Finny is so conflicted. As he becomes more and more a part of the main flock, he isn’t always sure whether he’ll come out of the pen with me or stay with his buds.

But one thing is for sure — he is establishing his own flock, and it’s not just with his brother, Shamus.

This past weekend, I took a chance and let the newest members of my flock, Plum Blossom and Blackberry, out of their separate little pen, complete with a former doghouse as a shelter. They are now almost six weeks old and growing like the weeds in my garden.

When Finny was out with me, he’d always go to the goslings’ pen, squawk at them and stick his elegant neck through the wire fencing, sometimes pecking at them. He was very jealous when I saved the two after they were tossed from their mother’s nest. I thought the attention he was giving them was jealousy, so I made sure I was nearby whenever I let them out onto the lawn.

Much to my great and delightful surprise, Finny took them under his wing and decided they’d make a great flock for him.

So I let the two babes into the main pen when Finny wanted to go in, and sure enough, he protects them from the rest of the flock.

And also to my surprise, Finny’s brother decided to adopt them, too.

Plum Blossom is mostly white, like his mother, Dufey, but Blackberry looks a lot like Finny. Most of his feathers are white, but he also has very defined light and dark gray feathers, just like Finny. He’s the weaker of the two, but so adorable.

Poor Blackberry had a traumatic experience a few weeks ago when he was much smaller. Since they were so little, I would lock them in the doghouse each night before I went to bed to protect them from predators. One night, I thought maybe they were big enough to fend for themselves in the pen.

I was wrong.

When I went out to feed them and the rest of the flock the next morning, Blackberry was lying on his back, unable to get up. His little head had a wound, and his legs were very unstable once I got him to his feet.

I brought him in, cleaned him up, and fed and watered him in a large plastic tub until he seemed strong enough to join his sibling, Plum Blossom.

He’s much larger and healthier now, and has the protection of Finny and Shamus.

Whenever Sam, Seb, Sal or Sue decide to go after the little ones, Finny, and often Shamus, is right there to chase them off.

Both babes also make it very clear that they want constant feeding — and not just layer pellets or cracked corn. They demand lettuce, grass, clover, broccoli and cabbage leaves — and so much more.

So does Finny. Although he won’t let me hold him in my lap anymore, he does want me to feed him. He immediately recognizes the red coffee container I use to carry the feed to the food dish, and comes right up to me to hand-feed the grain.

When I let the whole flock out of the pen to graze, he’ll often follow me to the garden and let the rest of the geese go off in another direction. I can still pet him every so often, and his lovely dappled gray feathers are just as soft as they were a year ago when he was just two months old.

But then, he’ll realize he’s a goose, and off he’ll go, huge wings flapping, to join the flock.

Back in the pen, Finny, Shamus, Plum Blossom and Blackberry cluster on one side, while the other six keep to themselves on the other. I do wonder whether the whole flock will work out their differences before the snow blows so they can all stay in the goose coop.

Although my husband tried to determine the sex of both babes when they were little balls of fluff, we’re still not sure. Next spring will tell. If one of them lays eggs, it’s a female.

Many of my friends who have followed the saga of my wonderful Finny since his birth are hoping one of the babes will become his mate.

So far, I haven’t seen him mate with any of the other geese.

In the meantime, I continue to learn more and more about geese psychology. Something new happens nearly every day.

And although I am sad that Finny no longer likes to sit in my lap, I am so pleased that he is more or less integrated into the main flock, and has started to form his own. That and the fact he finally knows he’s a goose.


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