So, into the brooder they went and they grew quickly. This is the friendliest bunch of babies so far. I am sure it is the docile breed of geese, but there are three or four home hatched goslings that I stole from the mother as well. That was for their own protection. Geese make excellent parents and will fiercely protect their young, but ravens are clever and wait for the most opportune moment before swooping down and whoosh, the gosling is lunch. So were the pot belly piglets as they were born. Bad ravens.
The goslings are getting their adult feathers already, but the geese are a little behind. I cannot yet sex the ducks. Usually the bill colour gives the males away, but I do not believe that the males and females in the Pekins have any differences except a curl on the tail feathers of the adult males. The ducks that are more than I wish to overwinter will be advertised to sell as breeders, though in the fall most people are looking to get rid of ther waterfowl due to our harsh winters. So, they may go to the butcher shop instead. Pekin duck, next to Aylsbury or Rouen , is purported the tastiest. I guess I will eventually compare.
It is interesting how the broods all stick together. There is a brood a few weeks older than this one and they do not socialize at all. The Sebastopol geese have given themselves the roles of watching over the babies, one for one group and one for the other. The gander is as attentive to his foster babies as the goose to hers. Isn't nature wonderful? Duckies and goslings are so personable and so interesting to watch. They talk to each other constantly and sing themselves to sleep. I am with them a lot during the day and they are curious when they see me in case I have something tasty for them. I could have a duck and goose farm, I enjoy them so much, but boy, do they eat a lot! 5 gallons of grain per day is fed to the birds on the farm, and a few red winged black birds who have been hanging around. When they are out of the fast growth stage, the amount of feed they eat will drastically drop. I currently only feed them at the end of the day, which forces them to forage eating bugs and worms and grass. The goslings eat mostly grass all day long and the ducklings prefer a mix. They have a large fenced pasture for themselves when they feel comfortable enough to use it, and they have been offered the area around the house for now, though their deposits make them somewhat unwelcome visitors. Since the big rains in the past 3 days, the grass is growing everywhere again and they will be forbidden out of their own yard once more.
Wouldn't you enjoy a gosling for a pet?