It’s hard to believe that the Pilgrim goslings are one week old already. They’re growing fast, experiencing new sights, sounds, and snacks (greens), and most of them are very good about keeping up with the group when we take short walks on the farm (there’s always one laggard…usually preoccupied with something and not paying attention). I figured I’d better get an update posted before the littles are all grown up!
You probably already know that geese are grazing animals, right? So, when hatched under a broody goose, young goslings are exposed to some of their favorite foods (greens) very soon after they’re hatched. While our little group is growing up in a brooder, we try to get them outside whenever the weather permits so they can get some exercise and nibble the greenery. Once outside, the littles immediately begin to taste the vegetation: nibbling flowers and the tips off blades of grass…and their favorite activity right now seems to be stripping off the grass seed-heads.
Even before they began to have their outdoor adventures, finely-chopped grass was sprinkled on their food, with chick grit to help them digest it. When the pastures are at their peak, geese can obtain a significant portion of their nutrition just from grazing; as a rule, though, we also offer fermented feed to ensure that they’re getting enough protein and nutrients. The littles also get nutritional yeast added to their food, to ensure that they’re getting sufficient amounts of niacin, which is important for proper leg development in waterfowl.
The goslings have become much more sure-footed and have now figured out that water is fun to bathe in and run through. The sheer excitement of having a pool causes them to do their “zoomies” and crash into each other like bumper cars, but no one seems worse for wear.
Soon – when the weather is warmer at night – the goslings will go into an outdoor hoop tractor, where they can safely play in their water and graze to their hearts’ content. Until then, though, I’ll enjoy seeing them inside in their brooder and taking them outside for walks. They won’t be this small for long, and I try to remind myself to enjoy this brief period while it lasts.