Tuesday, June 7, 2011

There'll Be No Goslings This Year

Papa Pea made the executive decision yesterday morning to take Mother Goose's eggs away from her so she'd stop sitting on her nest.

As soon as she left the goose shelter for her morning run (literally) down to the pond, he shut the door so she couldn't get back in to the nest. I thought she would be really upset and throw a fit . . . and that I'd probably be squawking and crying in sympathy right along with her. But after she realized she couldn't get back in, it was almost as if her attitude was, "Phew, am I glad to be done with that!"

The poor girl had been sitting faithfully on her nest day and night for almost three weeks past the time we calculated her eggs should have hatched. I wonder how long she would have kept up the vigil had we not intervened?

In checking her five eggs (there was also one broken in the nest which would have made a total of six) we found that none of them were fertilized. Nor had we noticed her and Father Goose mating at any time this year prior to her starting to sit on the eggs.

Humpf. Wonder what happened? She hatched out seven healthy goslings last year on Mother's Day. This year all the eggs were no-shows.

Apparently being freed of her expectant motherly duties felt . . . well, freeing because it wasn't long before Mother Goose decided to go for a good stretch and took off into the air making a low flying tour of the pond, poultry yard and gardens.

Unfortunately, she landed on the wrong side of the fence surrounding the poultry yard. That's her in the foreground above with Father Goose in the poultry yard on the other side of the fence both of them looking quizzically at the other one and saying, "Wha . . . huh?" She needed the assistance of Papa Pea to get back with her mate and seemed very content to stay there for the rest of the day.

I'm betting she's going to spend the next couple of days refueling her body with green grass and enjoying hours splashing in the pond. I know Father Goose looks happier to have his lady love back out in circulation again.


judy said...

goosely menopause -for-sure so sad now if only my goose lings would leave the nest,I'd feel as good as mommy goose or NOT

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Huh. Is this common? I sort of assumed they just knew these things. Good thing you intervened or that poor little lady would have had a long, boring summer.

Mama Pea said...

judy - Goosely menopause? Hope not. She's too young!

APG - We're not sure what the heck happened. Needs further investigation. I don't know how the female geese survive when sitting on a nest. She literally was off the nest for only 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night . . . max! She would grab a few mouthfuls of grass and take a quick dip in the pond. We put food and water in her shelter, but she never touched it. How do they do it? It must be like a semi-hibernation.

Jane said...

In the case of the unfertilized eggs, perhaps Father Gooses has let himself go a little. Maybe developed a punch or doesn't preen enough. Perhaps he wont help around the nest at all. Maybe Mother Gooses cant take his roving eye. He cant quit looking at canadian geese. You know how marriage can be. I am sure they can work through it. I dont think Geese believe in divorce ;)

Susan said...

At least she didn't blame Father Goose - I'm waiting for my muscovy to hatch her clutch. Last year, they were duds and was she p*o*ed! Went right after him. "We" have two weeks to go.

Dr. Momi said...

If Mother Goose is young does that mean it is Father Goose's problem? Hhhhmmmm. She sure gave it a go!

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

Poor Momma and Poppa Goose. Now they have to think of things to talk about and do that don't involve the kids. That aspect of my life scares me to death!

Sparkless said...

Must have been a phantom pregnancy. Glad Papa Pea relieved Mama Gooses of her burden.

Mama Pea said...

Jane - Hey, ya know, it happens! It's not just us women who have to make the effort to stay alluring.

Susan - Oh, that would have been something to see! Nope, she seemed glad (plus some) to get outta the "house!"

Dr. Momi - We're trying not to lay the blame on anyone . . . they did fine last year. I'm wondering if the cold weather we had when she started laying could have had anything to do with it. But then again, we didn't see them doing the deed so . . . ??

Ruth - Hey, worry thee not! Look forward to it as "your" time for a change!!

Sparkless - Yeah, it was about time. Mother Goose did her best. Ya gotta give that to her.

Erin said...

Poor Mama Goose, well at least she can enjoy summer now!

Patty said...

Too bad no baby geese, but I'm happy for Mama and Papa Goose. :)

Mama Pea said...

Erin - I'm just so glad she doesn't seem upset in the least. And it's good to see them together. Father Goose looked so lonesome all by himself for so long.

Patty - Yup, I guess it just 'twasn't mean to be . . . goslings this year.