Farm Goose

We have a new resident on the farm. I learned of an adult goose looking for a home, and am delighted to share she has moved in.

goose

Our new goose does not have a name yet. We’ve mostly been referring to her as Goosie until something better sticks. She has quite a personality and is shroud in mystery.

Goosie was given to us by a wildlife rescue organization. They do not take in domestic birds, but occasionally receive reports of one abandoned. Goosie was one of those discarded fowl.

I learned about Goosie while visiting our own local aviary. While the kids and I were enjoying a leisurely walk around the main enclosure, we noticed a domestic Toulouse goose in a separate location. I had heard domestic birds are sometimes dumped at the park around the aviary. A friendly attendant confirmed the rumor.

The attendant shared how they are not set up to care for domestic birds. They try to keep a bit of an eye on them around the park when one shows up, but they are not funded or equipped to take them in and care for them. She shared how they had received complaints that kids were chasing the Toulouse and hitting it with sticks. They captured it for its own safety, and someone agreed to adopt it.

I was horrified by the story. Not only was a domestic bird abandoned, but tormented by unruly kids. The attendant empathized with my feelings and went on to tell me of a call from a wild bird rescue seeking a home for a goose someone had dumped at another park. She offered me the phone number if I was interested.

We had planned to add goslings to our farm this past spring. I had read it was easier to add younger-aged geese to an established farm. We were disappointed when the poultry supplier did not have a successful year hatching geese eggs.

goose

Goosie was found at a large park, located on a river, where wild Canadian geese often nest. She was captured after complaints of the overly friendly goose following numerous park goers. It was believed she had been dumped at the park. Her affection for people suggested she had been hand raised as a pet.

Geese are wonderful birds to add to a farm. If they are being raised as pets, it’s important to know domestic geese can live 18-20 years.

As we’re unaware of Goosie’s history, she has joined the farm cautiously. She has spent several days in an enclosed area where the free-range chickens and ducks can get to know her through fencing. Her first supervised outing caused the ducks to run for their house. The sheep all lined up along their fence as if to welcome her and to get a closer look at what seemed like a honking giant duck.

As Goosie is allowed more frequent outings, the other animals are becoming accustomed to her. The ducks no longer run away but, from a distance, protest her use of their pool. She adores attention from her new humans but is having to learn nipping is not acceptable behavior.

goose

While our new resident goose is settling in here at the farm, I want to offer some words of encouragement. Please do your homework before welcoming an animal into your family. If for some reason you can no longer provide a home for the creature, find a new home or contact an organization to help you safely rehome the animal.

The righteous man cares for the needs of his animal Proverb 12:10a

Both the aviary attendant and the wild bird rescue worker shared a common concern with me. Domestic birds cannot survive long at a local park. Regardless if it is inhabited with wild ducks and geese, domestic farm birds should not be abandoned.

We are thrilled to be able to provide a home for Goosie. She has a large area to roam with fencing around the property to keep her safe. Although she does not care to be scolded for nipping, she’s learning we will not be bullied into hand feeding her treats. The other animals are patiently offering her friendship. Soon we’ll think of a good name for her, and she can proudly honk her position as the official farm goose.

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