House Goose Blogs
We will be hosting blogs here from people like you that own and love a/or many Housegoose/geese. You can tell us cute stories, how your trained your goose, talk about breeding, or what you find is the best feed, all and anything about your pet Housegoose.
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For right now, until this is set up for you to log in and write your own blog or articles, please email information to me. After approval I will post it here for you. Yes, you may send a photo with that, please, no huge photos, it will be shown here at 432 x 306 pixels. Thanks, and we look forward to seeing your writings here.
THE GOOSE HUNT
April 12, 2011
It is that time of year again.
Geese are a laying, goslings are a weh-weh-ing; SPRING.
Thanks to the movie Fly Away Home, I was bitten with the goose-bug early on. It's in the family (both my grandmothers and their mothers and so on); but I didn't actively beg to have a pet goose until I saw that movie.
And every time temperatures warm up and the snow melts, I want to see that movie again**. I want to hear the slapping of webbed feet following after me. OH, HOW I MISS THAT!
So today, the first blog post, is aptly all about THE GOOSE HUNT.
***(I should note that it's also one of the most entertaining movies to watch once you have your pet gosling. They'll sit on your lap, 'help' you eat your popcorn, and talk back to the TV screen as they hear the other waterfowl communicating.)
Now for those of you who are wondering if you should get a goose, you'll want to do your research. Can you keep it where you live? Do you have the temperament to be a goose owner, or would a different pet be more to your liking? If you have other pets already, how will they relate to a goose in the house? How do you deal with mess, and diaper-changing? Then once that's sorted out and all systems are 'go', you will want to find the breed you like best.
I'm past those steps. I even have several sets of goose diapers ready. (Yes, there are goose diapers. Yes, you will want some if you are getting a gosling. THEY POOP *A LOT*.
I'm in stage two: THE HUNT. WHERE to find the goose is the question.
Sadly, geese are not terribly popular. But if you are lucky enough to have a farmer near you raising goslings; that's great!
For the rest of us, there are hatcheries; Metzer Farms in CA deals solely in geese and ducks with many rare breeds too. There is Murray McMurray in MN. eFowl in MN. Ideal Hatchery from TX. There are many many hatcheries but you'll find that most only carry the meat breeds. Which is fine; but I like the Sebastopol, with the fancy flowing feathers. The Pilgrim, the ONLY sex-linked goose available (although it's said that some lines of Sebastopols show some sex-linked traits as day-old birds. Pilgrim's show it all their lives; very handy when the alternative involves a finger and a terribly affronted goose.)
Once you find your breeder or your hatchery, you put in your order. Now you may only want one bird; that's the best way to make a pet. But ESPECIALLY if you are ordering and having a bird shipped to you, chances are, (sadly) there will be losses. (Not to mention minimum order requirments). So it's best to get two to three birds and line homes up for the others if your plans are to keep just one.
And if you lose one or two to the mysterious illnesses that plague young birds, then you are not out everything.
Before your order arrives, you'll want to find out what Post Office will be the one to receive them. Not every Post Office handles them, so although you may have a town that has its own office, you may need to travel to the next biggest city to pick up your birds.
If that's the case, you could get a call early in the morning, we've had a friend called in at 5am, to come get your very loud package. =)
Now if your Postal Office is one that receives them, they may make the delivery to your door. Either way, once you get that package, some hatcheries ask that you open the order there with a Postal employee present to act as witness in case of deaths.
IF there are deaths, REMEMBER that this is NOT the Post Office employee's fault; and unless the order was delayed a day or more in arrival, the Post Office does not refund shipping and handling.
Now the hatcheries we've ordered with did not have such a clause, so we have always taken ours home, and opened the package. Thus far, we've not had any dead upon arrival. The hatcheries we've had have a three day policy in that if you have losses within three days of arrival, you may contact them for a credit. Some require photos of the dead baby birds, some require the bodies be returned; it depends on the size of your order, the amount of losses and the hatchery itself.
It is important that once they arrive, offer fresh water and high protein crumble or pellet for goslings or ducklings.
(You'll have learned that in your research of course, along with the important note that angel wing can occur from a feed that is too low in protein. So I won't go into that further.)
And another important note that I have NOT seen in books or on websites; grass. We've heard reports of high death rates in goslings after a week or two of age.
My grandmother told me that many years ago, her feed store clerk told her goslings must have fresh grass. So she put them on grass and WAH LAH! The goslings stopped dying and ate up the grass at a rapid pace.
So in years past when we were from a cold climate, we've started growing grass seed in the house to coincide with the arrival of the waterfowl. It's easy to do, they sell kits for small pets and cats now or you can get your own seed and start your own however you like.
This is a plus if you are an apartment dweller when a grassy yard is not available (or if the yard is treated with pesticides; don't want your goslings on that!)
Safely tucked into their new cage (or Rubbermaid tub or bathtub or large box or feed trough), with full bellies and what was initially fresh water that they've been able to properly 'goose', the goslings will join under the heat lamp in baby goose piles and chirp themselves to sleep, unharmed from their adventure from the hatchery incubator to your home via a cardboard box.
(By now, if you're a Goose Person, you should be saying to yourself; "I WANT ONE!")
I WANT ONE!!!!
I am on the waiting list for Sebastopol goslings. I am also on the lookout for Pilgrim goslings, but all the hatcheries are SOLD OUT of them =(. They are a very rare breed, though inexpensive compared to the Sebastopols.
My next runner up is a Roman Tufted goose just because I am fond of the hairdo.
I'll post when I find what I'm looking for.
For now, happy Pet Goose Hunting!
The contents of this page for House Goose Blogs is still under construction. Please check back later!
-- The House Goose Team