Friday, May 26, 2006

Goslings, chicks, flies and fillies

After four of our original six goslings were killed by our puppies, I ordered 10 more goslings on-line and yesterday the post lady delivered them in a box along with our mail. These are weeder geese and as the name implies they are used in organic farming to weed crops. The grey Toulouse goslings were larger at the same age and always had a grey undertone to their yellow fuzz. These are small, more ducking size, with bright yellow fuzz and pale pink beaks, as adults they will be white.

Soon the chicks, which are just more than a month old, will be moved from their coop in the barn to the coop where the adult chickens roost. They have been let out of their coop during the daylight hours for the last two days and are exploring the barn and some of the area just outside the door. Ian and I spend quite a bit of time rounding them up at night. There was a thunderstorm here in early evening and as we headed to the house just after chicken herding I heard a lonely peep. There at the corner of the barn stood a drenched Buff Orpington chick wondering where its siblings had gone. Ian cornered it against a hay bale and it was popped back into the coop. Once the chicks are relocated to the larger coop and these young goslings are a bit older, I will house the dozen geese in the barn at night.

The flies are beginning to hatch so we outfitted the horses with fly masks. This type covers their ears and eyes in a soft mesh. Ian said they look like funny party hats. They really can see through the mesh and they must be comfy because they’ve not been rubbed off. They close with Velcro so if the mask gets stuck on something the horse can pull free.

Bonnie and the twins have returned home to Donna’s. The smaller filly’s legs are quite twisted and Donna has been researching how to splint the legs, trim the hooves and exercise the tendons to lengthen and straighten in hopes of having an adult horse without arthritis problems.

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