Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Calling time

This morning we called time on the sitting goose. She has been sitting for over a month and even allowing more time for the extra two eggs there should have been some sign of hatching by now. The deciding factor was finding a couple of small pieces of broken egg shell on the floor of the house yesterday. At first we couldn't be sure if it was the result of a gosling hatching or an egg breaking. There was no sound of peeping but neither was there the overpowering, unmistakable smell of a rotten egg.

Mid morning it all became clear, the goose left the nest for her daily wander, not a good sign in itself and in the nest we could see there were now only four eggs. Due to the lack of 'aroma' the broken egg was obviously clear.

So this morning we chased the gander from the orchard into a separate area, removed the goose from the nest and candled the eggs. Three were clear, the other appeared to have died in the very early stages of developing. I guess at 30+ the gander is just too old .

We removed the nest, brushed out the house and then let the pair back into the orchard. The poor goose went straight into the house but after the initial 5 minutes of shouting accepted her loss and is now wandering around the orchard, grazing and bathing quite peacefully.

In a couple of days when she is settled I'll scrub the house out and add new bedding but for now it has been left empty to discourage her from returning.

Hopefully now she will spend her days feeding and bathing in order to regain her condition. I wouldn't be at all surprised if she soon doesn't go into moult. The gander already has, littering the orchard with his white feathers.

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