Sunday, 28 April 2013
Of Hatching Chicks and Flying Geese.
Geese incubate for 28-35 days according to (goose) size. It is quite normal for them to hop off the eggs twice a day for a bout 15-30 minutes each (Anne and Simon tell me). This lets the eggs cool down (which is needed) and gives the goose a chance to feed, bathe and get her breast nice and wet which suits the humidity needs of goose eggs. I had not actually seen her get off till today. I was sitting watching the new chicken-chicks and suddenly three geese waddled by. This gave me a chance to go check the hay boxes and see who had what and how many eggs were under Goocie (and get this photograph).
I have already said that the geese waddle about for the most part in a fairly sedate way but every now and then they get to honking excitedly and start running for 30 to 50 yards, wings flapping furiously. Nobody ever got airborne but it always struck me that with a good leading wind, it might happen. We call this 'going for a charge about'. It seems to have no purpose; they don't go anywhere except perhaps for the sheer joy of running, flapping and honking. Bizarre, but all part of being a goose. Today I was near the baby chicken run (again) and the 3 geese were out on the front lawn when they started the shouting and came racing through the gate by the kitchen garden, headed straight for the run, which is only 18 inches high. Goocie seemed to decide she'd not be able to stop in time, so with a hop and a skip, she took off and skimmed across the top of the run and landed the other side looking as amazed as I was! The other two geese thought better of it and pulled up with much excited honking. She had FLOWN! OK only 2 feet up and only for about 15 feet along, but there you were, an airborne goose!
27 planted. Only 999,973 to go?