I want to tell you about what’s just hatched in the incubator. A beautiful little Sebastopol gosling. Sebastopol is a breed of geese with the curly feathers as adults. Their feathers have a little twist to them so the bird looks like a feather pillow. When they are little like the most recent hatchlings you can’t really tell that they will have that kind of hairdo, or, I should say, feather-do, but eventually, as they mature the feathers will curl.
Now when the goslings first hatch they don’t need any feed or water for up to 48 hours. There’s enough yolk still left in their systems that will supply energy and food for them. When it is time to give them water to drink, I like to give them a vitamin supplement too.
Next we start them on a feed that is 20% protein. I also add a little brewer’s yeast to the feed because it gives them a little more niacin and they need that.
Once the goslings start eating you would not believe how much they will expand in just four weeks. They start going through that very awkward stage where they begin to lose their down and put on feathers. By six months they look like they’re full-grown.
I enjoy having geese at the Garden Home Retreat, particularly the rare Sebastopols, because it provides an opportunity for their genetics to be perpetuated, and also they’re very beautiful to have out in the pasture and on the pond.