Permaculture in Action

Friday, October 18, 2013


It's that time of year again when we have an abundance of goslings....

 Notice how dry it is here. We haven't had any real rain for months. Those tyres you can see are actually an island in the middle of the pond. Usually you can just see the top of the tyres sticking out of the water.

 Here are the five adults who care for the goslings. Three of them are the mothers all sitting on there own clutch of eggs but using the same nest. Lo and behold any one who got off their clutch for too long as the other two would steal her eggs. One is the dominant male and I'm not sure about the fifth.

Here they are telling me to keep my distance. One of them actually attacked me today. They have never done that before!

The goslings hatch out over a couple of days, but there is always one a bit slower than the others that hatches out when the others are itching to get on with life and their mothers just have to leave the newly hatched to fend for itself. Just was the case this year when Mark found one new little one left for dead while the others wondered off. Mark picked it up and brought it to the house, gave it rescue remedy and left it to die in peace (or so we thought) and not be stomped on by the others. Later in the day I went outside to find the gosling chirping to me from the verandah floor(having jumped out of it's bucket and dropping a couple of feet). Tough little bugger!. So we brought it inside, gave it some water and more rescue remedy, found it a home....

It nearly drove us made with it's chirping so Mark picked it up and carried it around, took it for a swim in the birdbath and let it walk on the grass (the floor boards inside were a little slippery and he couldn't get any traction). 

After just two days of this we'd had enough and took the little one out to the others. Mark put the gosling down and as one attacked Mark, another came up to the gosling and gently herded him in with all the others.

A few years ago the same thing happened but we kept that gosling with us until he was fully feathered. he came down to the garden with us everyday, slept in a cage in the back room and as he got older he would climb the steps onto the verandah and mess everywhere. it was disgusting. We didn't know then how readily the geese would take in a gosling, but we do now!


  1. Lucky you! Geese are messy but entertaining aren't they and such good watch birds. I had two for a while and they used to sneak into the house and I would hear scratch scratch as their claws scraped on the wooden floor and I would find their little green presents everywhere. We used to have to heard them out constantly. We can't keep geese here too noisy sadly but we do have hens and ducks. Did the gosling settle in with the flock or did it think you were it's mum and want to follow you about?

  2. It happily settled into the flock.

  3. That gosling is very cute! Just curious- what use (if any) do your geese have in your permaculture farm? Do you just like having them or do they have a planned purpose?

    1. Hi Meg, the goslings serve a number of purposes. They keep the grass down, at as a watch dog alerting us to many things such as people arriving, foxes, and birds of prey. The manure is an important addition to our compost in terms of diversity. I think that satisfies the ''each element has many functions' criteria and then they're just so cute and nice to have around!

  4. What a cute little darling! So pleased to hear that the goose family accepted it back.

  5. Too funny Kate! We have a gosling in residence ourselves and I'm very worried about what the future holds. I can just see us with a fully grown goose on the couch with us one day! Wish I thought to ask for a way to contact you. Want to let you know that if you decide to visit you are welcome to bring your daughter (or whoever) with you. Also, the way we do food around here if I have a couple of days notice you have a better chance of being fed something decent!! Look forward to hearing from you.

  6. Too cute! Not like chooks who would as soon kill another's chicks as look at them!

  7. Such a lovely time of year with all the hatchings on the farm and in nature.
    So glad the gosling is back with it's family and that pic of it peeping out of the container is just soooo cute.

    Claire :)