Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Babies

by Pa Rock
Farmer in Spring

Except for the never-ending need to mow, spring is a beautiful time at The Roost.  The daffodils, narcissus, and tulips have already bloomed, and now the white lilac and new dogwoods are showing their beauty.  The garden containers are full of fresh soil and just waiting to be planted, and the large holly bush that I bought last week is patiently waiting for someone to dig it a forever home.

The farm animals are also in the blooming mode.  Fiona, the cat, is pregnant and appears to be looking for the perfect out-of-the-way place to give birth, and the two male peacocks are yelling and dancing and spreading their fans as they desperately try to woo the seven peahens.  The girls should begin laying eggs any day now.

Olive and Sullivan (and possibly Boone) are all coming to the farm next weekend, and I wanted to make sure that they have a good time and learn a few things while they are here.  Yesterday I went to a local animal swap meet to see what farm animals were looking for a new home.  There was a nice selection of many chickens, both chicks and adult birds, as well as a couple of goats and some rabbits.  But it was the birds with webbed feet that caught my attention.

One vendor had a hundred or more baby ducklings of several different breeds swarming in some large tubs.  I told him about my lonely male Cayuga, Hector, and the guy said that he thought he had three little black Cayugas.  It turned out that he had four - and I bought them all.  Then I discovered his goslings.  He had several Toulouse and two White Chinese.  I wound up buying six of the Toulouse - which he sold to me for the price of five.

What could be so grand as a goose from Toulouse?

The ducklings are tiny, especially when compared with the goslings.  All of them are just a few days old, but the goslings are a full three times as large as the ducklings.  I kept them all outside for the rest of the day segregated into a two-chambered cage.  I feared that the big goslings might trample the ducklings.  They became acquainted through the wire divider, and by the time I placed them all in the nursery together yesterday evening the ten were fast friends.  Today they are all playing together and getting along fine.

I have had geese before.  Adult geese tend to be bossy and know no fear.  I suspect that by the time these six Toulouse begin getting big, the three cranky old guineas will no longer rule The Roost!

It's all part of life on the farm!

Happy Easter!  (And for my good friend Valerie who moved to Hawaii yesterday, "Aloha!"  See you this winter!)

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