State of the (Goose) Union

The Twain is Meeting! The younger geese are starting to hang out with the older geese, and vice-versa. Billy-Bob the gander prefers to hang out with the younger girls, but does his level best to keep all the ladies happy ("it's good to be the King!"). There's one mature female, however, who hasn't warmed up to the new girls yet. Duchess was broody & sitting when the youngers were battling it out with the rest of the geese. It finally got way past normal goose laying time, so I blocked off her access to the egg-laying shelters, which forced her to start socializing. Thankfully, Duchess is only giving the young ladies a nip now and then when they get too close for her liking.

Miss Cecily, aka "Squeezlegoose": Today's vet visit showed minuscule weight gain. Her bodyweight should be thug-bruiser at this point - she's getting four tube feedings a day, along with all the game bird chow she can eat. Doc is wondering if liver function is impaired, as she's improving in all other areas (hooray!) but not putting on the pounds. As of today we're trying a daily dose of Denosyl® to help with liver function. [Denosyl® is SAM-e but formulated for dogs & cats, and has been off-label used for avians for awhile now.] It could take up to thirty days for any effects to show, but am keeping fingers and toes crossed. Four force-feedings a day - prep and goose wrangling - is hard work.

In the meantime, her stamina and energy are improving, and she's following Spouse and I around the house like a puppy dog. She grunts in front of the refrigerator when she wants something to eat. She'll even poke her head into the 'fridge if the door is open. She doesn't quite have the coordination to pick up greens off the ground yet, but if you hold a leaf of lettuce in front of her face, she'll tear into it like it just insulted her mother. Her beak and neck strength is fierce; just ask the hapless tube she attacks at every feeding. And she's finally developing the coordination and flexibility to scratch the side of her face! If progress keeps going at this pace, we can boot her out of the house by late Fall. I'm sure she'd prefer the company of other geese rather than us smelly humans, although I might still pick her up for a hug now and then. Momma loves her goozle, yes she does!

We changed her smoothie recipe about a month ago when she lost more weight. We've worked this recipe out with our vet, but I'm posting here for your information - always check with your vet before force feeding your goose with an annoying rubber tube four times a day.

Miss Cecily's Green Smoothie

1/3'rd block of firm or soft tofu
1 C Purina Game Bird Startena
1 tablet glucosamine/chondroitin, pulverized
1/8 t probiotic powder
2 fish oil capsules (mixed fish blend)
kale, a good hand full or more
quarter cup corn - canned or fresh

In a one-quart mason jar, put in the greens and fill almost half the jar with water. With a stick blender, grind the greens in the water until the water is a goodly green color. Strain the liquid through a mesh colander or cheesecloth, squeezing out any remaining liquid from the ground up greens. Set aside liquid. (If you like, save and use the leftover ground-up greens in soups or human smoothies).

Combine the game bird chow, gluco/chron tablet, and probiotic powder. Pulverize in a coffee grinder or food processor until the mix becomes a powder. Put into clean mason jar.

In mason jar with the chow powder, add the corn, the oil from the fish oil capsules (just make a knife slit at the end of the capsule and squeeze contents into the jar) the greens juice, and the tofu. With the stick blender, puree the ingredients together. You can add a bit more water if the smoothie is too thick to pull into the feeding syringe. Refrigerate. Shake before pouring out a serving, and reheat individual servings to lukewarm before feeding. [Tip: to reheat, pour a serving into a Pyrex glass measuring cup, and heat the cup in a saucepan filled partway with water on the stove. The Pyrex won't shatter with the cold/heat combo. Once warmed, pull up the chow into the feeding syringe, then attach the feeding tube.]

Miss Cecily gets about three ounces of smoothie at each feeding, so this ends up making about 10 servings.

[pic top: the young geese having a good time with some mud. pic bottom: Squeezlegoose and I on the couch, pic self-taken with phone.]


  1. Go Cecily! She's one lucky goose. When her personal chefs have achieved their goal, and she's back outdoors with the flock, they are welcome to come to CA and prepare four meals a day for me. No tubes, though. And I'm not as cute as Cecily.

  2. I love your goose photo.. my goslings are 2 and a half weeks old and are a pure JOY! i love em!!!


Of Mice and Various Snakes and new Duck Feed Station

As mentioned in the previous post, our region is experiencing a near-Biblical plague of mice. "It's due to all the moisture we had...