Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Geese and Spring

Last wednesday I was expecting a few Toulouse geese and four ducks from Metzer Hatchery in Northern California. Wednesday came and went, then Thursday, by that night, after two days of worrying and harassing the post office, I was expecting a box of dead chicks. two thirty a.m. Friday morning I get a call that they ar wee in. I asked if they were alive. The postal worker said he didn't know. I asked if the box was peeping, and he was like oh yeah, they're alive. So I drove in to get them. Amazingly the geese and two ducks made it, after being in a box for five nights!

While I was picking up my order, the guy from the feed store was there as well picking up his huge order and somehow fitting them all in his little car. He lost his whole waterfowl order. The folks from the feed store said that this year they've been having lots of problems with shipping chicks through USPS. I guess the last two weeks their chick order of 1,600 got taken off the plane in Anchorage (360 miles away) and trucked up. So they lost half their order both weeks. They are not ordering any more water fowl this year. Sounds like they are still getting in chicks and turkeys.

So far, the kids are handling the geese and lone duckling (one didn't make it) several times a day. Noah named the female goose Rosie. Avery named the female penciled runner duck Flower pot. The boys aren't named for now as we are not sure which will be dinner. But I'm thinking we'll name one Sebastion, and the other Christmas Dinner, and then I can always switch them later depending on which is the nicer of the two.

So far we are feeding the goslings/ duckling and chicks, my layer feed coursely ground with a few additives. So our layer feed is whole oats, whole barley, wheat berries, cracked corn, sunflower seeds, kelp and salmon meal and salt. The chicks have even higher protein needs. So we also added some ground peas, ground lentils and some extra kelp and salmon meal. We've also been feeding them hard boiled eggs, spinach and other fruits and veggies.

In other news, our doe Xoe is due this week. All the other goats are well, but shaggy and shedding. The milkers are starting to look raggedy. We are feeding alfalfa hay to help them out. Dustin just finished tiling my milking area, so I moved in this morning and now I can get down to business. I've been doing math on how much our goats are costing, and that is a post in itself- coming soon.

I brought my new bee hive home this week. I need to paint it and get it set up. I'm picking the bees up on Sunday.

I woke up to rain/snow this morning. The day was cool and windy but sunny. We are trying to clean up outside as we can. D cleaned out the chicken pen and duck shelter yesterday. I started on the doe pen. It is going to take another week before I can start working the soil and direct seeding in the garden. I am so ready for summer, for warm t-shirt weather. I am so ready to retire my winter boots and coveralls. I am so ready for green grass, green leaves, shoots and buds. We are having a late cool spring in the interior. I'm guessing wherever you are you are ready for summer too.


Anonymous said...

Yea! Baby Geeses! Too cute! That's a bummer about the USPS and the waterfowl up there. Our two geese got handled a lot when they were young, and about the only time they are aggressive is when they are on eggs. Nothing like the 'mean geese' people are telling us about all the time.

Michaele said...

Oh you are much braver than I to discover what it costs to raise dairy goats. I am afraid to know. I had to pass on the baby geese this year. I just can't vision myself butchering a goose. We are getting turkeys however, and we will see...