Waiting for Goslings

Our guardian geese started laying eggs not long after they settled in here at the farm.

I uncovered several eggs on accident one day while raking up some straw in the run. One of the geese had simply pulled apart a bale stored there and made it into a huge ground nest. The eggs were enormous and I started to get pretty excited. Maybe we’d be waiting for goslings along with mamma soon!

But being young and undecided on a nesting spot, the goose never got very consistent with sitting. After laying tons of eggs in one spot, she moved and started a new nest. So I collected the eggs from the first nest.

I chose the largest and cleanest eggs and set 14 into the incubator. Not knowing anything about hatching goose eggs, I did a little research.

Sites had quite a bit of variability on their recommendations. 28-35 day incubation period. Some said keep the eggs extra moist, even dunking them in water; others said follow regular humidity requirements. Since I’ve had good luck with standard protocol, that’s what I stuck to.

I filled the outer trough with water and kept it full until lockdown day (day 25). Temperature stayed consistent right around 100. On lockdown day I unplugged the egg turner, filled up all the troughs and set the lid in place. No more opening until they’d hatched!

Meanwhile, maybe taking inspiration from me 🙂 mamma goose, Tilda or Nicolle, started to sit on the second nest. She got very angry when I peaked in on her. She wanted to wait on her goslings alone – no visitors!

I tried to whisper to her – I understand the wait. It is so many days. She just hissed at me though – you don’t really understand!

On day 27 the magic began with a first little beak peaking through. I could hear her little cheeps in there. I’m ready, let me out!

By day 28, the wait was over. We had 8 healthy, adorable babies and one full incubator. They are like giant ducklings.

A couple hours in the brooder and they were all poofed up and just about the cutest baby birds I’ve ever seen.

They’re very sociable birds, coming over the check me out whenever I peak in the brooder. Here’s a video to make your day; you can see the personality already…

I want to keep them all but these guys are destined to protect other flocks, maybe yours? I have four left for sale. $25/gosling. You can raise them with your chicks and then send them out together when they’re all big enough. The adults have done a superb job protecting our bird yard since we got them.

Mamma goose is still waiting on her goslings to arrive. How about you – are you waiting for yours too?

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