Farm Fowl: Genuinely Goofy Geese

Geese have a reputation for being silly, and when you spend much time with them, you understand why…they’re goofy creatures and, often, rather clumsy. But silly though they may be, they’re some of the most intelligent fowl we’ve raised, and intelligent creatures seek enrichment. Fortunately, a plain old lime rind can entertain these guys for hours.

The lime rind wasn’t theirs – it was meant for the pigs. We collect kitchen scraps like peels and wilted leaves for the pigs; the lime rinds are left over from making water kefir (fresh lime juice makes a “limeade” that will wake up even the most jaded tastebuds). One must have fallen out of the container – or maybe was pinched by those nosy geese – on the way to the pigs. One of the ganders has a liking for fermented pineapple that’s leftover from water kefir making, and he’ll actually try to pull it out of the pigs’ bowls by reaching into the bowl as I’m filling it. Naughty!

The geese remind me of puppies: they’ll pick up a stick and run around with it in their bills. When another goose or gander sees that someone has a prize, they have to have it, too, and chases ensue. Sound familiar? Just like puppies.

Time to boogie!

But puppies don’t fly (thank goodness), and the geese do. On a breezy day, they can fly a surprising distance…and sometimes end up crash landing. No one’s been hurt, but I heard a goose bounce off the barn while I was in there yesterday. Others “buzz the tower” and fly within inches of my head. I think they’re just showing off.

The geese are also particularly fond of sawing right through the plastic twine on hay bales (and sometimes dragging the twine around with them, including trying to soak it in a pool) and making a big mess of the hay.

They’re welcome to eat it to supplement the grass, which is still growing but much more slowly than in spring and summer, but I suspect that they enjoy just making a mess of the bales as much as they do actually eating the hay.

At least one’s still on…for now

I can always count on a laugh when I’m around the geese. Don’t we all need a little more silliness in our lives?

That’s *not* a very small pool – that’s a food bowl