Chad the Goose

A few years ago, farm co-owner Geoffrey purchased a pair of Chinese geese from an Amish farmer. His wife Sally envisioned a tranquil life for them down by the pond (while anticipating the prospect of a Christmas goose),  but we ended up putting them with the laying flock to try them out as guardians. This worked great at keeping away the ground predators – raccoons, opossums, even foxes. They were not so good at deterring eagles and hawks; more often than not, the large white geese could be seen cowering beneath the mobile coop with the rest of the chickens. Continue reading “Chad the Goose”

Goose Patrol

Goose in Doghouse

There is a hierarchy on the farm that goes like this: Barn cats rule the rodents,  chickens rule the barn cats, ducks rule the chickens, and the geese rule all. Big and boisterous, they march around the farm in a noisy group, sounding off as they go. They make a ruckus over just about everything – even when they see us walk past the window when we’re inside the house. I’m sure all the neighbors can hear, although we’ve never received any complaints. Continue reading “Goose Patrol”

Raymond the Rhode Island Red

Raymond the Rhode Island RedHe sees me in the window and sidles up. Pecks the ground, but his eye is beaded on me. I know that look. I’ve seen it in many a rooster’s gaze – Jacques, Mr. Peabody, Lorenzo, even Mr. Lawrence, our very first rooster – a switch goes off in their tiny brains and they transform, seemingly overnight, from friendly and sweet to aggressive.

But with Raymond, who is watching me now, this switch happened early – before his spurs came in. And, unlike those before him, who seemed to single me out in particular, he attacks indiscriminately, flying at anyone on two legs who crosses his path. Continue reading “Raymond the Rhode Island Red”