I didn’t pick the farm life, farm life picked me. It seems that’s a lot of people’s stories. Starting a farm came as an accident. For us, it all came about because we purchased a nice-sized piece of property. Then came chickens, a cow, a pregnant sheep, and a goose. So, if that all wasn’t enough, I decided that we needed goslings and this is how we added goslings to our farm.
How we got our animals
Frankly, we were just going to keep chickens (3 of them to be precise). Then, much to my chagrin, my husband bought 28 chickens, “just to start”. Then we decided to hatch our own chickens (25 more), because you always need more chickens. But then, a friend couldn’t keep her farm anymore, so we adopted her animals.
Originally, our friend had 3 geese that had grown up together. One was an African Gray male goose and two female Toulouse geese. However, right before we went to pick up the geese, the two females escaped and were never seen again. That meant that the male African Gray was left alone.
So we brought the animals (cow, sheep, and goose) home to our farm and they very quickly adapted to our homestead of tall green grass, which they mowed down very quickly. But you could tell that the African Gray was lonely. He adopted the sheep as his constant companion. Everywhere she went, he would go. If he couldn’t see her, he was honking and ran around until he found her again. Unfortunately, I think our sheep was clueless about the friendship and the relationship was a tad one-sided. Alas, I knew that the African Gray needed some friends.
Finding the goslings
We figured out how to be added to a couple Facebook groups that sold farm animals online in our local region. Every day, I would look to see if any goslings were for sale. Fortuitously, one day cute-as-a-button goslings were placed for sale right down the road from me for $20/each. The goslings were Toulouse and not African Grays, but that didn’t matter to me.
And to clarify, yes, I could’ve bought the goslings online through a hatchery. But have you seen the prices? They are expensive, you must place a minimum order of so many, plus pay for the shipping. The cost would have been well over $100.
Adding the goslings to the farm
Anyways, the goslings were a month old and had been raised by their mother. I brought them home and took the box with the goslings into the field. The cow, sheep, and goose are raised in the same pen. Everyone was curious as to what was in the box, especially the goose. As you may know, goslings are not quiet and make a lot of peeping sounds.
Right away, the animals gathered around the box and were amazed when two fuzzy heads popped out. The sheep was not so very interested, but the cow moved right in to begin smelling the newbies. However, the goose stayed back a bit, arching his neck to see what these new creatures were.
Once out of the box, the goslings went up to each creature, first my husband (haha), then the cow, next the sheep, and finally the goose, looking to find a parent to follow. Naturally, the goose was very unsure at first, wondering what these strange little things were, but that didn’t deter the goslings. The goslings immediately snuggled up to the goose. Frantic, the goose attempted to run away, but the goslings pumped their little legs and ran after him.
Let the goose raise the goslings
Finally, the goose decided that the goslings were worth it and took them under his wings. I haven’t worried about the goslings since. The goose showed them around the pen and where the food was located. Any chicken or rooster who got too close got a sound peck from the goose and a warning to stay away from his new friends. The baby pool full of water was introduced to the goslings and they took their first swim. At night, the goslings snuggle right up to the goose, who watches over them as they sleep.
Now, the goose still likes being near the sheep, but generally lets the goslings dictate his movements around the yard. Where they go, he goes. It’s heart warming to see how quickly and easily the goose took on the role of parent, protector, and friend. I know that the goslings are in safe hands with the goose.
Raising goslings is easy-peasy if you already have an established goose in your flock. Need to introduce a full-grown goose to your chickens? Read about that here. Now on to naming the adorable goslings. After taking a poll on Facebook, it has been determined that the goslings will be named Lucy and Ethel. I’m seriously thinking the goose should be named Ricky. Thoughts?