Flora’s Favourite Day of the year

Flora holding a gosling

Saturday 11th May was Flora’s favourite day of the year as we welcomed 200 absolutely gorgeous yellow fluffballs to the farm.

It was met with much excitement, there was a lot of dancing and singing ‘my gooses are coming, my gooses are coming, I can’t wait to see them’!

She helped Will to make the pen, carefully sprinkling the shavings and laying out their food trays.

Will had to drive up to Exeter services to meet ‘Ed The Goose Man’, as we are his furthest south westerly customers! Once back to the farm we carefully unbox them and pop them in their pen. Flora likes to give each one a quick cuddle!

On arrival the goslings are around 4 to 5 days old and have had quite the journey. They are in fact hatched in Germany and are then imported by ‘Ed The Goose Man’. The goslings travel overnight by road and have a two day stop over at Ed’s farm before he delivers them across the UK. Sadly there are no commercial goose breeders left in the UK due in part to farms being hit by avain influenza and a steep decline in numbers of farmers wanting to produce geese for the Christmas table.

The goslings are currently in a hoop shaped pen under a gas brooder which maintains the heat in the pen at 32 degrees C. Interestingly turkeys at the same age like to be much warmer at 37 degrees C. Goslings are altogether much hardier!

In a day or two we will start to make the hoop larger and larger as the goslings seem to grow like weeds. We will gradually turn off their heat after a couple of weeks and then start introducing them to the great outdoors.

These birds will then be allowed to grow slowly and free range on the hill. They really are magnificent creatures and watching the whole flock take off across the field with their wings outstretched happily ‘honking’ is quite the sight.