I knew something was up when brothers Sam and Seb, and Sammie’s sister, Dufey, were standing quietly in front of the opening to the goose coop.

The rest of the flock was quiet as well.

Sure enough, as soon as I peered into the coop, there was Sammie, sitting on two fluffy, newly hatched goslings. A couple of hours later, two more appeared.

Then the next day, July 2, a fifth ball of fluff began making her way around the other, “older” goslings.

Just as I had given up all hope of having any babies hatch this season, Sammie came through.

And not only that, but my old Toulouse gray goose, Susie-Q, did too.

On July 3, she hatched one bright yellow, stringy little babe.

Now, a few days later, not only have the two moms combined their hatchlings, but Finny and Shamus have taken over the protection of the flock.

Amazing. I have no idea whether Shamus, Finny, Sam or Seb are the fathers, but it really doesn’t matter.

Sam and Seb are old hands at watching over the female geese and standing by them as they sit on their nests full of eggs. Finny and Shamus, I don’t think so.

But just as the two brothers became the parents of two goslings last year after Dufey either intentionally or accidentally knocked Blackberry and Plum Blossom out of the coop and I rescued them, they immediately took the lead for the care of this year’s hatchlings.

Finny called to me when the clutch ventured out of the coop and into the front of the pen. I think he wanted to show them off.

Now, with all babes three to five days old (as I write this), keeping up with them is quite a chore. They strut in all different directions, sometimes even crawling under the gate and out of the pen.

That drives Finny and Shamus nuts, as well as Sammie and Susie-Q.

A sharp call from mom usually brings them right back in. And although all the geese know me and are unfazed whenever I enter the pen, if I get just a little too close, I hear a hiss from one of the parents.

To say I am excited is an understatement. I had all but given up hope of having any new goslings this year, particularly after both Plum Blossom’s and Dufey’s nests died despite their faithful sitting.

But here they are. Peeping away, looking everywhere for food, keeping the older geese on their feet.

I frequently bring in lettuce, clover or dandelion leaves for the little ones and have had some success feeding them by hand. Of course, the older geese also want their rightful share.

My time in the garden has been cut way back because it is such a joy to watch the antics of these adorable and beautiful creatures, as well as the interaction between all the grown and newly born geese.

July 4 was the latest any goslings have ever hatched, and that was Sammie, three years ago. All the new babes arrived before then.

Now comes the challenge of naming them all.

Since Susie-Q hatched just one, I’ve named the little one Suesun because she is such a bright yellow right now and is, of course, Susie-Q’s.

The yellowest of Sammie’s is Buttercup and the second yelllowest is Daisy. I have to think a while before I give names to the others. For now they will all have girls’ names until I learn otherwise.

I know there won’t be any more goslings this year: Sammie kicked the remaining eggs out of her nest, and Susie-Q abandoned hers.

But that’s more than fine.

I am so excited and thrilled to have several more little ones to watch grow and develop their own personalities. I know that not all will survive to “goosehood” because of wild creatures and sickness. But with six to start with, I’m sure a few will make it.

I hope they are girls. A flock gets along better when there are more females than males.

So here they are. What a wonderful summer event!

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


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: