waterproof them by rubbing them with a silk cloth LOL!!
  4. Arwen

    Arwen In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2010
    Austin (the weird part)
    I love this thread. Thank you. Now I must get that book. [​IMG] The picture is so marvelous.
  5. sydney13

    sydney13 Songster

    Mar 11, 2010
    thats really interesting [​IMG] to bad my goose has finished growing in all her feathers otherwise i would have tried it
  6. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    Oh Amazon is going to love me! Now I have MORE books to buy!

    Kim- I know exactly how you feel! I was born and raised in Cleveland- what a long way from where we're at now. I would never want to go back to a fowl-less life.

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