Saturday, April 4, 2009

Goose Nest

This is the nest that Buddie "built" when she first started laying eggs. I put the word built in quotes because she only had a few pieces of mulch and a few sticks that she was able to break off of the butterfly bush.

It made for very muddy eggs that she would roll around and around trying to hide them. Plus her nest was right next to the steps which would cause a mad dash, trying to get by her and up the steps without being attacked. Geese don't want you anywhere near their nests.

We moved this dog house next to the steps hoping she would move into it and lay her eggs there and feel safer, instead she moved over on the other side of the butterfly bush, again making a muddy nest.

I finally got a few bales of hay so I offered a couple of flakes to her and in about fifteen minutes she had this nest built. It's a beautiful thing. If you were walking near any pond and there were nests there you would never see them. Every time she leaves she covers her eggs completely. Perfectly camouflaged.

See what's in there.

I'm not letting her hatch any though. Two squawking, hissing geese are enough for me. Flipper is the worst. He won't bite me but most any one else is fair game. If you act scared and turn away he will chase you and try to pinch the back of your leg.

Most of the time he will only get your pant leg or boot but if he gets a hold of you he will leave a quarter sized bruise. If you act like you're not afraid he more or less will leave you alone. Kinda.

This is our tom turkey, a beauty huh? He is a little like Flipper too. He would like nothing better than to peck the hell outta you. Mostly me though. He follows me constantly, watching, waiting to get that one chance to get me. He and I go at it most every day.

I gave him the smack down last week. Grabbed him by the head and wrestled with him til I got a hold of him and picked him up. They say that if you "embarrass" a tom turkey they will stay away from you. Didn't work, he came right back for me.

The other day I was bent over trying to get eggs out of a dog house like the one in this picture. We have two of these. The other one is in the chicken paddock.

It's much bigger and we figured that the turkeys would lay their eggs in it rather that on the ground. Well, it worked but they always lay them clear in the back of the thing.

See...all the way in the back.
Consequently, I have to put one knee on the ground and crawl inside of the thing to retrieve them. Yuck, you can imaging what I have to kneel in.

Plus, it puts me at a real disadvantage when my adversary is constantly on guard, watching, waiting for his chance to teach me a lesson.

After I took the pictures of these eggs, gathered them up and maneuvered my way back out of the thing (I actually had to crawl into it) this is what I saw right behind me.

If you are familiar with turkey behavior this look means that "I am going to attack"! The down side of this was that I was on one knee at his level. Much worse knowing that he could spur my face rather than my ankles. That was scary. After that close call I got all smart and figured that I can reach the eggs if I just tilt the house up and reach down.
(But you noticed that I did take my chances and pause long enough to take a picture)

(Check out the cute little hen eying me right next to the vicious tom. A story about her follows.)

Please meet my newest favorite chicken. This is Mrs. Two Toes.

We got her last fall when my friend brought over his old hens to butcher (broke my heart) and I promptly rescued her and traded him a meat bird for her. I'm so lucky I picked her (actually she kinda is). She has more personality than any other chicken I've had before.

As you can see from the next photo she has only two toes on her foot. Her foot had been damaged in the ride over here from my friends house and her toe was broken... bent up at an odd angle and after a month, much to my surprise (horror), it fell off all together.

(Kinda gross, sorry.)

When I first got her she would just run up to me and try to peck me, no fear at all. It took about a month of picking her up and petting her to get her to stop.

She is very brave and smart, she follows me everywhere and stands at my feet constantly, wanting to be picked up but I have to watch though because if I'm not paying attention she will still peck me. I guess it's a love/hate thing.

Why do I always end up at the barn with my one pair of good shoes on?
I had to go to a meeting at the elementary school for one of the kids that morning so I spent 15 minutes at the sink trying to scrub the stains and clumps of dried yuck off of my shoes from the last time I impulsively went to the barn with them on.
I had just gotten home from the meeting, grabbed my camera and decided to run out and check for eggs. Then I remembered my shoes, crap! Did I go back in and change them ? Heck no! I just tried to tiptoe around and not step in any squishy spots.

Plus, I got to try out my brand new boot cleaner. It works great!

I just had to add a few pictures of my beautiful narris in the barn laying eggs. Look how good she blends in, she's hoping I can't see her.

I will start hatching eggs soon...almost ready!

(I guess saying "hatching" is like counting your eggs before they hatch, the proper term would of been "incubating", the hatching will hopefully follow.)

Til next time,



Kelle said...

First let me say, I'm glad I found your blog!

I love your pictures, we too have turkeys setting( actually four hens) is the one you pictured seeting a Narraganset? We have one and two tom( one slated for butcher, soon) and Broad Breasted Bronze, crossed with wild turkey( a few young jakes came courting, last Spring, and our hens liked them.LOL! In the 6+ yrs we've raised turkeys we've NEVER had one that was mean, but we hear all about peoples experiences with mean Toms. Maybe it's because our Dd handles them from the time they hatch until full grown?

We're praying we have some of our brood laying hens set several nests, as we didn't order chicks this year. We have an eclectic mix of layers, some of which are plain ole' MUTTS!

Anyway, just wanted to say HI!

Blessings from,
The Never Done Farm(ette)

sariah said...

You catch some of the best pictures of your birds! I was laughing, imagining the situation of awkwardly trying to reach in and get eggs while worrying about that tom getting your rear end! :-)
Thanks, you answered a question I was pondering- are goslings something I want to try raising this summer....I've decided no for now. But we're having fun with the 7 chicks and 2 duckling we got on Tuesday.

cindee said...

I love your blog and though I don't comment all that often I do stop by (-: I love your farm life storys. We raised two toms. We hoped we were getting a hen and a tom but of course that didn't work out that way! Hard to tell at the feed store when they are little chicks! They were not to eat just for pets. These guys were the sweetest boys ever. We had them till they died of old age. Which wasn't that long really. I guess they over ate poor things. They would follow me all over the yard and "talk" I loved them so much.

Mrs. Two Toes is a doll. I also have chickens and I love them all too. We don't eat our animals so we sometimes have a lot before the hawks get them or something gets them. We just love animals(-: Thanks for sharing your stories I love reading them(-:

Leslie Phillips said...

Hello. I have two geese as well. Kinda. We live on the lake and weve fed them since they hatched. So I guess we do have two geese. But we are also in a HOA. And they keep laying under a bush next to our bedroom window and poop all over the porch. So we fenced in porch. And I want them to lay in a dog house exactly like the one you posted. How did you get them to go in? Can you move the nest in after I find it this next season? Also I want them to have shelter in our storms and winter...they were using our porch for that too. They are a little spoilt and just want to come in the house. I don't want our cove to have a goose army either. And I don't want them under the canoe again...that's very disruptive to their laying and my kids canoeing. Yes they have names too. Loosey and Skittles...and they like to be held. Thank you.