welcome, and thank you for joining me on my farm and studio in southern lancaster county, pennsylvania

Thursday, April 16, 2009

it's a mystery

Well, things are not looking good for the about-to-be-hatched goslings. Last night at bedtime, I heard the geese calling. That was unusual, so went out to check. Griselda was not on her nest in the barn, so I checked the eggs and could actually hear them peeping through their shells. I looked out in the pasture and saw both geese, but without a flashlight couldn't see much more than that. When I went out this morning to check on everyone, I realized that Griselda was on the OTHER side of the pasture fence and apparently had been all night. Checking the eggs again, they were cold and silent. I went out and herded Gris back into the pasture and she immediately went back on her nest, but it is most likely too late. Probably the goslings died in their shells and it's doubtful Griselda will start a new batch again this year.

So what happened? In nearly four years, the geese have never gotten out, and the only way I can imagine she did was by going over the fence. But it's a four foot fence and I've never seen her achieve a lift of more than 2 feet. These are not flighty birds - they prefer to walk. Griselda is a good mother and has barely left her nest in a month. What caused her to leave her nest and go over the fence? The only thing I can think of is that she was going after a predator, a fox perhaps. But why wouldn't Teague, the gander, have been the one to do that? He's been standing guard since Griselda started sitting. Also, none of the other animals were bothered.

It's a mystery, and a shame. 


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Oh dear, what a sad story! Poor little goslings, and parents....

Jennifer and Steve said...

:( Poor everyone.