Today, March 15, marks the two-month birthday of the four young goslings. They have grown at such a rapid rate they are nearly as large as their parents, standing in the background. They do not have their “knobs” yet, and their voices are still juvenile chattering compared to the serious honks of Fred and Ethel. Having raised them in the house, I can still differentiate between Ricky, Lucy, Esty and McGill. Am debating putting leg bands on them so I won’t forget which is which.
The grouping of all six geese took some timing and preparation, as we weren’t certain how Fred would behave. He has a bad reputation for treatment of his offspring, and we needed to be certain we could observe them in a pen where we could remove him if necessary. So far, everything is copacetic, and they are on their way to becoming one big, happy family.
I take a bag of greens to the pen for the little ones each day, and Fred peers intently at the scene as if completely bewildered at their behavior as they pull and tear the greens I hold out to them in my hand. Initially, he came up close, about three inches from my nose, and I was prepared to give him a whack if he tried to bite me. He behaved admirably and did not take an agressive stance– more inquisitive than any other emotion. He tapped one of the turnip greens in his bill but would not take a bite. He did, however, peck at the little geese to get out of his way so he could stay close and observe. Ah, Fred, chill out, will you?