Advent: December 23rd

We had a goose for Christmas. No, not the way you think!

I’ve spoken about our new gander on my Ravelry group so some of this isn’t news if you follow both. We’ve had geese for some years and the stock changes over time and the birds we have now are just three female geese that we’ve bred in past years, none of our original geese are left. Sometimes the fox will kill one but mostly it’s down to other causes or old age. We use the goose eggs that they lay from Valentine’s Day onward (they start laying in early spring as the days lengthen – but they must know the folk lore that they start laying on Feburary 14th because occasionally ours do!) The eggs are large and have huge creamy yokes. They are great for baking and are also lovely as an omelette – one egg per omelette which makes for a rich and very filling lunch especially with fresh herbs from the garden chopped and folded inside. In past years we’ve hatched goslings and raised them for Christmas but mostly they are just there to keep the orchard and garden semi under control. Geese are grazing birds and can eat quite a lot of grass because they’re really quite big birds. Ours get grain in the evening too but mostly they just live off fresh grass and water.

Obviously three geese don’t manage to keep all of the grass under control but in spring and autumn when it’s growing less strongly they do make for environmentally friendly lawnmowers and save some work in that department. The added factor that we get eggs to eat is merely a bonus. Show me a Honda engine that can produce such useful by-products! ;0)

Our neighbour raises geese and turkeys for Christmas and he offered to raise a gander for us along with them and as this week the rest of the birds have been “dealt” with it was time for him to move to our farm and take up his new life in charge of some lady friends. Considering that he was the beneficiary of a terrifying bout of avian “Eeny-meeny-miny-moe” he’s one lucky goose!! I suggested to mum that he should be called Lucky Jim but my mum has decided to name him after Steve McQueen. She reckons he had a Great Escape!

Steve is still looking a bit traumatised after his confusing week but is settling in well and he likes his new wives. At least none of them are fighting anyway…

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