URGENT HELP (Dead mate + her future?)

Discussion in 'Geese' started by NicoleTherese99, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. NicoleTherese99

    NicoleTherese99 Hatching

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    Jun 13, 2016
    Hi everyone, first time poster here! Disclaimer - I'm no farming professional, simply taking responsibility of care whilst the family are away.

    I have four domestic geese that are circa 16-17 years old but they are all in great shape (despite one being blind) they are paired in couples and for the sake of explanation one couple is called David and Samantha - the latter is blind in one eye and David was prone to being aggressive for the sake of defending her, the other couple are Barack and Michelle whom often keep separate from the other two, yet the boys have a rivalry and would fight every now and then (never serious). About a week ago now, Barack and David got into a fight that had to be separated by my boyfriend, and he told me that Barack had bitten David in the throat whom apparently was bleeding (not hugely) and ever since has not been able to make sounds and occasionally his breathing got raspy. I thought to call a vet, but my Granddad advised me not to as they are old and he wasn't in detrimental condition. David also grew very submissive to Barack this past week which is out of the ordinary to his aggressive behaviour so I knew something was not right - yesterday I noticed that his beak and rims of his eyes had paled to a sallow orange instead of bright like the rest of the geese. Unfortunately I went to put them away tonight, and found Samantha lingering with Barack and Michelle in the paddock and instantly knew something was not right. I went into the stables and found David collapsed by the entrance to their stall - he was sprawled out with his beak open and it was a very heartbreaking sight. He was warm when I found him so I assume that he was leading Samantha to bed like any other night. I'm curious as to the reason of his death - presuming it has come as a result of the fight but I would like to know why/what happened for the sake of closure, explaining to the family (we're all too emotionally invested in our animals!) and knowing what to do in the future if a similar situation occurs.

    Also, this leaves Samantha by herself now. She is blind and has been able to get around now because David has taken care of her constantly (guiding her to food and water, guiding her to bed etc). I'm not sure if she has seen David dead as she seemed fine (confused at most) when I put her to bed and ate some bread - not her usual amount though. I have read in other forums situations where a Goose has died after losing their mate and I really do not want this to be the case as I feel bad enough for not intervening to save David. Now I should mention the two couples were separated in their stables by a gate and Barack has never shown any aggressive to Samantha - my boyfriend thinks the gate should be removed so she is not alone but I can't help but worry for her. What should I do? Seeing as she is half blind and dependent I feel this makes the situation more difficult and I'm not sure if she will go on without him.

    Sorry if this is a long read - I wanted the scenario to be clear to paint a picture. Thank you for any suggestions/responses.
     

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Sorry for the problem you are dealing with. For the near future I would recommend not changing the sleeping arrangement. If it becomes evident that the pair is not picking on Samantha you might be able to pen them together. Hard to say what the actual cause of death was. The pair bond in geese can be very strong. Several years ago I had occasion to be in RI . Right at the exit I took off of I 95 a Canada goose had been hit and killed. For the first 4 days I was there, the gander was standing guard over her body. On the fifth day he was gone.
     
  3. NicoleTherese99

    NicoleTherese99 Hatching

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    Jun 13, 2016
    Thanks Sourland! Planning on keeping the sleeping arrangement separated - although in the yard they have been sticking together in a trio most of this morning, Samantha not seeming herself though.
    Very sad story - what an incredible bond geese have
     

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