The Jersey Giant chicks are growing, and my very first goslings hatched out this past weekend! Pictured above is a chick at 1 day, 2 weeks, and 3 weeks. Currently, at 3 weeks of age, the chicks have started to perch, and this time I didn’t get my hand pooped on when I took the picture.
The goslings are turning out to be an unexpected experience. I assumed that raising goslings was going to be similar to raising chicks. Boy was I wrong! Chicks are instinctively skittish, and afraid of anything that moves. Although I change their water and refresh their feed a couple of times a day, the chicks freak when I get into the brooder.
The goslings, on the other hand, are extremely social and run towards anything that moves. I decided to set their brooder box in my living room for the first few days, because they seem much more content when they can interact with me. Boy, do they talk! Of the 6 eggs my goose sat on, only two hatched. I let her continue to sit on them for a few more days, just to be sure, and finally called it done this morning. I candled the remaining 4, and from what I can tell, it looks like one was infertile, and never developed an embryo, and the other 3 look like they stopped developing part way through incubation and died.
This was the first gosling at about an hour or so after hatching.
The pair hatched within 2 hours of each other, and were up walking, eating and drinking within 24 hours.
I took them outdoors for a quick bit of exploration in the yard this morning, and they loved it! They are much hardier than chicks, and don’t require quite as much heat. I’ll be moving them to a brooder out in the barn in a couple of days, and by about 6 weeks they will no longer need supplemental heat. Their markings indicate I most likely have a male and female.
This little one was checking out the garlic chives that have volunteered along my sidewalk. Very appropriate considering I name my birds after herbs. I’m thinking of naming these two Arnica and Aralia.