Monday, April 11, 2011


I was finally able to take a picture of our Pilgrim Goose on her nest.  I had to stand on the woodpile and hang over the fence as the other goose and the gander in with her viciously attack if I try to go through the gate into their yard.  Just last week the gander grabbed the back of my hand as I was refilling the water bucket.  He pinched and twisted, leaving a now-green bruise on the back of my hand.  I was not about to try to sprint across their yard with a camera just for a picture.

The two geese had been laying eggs in the nest since some time in February.  One of the geese got broody and began to set on St. Patrick's Day.  She has barely moved since.  From what I can tell, she takes a quick break for food and water once a day, carefully covering her nest before leaving.  She has also tended to her nest by discarding a few eggs.  She must know something about those eggs that is not obvious to us but from what we can figure she probably still has eight or ten eggs under her.

When the geese began to lay we had to put a sheet of plywood against the fence as they would reach out to grab anyone walking by their nest.  They have quite long necks which fit easily through the gaps in the cattle panel.  Unfortunately they built right in the corner closest to the gate that we all use to go to the back of the farm.  Until we put the plywood up we had to swing the gate wide open and walk as far from the nest as we could.  The dogs as well as a sheep or two following us would often get a good goosing.  The dogs quickly learned to wait until they could pass on the farthest side.  The sheep just kept running, often leaving a lock of wool behind with a goose.

This morning I noticed that she had moved the entire nest over by a foot.  It was completely rebuilt with perhaps one more egg discarded. I have no idea what she was thinking but it was quite intentional.  We'll find out a little over a week what has become of the eggs still under her.


  1. Grumpy goose! I don't think I have ever met a goose that does not have an attitude. Where I go horseback riding they have geese that always chase me. I try to give them a wide berth now.....

  2. After my father died my mother gave us Pete & Mildred, their geese. Those two were simply precious. Pete protected every chick & duckling born here, often reaching out & seemingly counting them as he touched his bill to each little head. Mildred died a few years before Pete who did not mourn away as we feared but began sleeping with a small flock of ducks who encircled him each night. He died a few years later at almost 30 years of age. I have never again met geese that sweet.