Farm Fowl: Gregarious Grazing Goslings

Our all-girl gaggle of Pilgrim goslings is just over three weeks old and my, they have grown. And they’re mowers/weedeaters par excellence!

These ladies are serious grazers. They tear into pasture greens like they’re the most delicious edibles ever – and maybe they are, if you’re a goose. They eat so much of the greens that we move them three times a day to fresh ground (oh, and they poop a lot – and the poop looks just like pulverized grass).

A new hoop tractor is nearly finished, and when it’s deployed, it will allow them more pasture access and the ability to stay on pasture at night; right now, they’re collected at dusk and spend the night in a wire crate in the big duck coop.

Since they’ve imprinted on us, they follow us around. What’s cuter than a group of little goslings running at you, tiny winglets outstretched, like they’re catching air? Not much.  It’s been unusually hot and humid recently, so they’re enjoying an impromptu “rainfall” in their day tractor (and they have a deep, regularly refreshed, water pan for bathing and drinking).

Cooling off on a hot day – and catching water drops!

Their soft, fuzzy down is being replaced by adult feathers, and it’s an itchy time for the goslings as they rub the down off of their necks and bodies. Soon enough, though, their lovely gray plumage will appear, and with it, we’ll know the gosling days are drawing to an end…as they become stately geese.