A tiny peep floated into the air from under Millie. A closer look revealed a little brown, fluffy duckling — the first that has hatched from my Khaki Campbell ducks.

Many goslings have hatched over the years, including this year’s Sunshine, Cloudy and Rainy. Since they were born a couple of weeks ago, they have doubled in size and drive the adult geese nuts because they can still sneak under or through the pen’s wire.

One, however, didn’t realize how large he had grown and got stuck.

A loud shriek by all the adult geese woke us up in the middle of the night. I knew their sounds were telling me something was wrong.

Sure enough, all of the big geese were standing together on one side of the pen, peering at a stuck gosling. He was lodged in a 2- by 4-inch opening in the wire fence. His little body almost made it through, but his fledgling wings got caught.

I immediately scooched down and gently pushed his wings close to his body and pulled him through the fence. He was none the worse for his experience.


I’m sure little Brownie, as I’ve named the duckling, will also grow just as fast.

To say that I am thrilled would be an understatement. I love my geese and I really like my ducks.

The ducks are also useful — they lay wonderfully delicious eggs that we eat on a regular basis for breakfast or in baked goods. I decided to let those delicious eggs stay in their nests this year to learn whether Millie or one of the other two females would actually sit and hatch out some offspring.

These ducks are not known for faithfully sitting on the eggs, but this year, two of them have been doing so. It’s probably too much to hope for, but perhaps Tillie will also hatch a duckling.

But I am looking forward to duck eggs again. I am so spoiled by the rich, fresh flavor of a duck egg that it is hard to eat chicken eggs anymore.

I am far from self-sufficient with my ducks, geese, and garden, but it’s so nice to know that some of our food is produced right here on our property (no Christmas goose, however, or roasted duck — just the eggs.)

If I were a true farmer, I would starve to death, I’m sure.

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

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