The end of the mating season has arrived and still no goslings.

My lovely old gray goose, Susie-Q, and 3-year-old Sammie continue to sit on their egg-filled nests, but time is running out. In another few days, the time will have passed for hatching.

This has been a very difficult year for my geese to make fluffy goslings. First, Dufey sat faithfully for more than the 30 days required to hatch babies, then my sweet Plum Blossom did the same. No results.

I think the tough winter and the confused flock most likely had something to do with it.

On the positive side, though, my fabulous Finny continues with his family, his brother Shamus, who continues to hiss at me whenever I get too close to Finny, and last year’s hatchlings, gray-and-white Blackberry, and pure white, soft Plum Blossom.

The hormones in all the boys have returned to normal, so the sometimes fierce fighting has ended, resulting in a very peaceful flock.

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And Finny, now that he realizes he’s a goose and I’m not, has pretty much gotten over that revelation and has begun to return to me.

He still wants his “family” but has decided that I am still something special. He’ll come to me immediately to play with my hair or to eat from my hand when I enter the pen. It’s not quite the same as when he was a few months old and followed me everywhere and sat in my lap, but it’s an improvement over the past few months.

He’ll come to the pen’s gate, look straight at me and begin talking. I’ll return his comments.

When the flock is outside grazing and I’m keeping a close watch on them to make sure they don’t eat my hard-earned lettuce, spinach, Brussels sprouts and other goose-favored food, Finny will come to me and practically ask me to feed him.

It’s so sweet.

That first year after my husband and I saved his life and raised him atop our bedroom dresser was something truly special — something I will likely never experience again. I think of him following me around, of me carrying him from place to place, of his calls for me.

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Some of that is still there, but not with the intensity.

I’m glad he knows he’s a goose, but he also knows that he is something extra special.

As far as I know, he has not fathered any goslings, but he is the boss of the flock. Shamus continues to tell him that I’m not that special, but as much as he likes his brother, Finny ignores that advice.

Blackberry and Plum Blossom, now a year old, became Finny’s and Shamus’s family. They are also much friendlier to me than the other geese, although none of them chase after me. They also like to eat from my hand and sometimes allow me to pat them.

Each goose in the pen has his or her own personality, but of course, my special Finny has the most distinctive personality.

If Sammie or Susie-Q hatch out a gosling or two, I wonder how Finny will react. Will he adopt them as he did with Blackberry and Plum Blossom?

Stay tuned. I’ll know in a few days whether my flock increases.

In the meantime, I relax by watching my flock and talking with Finny. It is such a great joy.

Eileen Adams has been raising geese for 10 years. She can be reached at [email protected]


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