I'd like to write a personal ad for my beautiful, dappled, gray pet goose, Finnegan. It would read:
SWGMG — (Single, white, gray male goose) Looking for female companion, any color, age 1-2 years, who likes long walks around the pen, splashing in mud puddles and grazing in vegetable gardens for possible long-term relationship.
Finnegan's previous companion, Jessie, a lovely gray-and-white Toulouse goose of about the same age as Finny, finally jumped the fence and joined Finny’s brother, Shamus. For the past three months, ever since I brought Jessie home, the three of them have been walking together — Shamus from inside the goose pen and Finny and Jessie from outside the pen. Shamus and Finny have had an ongoing fight over her. Some of those fights have been pretty vicious, considering they had to wrangle around pen wires.
We had clipped one of Jessie’s wings so she wouldn’t fly away right after we brought her home shortly before Christmas. For three months, Finny and Jessie stayed in our garage at night because Finny was barred from the pen and the goose coop by the rest of the flock.
He was kicked out of the nest by his mother, Sal, when he was a gosling last May. I gathered him up, brought him in and nursed him back to health. He has been my almost-constant companion ever since. But I didn’t want to be his only flock, and he needs and wants other geese.
I knew Jessie would eventually decide which gorgeous gander she wanted. When we arrived home last Saturday, and I saw that Jessie had joined Shamus, I didn’t try to take her out of the pen. The two of them have been an “item” ever since, eating together, preening together and staying away from the rest of the flock. Apparently, wing-clipping wasn’t enough to prevent flying, particularly when goose love gets in the way.
Finny still walks on the outside of the pen next to Shamus and Jessie when he sees them walking together. And the two ducks that came along with Jessie also hang around them.
He sometimes waddles to the mud puddles that make up our driveway right now, to play and splash. Jessie had joined him before she made her gander choice.
She had laid a few unfertilized eggs in her own personal coop. Sometimes Finny would be with her in that small pen, which is usually left open. But now, she must carve out a nest in the coop that is used by Sal and two other female geese.
The egg watch is on. Whether Jessie and Shamus produce offspring is still unknown.
The others have started laying those wonderfully mild, three-egg-omelet-sized eggs and will probably continue to do so for about three months, as they have done in the past. Many of those eggs will be fertilized, if the mating habits of Seb and Sam are any indication.
But now, Finny needs a female friend.