This year I added more Roman Tufted geese to my flock. I started with three cute little goslings, only a few days old. Already they were friendly and sweet despite having little contact with humans.
Anyone who has raised goslings can attest to how sweet they are. They come right over to you and extend their little necks in a sign of friendliness. When you talk to them, they talk right back. They imprint easily and will happily follow you around if you allow them to.
These three were no different. They grew well and grew quickly (as all goslings do) and soon they were old enough for forays into the yard to eat grass, which greatly benefits them.
They moved into their outdoor pen and lived there for a month and a half, getting used to all the chickens and of course the other geese. Unfortunately one night they somehow broke out and one of the females was taken by an owl. Despite this setback, the other two continued to flourish. A few days ago I released them into the run so they could start mingling and start really joining the flock. They enjoyed the space and had a good time.
That night they put themselves to bed with the big birds in their coop, and they've been in there ever since. So far Jasmine and Finn are integrating well. Willow, my Canada goose hybrid, has taken well to them and grazes with them in the yard. Lacie is taking a little longer to warm up but by next spring hopefully she will have accepted them and will take Finn as a mate so she can hatch some eggs.
Summer is the perfect time for hens to hatch their own chicks, and if you have a broody breed you are very familiar with broodies - the broody stare, the fluffed up feathers, the bald chest and stomach, and the growling and maybe even pecking and biting if you get too close. I have orpingtons, brahmas, cochins, and silkies, to name a few, so broodies are not a rarity here.
Currently, I have a broody orpington, a broody orp/brahma cross, a broody ayam cemani, a pair of ayam cemanis raising a chick together, and another orp/brahma cross who is raising a chick too. This is all very usual - all these breeds are known to be broody.
There is, however, one broody that is surprising.
Sugar, the pekin duck, is currently doing her best to hatch some eggs. Pekin ducks are known for their size and their egg laying abilities - and it is widely known that they do not go broody. And yet Sugar is all settled in on her nest and her eggs are developing. Last year, she tried to hatch three times but each time her nest was destroyed, either by other poultry or by ravens. This year, both she and I are hoping that she will succeed her first time out.