Three geese off to butcher

winter geese small.jpg

The American Buff geese have had a less than stellar stay on LHF due to my inexperience. I added geese to the barnyard in an effort to raise an economical bird.  Geese are grazers so with plenty of pasture, I should be able to stock the freezer with high quality meat. Seasonal egg laying, cut short by an early spring; two geese sharing a nest to the detriment of gosling safety; low fertility which could be due to the youth of our gander;and terrible parenting skills when out on pasture left us with one gosling surviving to adulthood. Now, before breeding season is the time to reevalute and adjust my flock management to reflect my two short years of experience.  The three smallest geese are heading to the butcher today which will leave us with three geese and one gander reducing the number of females the gander must cover. Since males and female Buff geese look identical and my skills at vent sexing are rudimentary, I'll wonder if I have a gander in the flock until hatching time. This year each goose will have her own nest shelter.  I will break up any attempt at sharing a nest to protect hatchlings from 4 webbed feet. If the cooler weather holds. I will delay setting by removing early-laid eggs in the hopes of the geese setting fertilized eggs. And I will confine the flock to mowed pasture to protect the toddling, waddle of goslings who get lost easily in longer grass.The four remaining Buffs in this morning's misty fog.