New Water Fowl
We added some more geese and ducks to the water fowl family. These two white geese were raised in a field and then captured for the supper table. A woman took them in and fattened them up, making them pets. But she lives in a city area and geese are loud. So I bought the geese from her along with 4 ducks. They were all very excited about having a pond to play in.
These ducks are 4 different varieties. I was told the large one with the red mask, a male, is a Merganser. However, I can’t find any pictures that look like him. I named him Bogart. The littlest black duck is a runner duck. Well, at least she has the upright gait of a runner duck. The other two I am not sure what species they are. Bogart has been the friendliest duck, following us around wagging his tail. I don’t know what the tail wagging means, but I am pretty sure he is following me in the hopes of getting some grain or a cracker.
We then added two more geese I got through Freecycle. They are a mother-son pair. The mother is ~2 years old, making her the matriarch of our little gaggle of geese. You can see in the picture that her son has some feathers that stick out on his wings. If my limited internet research is correct, this is Angel Wing syndrome and generally occurs in ducks and geese fed by humans. You can follow the link to the Wikipedia article, but in general the birds don’t get the proper nutrition as goslings and the final wrist of the wing becomes twisted, causing the feathers to stick out and usually rendering the bird flightless. He’ll be a pet for years to come.
Our ducks, geese, and chickens all have fenced areas for them to safely range during the day and shelter at night. While they receive a mixed grain feed each day, the rest of their diet is natural – mostly bugs and seeds for chickens and grass and pond greens for the geese and ducks. The ducks also have snails and small fish in the pond to supplement their diet. We hope that in the next year or two, we will have some ducklings and goslings on the pond.