First, though, a tough decision we had to make yesterday. Our two roosters had not, as we thought, settled their differences after all the fighting and were continuing to scrap. The Buff Orpington rooster, 'Sir Bufton' was winning all these battles but seemed to want the vanquished William not only off the top spot, but also off the battle field and out of sight. He was giving William no peace. It became obvious that we needed to intervene and remove one of these boys and another factor was also weighing against the relegated William. He had inch and a half long sharp spurs on his feet which were doing quite a lot of damage to any hen he tried to 'tread', particularly to the wider bodied ladies. They were bald of feathers all across the 'saddle' and some had more-than-skin-deep slashes down their thighs. There is a way of trimming spurs, sanding them down and cauterizing them but William's seemed to have the blood filled vein going right to the point. To cut a long story short we decided to cull out William and to go with the Buff Orpington rooster. It was a shame; he's been a good lad and an effective marshaller and protector of the girls. We will miss the old boy.
|Blissfully ignorant of what's about to happen.|
|With Cody immobilised, Aoife (Vet) moves in for the 'kill'|
|The clamp in position after one 'side' is done.|
|Back on his feet though leaning on Charlotte for support.|
|A basket of mischief.|
Finally on geese, I posted earlier that I could have sworn that I heard the thin piping "week week" noises of goslings hiding under Black Feather's skirts. We have neither of us heard anything since and I must have been 'hearing things' (too eager?) because tonight I happened to catch the girl in one of her moves where she stands up among the eggs and shuffles the eggs around her feet with her beak, presumably moving edge eggs to centre and vice versa. I got a clear view of the eggs and can definitely report that eggs is what they were, not a fluffy gosling in sight. It's day 35 now but Anne tells me not to worry. Geese are notoriously variable and we need to sit tight and be patient for a while yet. She has even had Muscovy ducks hatching on day 47, way way later than the books would advise you. Patience is the thing.