It’s spring — and my geese and ducks are so happy!

I dug out all the kiddie pools, cleaned them up and then filled them with water. They could hardly wait until the hose had finished its job.

It’s been almost six months since they’ve had a little pool to splash and play in, and they are more than making up for lost time.

Large geese can’t turn upside down in the shallow pool, but they can swim and bathe their lovely wings in the water.

Finny jumps in the largest pool and immediately starts flapping his beautiful gray and white wings. Soon, my old girl, Susie Q, joins him, then before you know it, last year’s goslings — Summer and Solstice — join the fray.

I wish I had a real pond for them, but that’s not going to happen, unfortunately. Besides, our well would not provide enough water to keep it filled, so they’ll just have to make do as they have for years.

I just love spring. The ducks are giving us four eggs a day, which is not bad since I have four female ducks and three males. Needless to say, we have plenty to eat, and a few to give away or sell.

In the main goose coop, Dufey, Sammie, Plum Blossom and Susie Q take turns laying some of their large, mild and delicious eggs. I think Summer, born last June, is also beginning to lay eggs. Hers are smaller than those of the older geese.

In the small coop that houses Zeb, Julia and two more of last year’s goslings, Ossie and Gossie, I find at least two eggs a day. The smaller ones I know were laid by the young geese, and the larger ones by the fully mature Julia.

Solstice, I’m pretty sure, is a boy. He has some of those lovely, sluffy, Sebastopol feathers.

The geese and ducks will continue to lay almost daily during the spring and summer months, then later, one or more of the ducks will present me with an egg throughout the fall and winter. The geese quit around July. Those winter duck eggs must be gathered almost as soon as they are laid, or they will freeze.

I’ve been spoiled since I started using the goose and duck eggs. They seem to offer so much more flavor than chicken eggs. The eggs also produce richer, tastier baked goods, too, in my opinion. The batter is thicker and more full-bodied. 

Once we’ve had fresh duck and goose eggs, right from the nest, it’s really difficult to go back to store-bought chicken eggs that are most likely several weeks old.

And of course, goose eggs are as big as three chicken eggs, and the duck eggs have more yolk than a chicken egg.

This is my feathered friends’ most prolific time of the year, and I revel in their generosity. I make a special point of supplementing their cracked corn and layer pellets with lots of day-old bread bought at a nearby bakery, and sometimes, with a full head of celery, which they really love.

Very soon, I will let the geese out to graze, being careful to keep them away from my fledgling greens soon to grow in the garden. I’m able to herd them back into their pens when I’m ready. But the ducks aren’t as easy to herd. I do, however, dig worms from the garden or buy a container of fishing worms from a nearby convenience store to feed them. A duck can swallow a night crawler in a flash — it’s amazing.

Summer is such a wonderful time for so many things — blossoming flowers, leafy trees, fresh greens and other vegetables, and a time for my geese and ducks to get plenty of nutrients.

If they could talk — the geese do quite a lot of talking, and sometimes I understand — they would want to know why they don’t have such abundance year-round.

But also because it’s spring, they are in the “making babies” mode, too.

Although I admit that I don’t “need” any more geese, I always let a few hatch so I can watch them grow up and develop their own personalities.

The ducks, however, are not at all interested in sitting on their eggs, so the only ducklings I could have would be more purchased from a farmer. When the ducks stop laying regularly, I will most likely buy more because I am so spoiled by their eggs.

The backyard coops are busy and full talkative geese and ducks. It’s such a joy to go out back and visit with them.

Eileen M. Adams has been raising geese for more than a dozen years, and ducks for about two years. She may be reached at [email protected]


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