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  • Barb Bolander

Geese...tales from the farm

Geese, you either love them or hate them. I think they are majestic in a strange way. But there are times when I think they are a pain in the hind end also, literally. Like right now. Our Harry is becoming the mean goose. His girlfriend Taylor is very laid back, doesn't honk very often, and really never gives any attitude. But then again she doesn't need to because Harry will do it for her and for every other animal on our farm too. He has always been loud and loves to hiss at anything that gets close to him or his pen. But now he is becoming aggressive. When you open the door to his pen he comes at you, this is not a good thing for a small child that is the same height as he is. Good thing for Avery we don't let her go in their pen. He has chased a few people into my house, and guarded the door when they wanted to leave. But has never actually fully attacked anyone. I think at times he is better then a guard dog.

We had a goose that was the best goose ever. Her name was Big Bird. She would follow us around the yard like a dog. It didn't matter what we were doing she was right there with us. If I was planting she was there sticking her head into the dirt, helping to get the worms out of the way. We thought that she was a he, until the day she laid an egg. Oh the excitement around one big egg. She was honking and Mataya was screaming, they both looked at that egg like it was golden. She was Mataya's favorite also, she protected her from everything. If Mataya was swinging to high on the tire she would honk until Mataya stopped. If the dog got to close to Mataya, Big Bird would chase him away. If you had a cat in your lap she would push the cat out of the way so she could climb in and cuddle. When the bus would pull into the driveway, Big Bird would be right there waiting for her, then she would walk with her to the house. It was devastating when she passed on.

So the other day, I am out watering the birds, everything seems to happen when I am watering the birds. I bent down to fill his bucket when Harry grabbed a hold of the bill of my hat. This is not the first time he and I have had a power struggle. One time when we were moving them from one pen to another I had to attempt to pick him up. He spread his wings when I grabbed him knocking me backwards into a cinder block and busted my rib. The wings of a full grown goose are pretty powerful. And the force of their beaks is unbelievable. They can leave some pretty good size bruises when they connect. He has attempted to nip Grandma in the butt, but only once because no one messes with Grandma.

He has a firm hold on my hat,

so I grabbed him by the neck and sort of wrestled him to the ground. If you have never wrestled with a goose before, I would not recommend it. Like I said they have pretty strong wings. He gets up looks at me, fluffs his feathers, and then hisses again. I looked at him and start to sing.

"The geese go marching one by one to the pot, to the pot. The geese go marching one by one to the pot, to the pot." He didn't seem all to amused. He hissed again and I decided we had enough fun for one day. Now every time I open his door I start singing that song. We will see if my singing mellows him out or if he needs to find a new home.

I can not kill our birds, I have tried but all I could do was cry. It is just not something I can do, but I will threaten them a lot when they are being naughty. As far as eating them, well let's just say we have had a rooster in our freezer for three years now, he might never make it to the pot. So if anyone is interested in a 20+ lb goose, you just let me know.

"Sing it out, sing it loud, just sing!"



461 3rd St N Dassel, MN



(763) 355-2320

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