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Showing posts from April, 2014

More Birds

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We were delighted to find that the plaster splints on our little black eyed peas worked a treat.  All four are now hale and hearty and you wouldn't even know that there had ever been an issue with their legs.


Carmen and Miranda are growing very fast, real tail feathers starting to come through to replace the yellow downy fuzz.  We moved their night time cage outside onto the veranda because of the smell in the morning at breakfast and during the day they roam the finca eating whatever they want.



The big geese are looking after their own goslings - which is a relief I can tell you, next year I will happily let all the animals do their own child rearing!
And so... we had a special day out.  Arranged by the Estate Agent who sold us the finca a year ago (Martin at Extremacasa), we went for a Beginners Bird Watching Day with an expert to guide through the intricacies of bird spotting.


This is not hard here, there are so many birds and they are paraded out before you so regularly you c…

My Own Little Black Eyed Peas!

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3 weeks ago we put 12 chicken eggs into a friends incubator.  They are Castilian Blacks and were supposed to be the start of my flock of eating chickens.  Yesterday we went to collect our chicks.  Only four had hatched.



... and one of them appeared to be disabled with one leg stuck out at an angle.  We took them home and put them into the brooder and hoped that the one with the wonky leg would survive.


This morning there were two of them flat on the their bellies with their legs splayed apart unable to walk.  Something was obviously going on.  A quick search on the internet (I can't imagine life without this amazing tool!) gave us the answer.


The surface they are walking on does not have enough traction and their legs are weak and can't support their bodies and so they give way.  The cure is to splint the legs together in the correct position and then hope that the birds get stronger and recover.


So... we gave it a go.


A strip of plaster is attached to each leg with the padde…

Goslings!

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Our Mother Goose has been sat on 8 or 9 eggs for 31 days and the result?


Goslings!!!  At day 30 we knew something was up because the gander positioned himself much closer to the nest and was very very vigilant.  Then we saw two little fuzzy yellow heads poking out from under her wing.


On day 31 we counted three goslings as their mother kept leaving the nest a little way and then changing her mind and going back again.  After three attempts to leave the nest (and one assumes the remaining eggs) she finally made up her mind that all the eggs that were going to hatch had hatched and she walked her babies down to the bottom of the enclosure and the water.  There were five little balls of fuzz following her.


I think we perceived the danger before she did.  The water buckets which we sank into the ground so that the very fat mother goose could get in were only half full and yep... before we knew it one little gosling plopped into the water and bobbed about, followed by all the others.  The…

In Loco Parentis

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I am taking being Mother Goose very seriously.  Well you have to.  When a living creature is dependent upon you... it's a big responsibility.



I have heard a lot of people saying that raising geese is tricky.  Well... we have read quite a lot of stuff that we have already contradicted, not deliberately, its just we were given the two goslings with no notice at all so we have had to improvise  right from the start... and so far they have been relatively easy to manage, but time consuming.




The chicks were less than 24 hours old when we got them and for much of that day I kept them in a bag hanging round my neck.




The first night I slept with the bag around my neck for much of the night... I did pop them back into a cat box (still in the bag) for a while during the night but after a couple of hours I woke up and stretching my hand in to check on them I thought they felt cold so I brought them back into bed with me.  The bag complete with goslings inside rested on my chest and I sort of…

Carmen & Miranda Come to Finca La Reina

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Welcome to Carmen and Miranda - no, don't ask me which one is which, they appear to be identical!


Carmen and Miranda are not from our own geese.  Our stalwort Mrs Goose is still sat on her eggs with roughly another ten days to go before we will know if she is a proud mum or not.



Our aim is to increase our flock so that we can supply ourselves with the occasional goose dinner and perhaps swap one or two for lamb or other such treats from neighbours and friends who are raising sheep and other livestock.  My worry was that with only a single pair of geese the offspring from this pairing will probably be mating with their own father next year.... ???  Is that allowed???  It's an Adam and Eve situation and probably doesn't bear thinking about too deeply but all the same, being new to this raising livestock lark, I thought I had better do some research.


After searching on the internet - isn't the web amazing?  I have been able to glean that it is probably ok that daddy mates…