Saturday, July 17, 2010

Dead Goose Walking - Not

Our goslings have been granted a reprieve.

They will live to graze another day. Many more days actually.

Our weather is currently very hot and humid. We have bugs. Well, WE don't have bugs. What I mean is there are various insects, both biting and non-biting, flying around here, there and everywhere right now. The possibility of rain showers is forecast for the next few days which would not make the outdoor butchering set-up convenient. Fresh meats are quite susceptible to contamination and (what we're most concerned about in this heat) spoilage. Taking all these factors into account, we've decided to postpone the butchering of our goslings.

This is not a terrible, awful, bad thing.

Goslings should be butchered after they are in full feather which commonly occurs sometime between nine to twelve weeks of age. That's why we were shooting for this weekend as ours are ten weeks old this coming Monday. And they are in full feather right now.

Shortly after the goslings reach nine to twelve weeks old, they go into a heavy molt losing their first juvenile feathers and then growing adult feathers. If the goslings aren't butchered before this first molt starts, it's best to delay butchering for six to ten weeks longer when they should be in full feather again. (Geese aren't considered to be in "prime flesh" while they are molting and/or growing new feathers.)

That would put our next potential butchering date somewhere near the end of September which should afford us much cooler temps and no bugs. (You'll note I said "should" because the way the weather has been so far this season, who knows.)

Although the geese haven't voiced their opinion, I imagine they're happy to have a couple more months of stuffing their little gullets with lush, green grass, and we'll have the extra time of enjoying them as they live the good life they have.


The Apple Pie Gal said...

Well, that is still in time for Thanksgiving...I will be sure to wear under armor at the table so you can't 'goose' me. ;) And thanks for the info, I knew none of that!

Erin said...

Sounds like a good decision, it would be a shame for your goose to live such a good life and die in vain due to some type of contamination. Lucky goose for the summer!!

Mama Pea said...

Apple Pie Gal - Yep, Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter and Mother's Day . . . ;o)

And you're welcome!

Erin - Besides, doesn't fall seem much more like the traditional butchering time? Crisp, cool, sweatshirt weather . . . I can hardly wait!