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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Our Small Farm Animals

Since writing about  our weasel attack, I thought I’d give you an idea of what kind of outdoor animals we have here.
Currently, we have chickens, geese, and goats. We have had ducks and turkeys at other times, but not at this point.
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This isn’t Heloise. This is Miss Delaware.

The chickens are a fun group and get along quite well. Every now and then we add a small amount when the eggs aren’t as fruitful. We have 13 hens. Sometimes I joke that we run a retirement facility for them. Our oldest hen, Heloise, died last fall. She was 9 years old. Every now and then she would even lay an egg- very ambitious!

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The geese. Quite an exclusive clique.

The geese are a tight knit group. There are 4 of them. They are quite beautiful and aren’t eager for new companions. Human companions I mean. Gerald is the leader and he is proud and protective of his ladies. Nuff said.
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Look at those ears!

We have 7 goats: 4 girls and 3 boys. The personality of a goat is very similar to the personality of a friendly dog. Our goats are goofballs. They like attention and don’t mind letting you know when they want it!
That’s it for the outdoor animals. A good bunch. They’re pretty friendly.
Do you have a small farm? Maybe just a few chickens? Are you hoping to give it a try someday?
I hope you’re enjoying the longer days. Be back soon!
SAJ
Update: Despite our setting a live trap with tasty weasel treats we have had no capture of the stealthy varmint. The goose seems to be healing and I am cautiously optimistic that she’ll continue to get better.

Declutter Diary and random thoughts…

It’s Thursday and that means I have a picture of a box on the floor in my living room for you! How thrilling. 🙂 It is for me actually; it means I’m getting an excessive amount of stuff out of our home.

The Box

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The Contents

  • cloth book cover
  • 2 hats
  • small quilted tote
  • 2 pairs of gloves
  • 3 hangers
  • VHS tape
  • package of vitamins
  • large candle
  • small stuffed animal
  • letter opener
  • small plastic container with lid
  • mini blind cleaner
  • 3 paint brushes
  • scrub brush
  • pig knick knack
  • bottle of body spray
  • one coaster…hmm
  • 13 items of clothing
  • 30 paperback books

That is…66 items. Sweet. That makes a grand total of 165 items I have removed from our home in just 4 weeks! It’s encouraging. That’s good because there’s plenty more to be removed if I want to hit my goal of 1200!

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Sorry for the slow down here on the blog(also with our videos)- Beks is a busy person. I don’t have such a good excuse. Our laptop fell the other day and keeps trying to reboot/repair. Imagine a sad face here. Oh well. This stuff happens to everyone. I’m working on getting it fixed, but it’s going slowly.

We took the Little One sledding a few days ago. I think she enjoyed it. We did too.

 

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DH with DD. Don’t know where the dog came from. 🙂

 

Our dog isn’t that old, she just likes to shove her nose deep in the snow. She really loves snow. We think something may be wrong with her.

Earlier this week, one of our African geese was attacked by a weasel. I was pretty upset about it and, of course, the geese were very upset about it. The weasel is MIA and I’m worried it will happen again. I have taken measures to keep the geese safe, but they are not the only animals we have that could potentially become prey.

Did you know that a weasel can get through an opening the size of a quarter? Our geese are quite large, probably between 12 and 16 pounds. That’s one ambitious weasel.

How do I know it was a weasel? Funny you should ask…I walked in on it attacking the goose. I think I surprised it by turning the light on. I know I surprised it when I started shouting at it and smashing a milk jug full of water against the wall in an attempt to scare it off. Seems silly, but it did work.

We have set a live trap for the weasel. In case you’re not familiar with live traps, it will not kill the animal it traps. In case you’re not familiar with weasels(I wasn’t), they are notoriously elusive.

Well, that wraps it up for now. How is your week going? Any goals you’re working on? Got a solution for weasels?

Have a great Friday!

SAJ