African Geese on a Small Farm

A few years ago I got into the whole “hobby farm” thing. I loved the idea of having eggs that came from our own chickens, milk from our own cow, etc. If the idea of having a small farm and self-sufficiency intrigues you- well, let’s just say I know the feeling!

As I started my obsession research, animals started to sporadically pop up at our front door. And they may or may not have arrived there in my car.

Our geese were mail ordered and arrived as goslings when they were just 2 days old. I jokingly called them mini velociraptors because they reminded me of the raptors I had seen in Jurassic Park. Hmm. I like that movie. So, they stood really tall and ran quickly. Very cute.

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They’re not goslings anymore! Look at those wings!

I had ordered the goslings with ducklings in a package deal(4 goslings and 6 ducklings) which made the total price less expensive. There was a catch- you would have to be surprised with whatever breed of goose/duck that the hatchery sent you. It took weeks to figure out whether they were African or Toulouse. They are definitely African!

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Gerald says, “Nothing to see here, folks. Move it along. Move it along.”

African geese are super loud. They are one of the loudest breeds of geese(if not the loudest.) They actually originate from China, not Africa. In the winter you have to be vigilant because the knobs on their heads are prone to frostbite. That being said, we haven’t had any issues with it in the last 4 winters that we’ve had them here. They do have an enclosed pen which protects them from the wind. That makes a difference.

 

They are quite beautiful, especially when they are in water. The girls actually just started laying eggs again on Monday. They only lay for a few months and then they’re done. I don’t blame them!

 

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One of these eggs is a goose egg. One of them is a large chicken egg.

Any questions? I didn’t touch on too much here. I think it’s good to do a lot of research if you’re thinking about getting any kind of animal, but there are some things that the books and online resources just don’t prepare you for. Regardless, we enjoy having our farm animals.

 

I thought I’d also give you an update on my goose that was attacked by a no-good-weasel.:) She seems much better. Her wound has healed pretty nicely. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to trap that stealthy weasel…

Would you like to know more about graceful African geese? Have you had trouble with weasels? Tried a goose egg?

Enjoy your day!!!

SAJ

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Spring is coming- get out your seed catalogs!

Have you noticed it? It’s getting warmer and warmer. I can actually see brown grass in our yard. Yes, it’s surrounded by a lot of snow- but it.is.there. Imagine a weird, almost creepy grin right now. That is what is on my face!

 

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Tiny leaf, soon you shall be free!

 

I took my DD out today for a little sledding and it was gorgeous. The sun was shining so much that I couldn’t see anything for a minute when we came back inside. Has that ever happened to you? I’m going to show you some pictures of what we saw while exploring.

 

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This is a wild apple tree. It looks like two trees, but there’s just a lot of snow…

This is the time of year when DH and I get a little antsy. We start looking at seed catalogs, tree catalogs, and, dare I say it, hatchery catalogs. Yes, we look forward to receiving the Fedco and Cackle Hatchery mail. Chicks and ducklings will start to show up at Tractor Supply. DH has to physically remove me from the store. Maybe it’s cabin fever?

 

 

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That’s a pine tree. Right in the middle of a field of wild strawberries. Not pictured: wild strawberries.

I’m just going to say it. I think that Punxsutawney Phil was wrong this year, I’m going to have to agree with Staten Island Chuck’s weather prediction. (If you click on that link, just be aware that they give a little more information on the origins of Groundhog Day than you may actually want to know about.) It just does seem that spring is here earlier. I know we could still get more snow, and we usually do up here in Northern Maine. However, I think it might be milder than normal.

 

 

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Those branches are actually grape vines. So delicious. The grapes are delicious, not the vines.

Either way, this weather is inspiring me to get out the catalogs, make plans for the garden(actually, DH is the real gardener- I just tell him the seeds I want), and maybe add a few new critters around here.

 

 

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Why does this dog always show up in my pictures?

 

What does spring mean in your home? Are you ready for it?

SAJ