|Pic: these ain't "love" bites.|
Soon it will be time to dust off the Kevlar arm braces and prep for egg gathering season! Depending on the weather, our geese start egg-laying anytime from Winter Solstice to late January, and will continue to lay eggs anywhere from April to late May. It's a dangerous time... if you're not a goose. The geese get wicked crabby, extremely territorial, and will gang-up, bite & wing-beat ANYTHING that gets anywhere near a nest. Our geese like to nest in areas they can defend from other animals (including each other), and wherever they're not supposed to be. We don't let this batch hatch little ones - too many genetic problems from the commercial breeder we bought them from - but we do gather and sell their fresh eggs. If Maggie didn't steal so many before we can get to them, one season's-worth of eggs would probably pay for their entire year of feed.
|Pic: A-Frame nesting box.|
Dave Holderread briefly discusses goose nesting options on pages 96-97 of his book "The Book of Geese". We decided to try out the A-frame nest box this year. The author also suggests setting the nesting boxes out several weeks early so the geese can get used to them - ahh, we may be cutting it a bit short.
We put the new mitre saw to work on this project. Two pressure-treated 2"x4"s, cut
24" 30" long at the base and at a 30-degree angle. Two pieces of 24" 30" x 28(?)" outdoor plywood for the angled walls. We traced the outline of the back of the nesting box onto plywood to get the backing. A couple screws, some holes drilled into the backing for air flow, some caulking at the top to keep out water, and that was it. I staked down the front of the boxes with some bent rebar Spouse had laying around to keep any gusts of wind from tipping the shelter over. Dave Holderread suggested one box for every six to eight geese. We only have six females, but we went ahead and made four boxes - we've seen how our girls fight over nesting spots.
|Pic: modified again goose shelter.|
We also modified the big goose shelter (yet again). It's gone from having one opening, to three openings, to now having two openings. It is consistently ignored by the geese, although the chickens like huddle inside when it's raining. Spouse closed up the the middle opening and put in a divider wall down the center, so two geese can (hopefully) feel snug enough and private enough to nest in peace. Now there's six nice nesting boxes for them to use this year. Anyone care to take bets on whether they'll use these boxes or not? Anyone??