Friday, May 9, 2014

Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee.

It was never in our plans to keep geese again, not because we don't like them, we do, geese along with Turkeys make wonderful pets, but when we were offered some geese eggs we said yes, if any hatch that's Christmas dinner sorted. Out of the nine eggs we were given two have hatched and one is on it way.
Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee
Within a very short time the two hatchlings had a name, you just cant eat anything with a name, it remains to be seen if the third one makes it OK and the two first hatch survive OK, but it looks as though we will have geese again.
Hubbard chicks, now eight days old.
We have no problem in raising poultry for the table, but something that imprints on you and responds to your voice is never going to make it to the table. We had already made a new brooder, just in case we had goslings hatch,
An instant brooder, more or less.
this one was made from two hula hoops, some bamboo canes and wire netting, total cost, less than five euros and took half an hour to construct.
As Simon was feeding and letting out the hens and ducks over the weekend he disturbed a mink, it was in the duck run and ran under one of the houses, luckily the birds were still locked up, Simon had a stout stick on hand and managed to dispatch the mink.
A good mink.
Mink are vermin, they have no place even in the wild in Ireland and if it were not for the fur farms that went bust they would not be here at all. We don't like killing wildlife, but mink are a menace and are not indigenous. The only stock we have lost here is to mink, although we have plenty of foxes around the electric fences seem so far to have kept them at bay, but this run is the one place that does not have electric fencing and the stock that we have lost also did not have this protection, maybe we need to invest in more electric fencing but it's not cheap.
Avens in a hedgerow.
The woodland and banks are now full of early summer flowers, the Primroses are still blooming along with Violets, lots of Bluebells and
One for the garden.
                                   Avens, this is a very pretty little plant so often overlooked.
Early Purple Orchid.

                            Early Purple Orchids bloom alongside the Violets,
Wild Arum, Cuckoo pint, Lords and Ladys, etc..
                         and the wild Arum ( Arum maculatum) is now giving a good display.
 Garlic mustard, white flowers, and Hedge mustard, yellow flowers, adorn the hedgerows. The only thing missing are Wood Anemones and Garlic Ransoms they don't seem to grow in our nearby woods.
A local wood, just down the road from us.
                                               It is a colourful time of year.


  1. The bluebells are just lovely. Heading down to Derreen Woods today to see them. Goslings are lovely too. Apparently they make good watchdogs. I agree with you about the Mink, demons. Animal rights people freed them years ago in Donegal. Silly thing to do. We lost so much fowl to them buggers. That's what put us off keeping hens. So heartbreaking to go out and see all your critters dead. I was told by a guy in Arigna that the way to catch them is get a long piece of wavin pipe and half bury it in the ground at a slant. Put a smelly fish in the bottom and the mink will go in after it. He won't be able to get out because the sides of the pipe will be too slippy for him. You then dispatch him. Like you I'm not in favour of killing wild creatures but I make an exception for mink.

  2. The down pipe idea was what I always recommended when I was running poultry keeping courses and it does work but you normally only know you have a mink problem after an attack.
    Unfortunately we did lose Tweedle Dee, I thought it was going to be OK, but it went downhill late last night, so we have just the two, I will have try to find a third one, two geese is not a good number, Thanks for the loan of the rescue remedy, will return it next week.

  3. You mink was eventually PM's by our mutual friend, Charlotte H and was not, in fact pregnant. Sorry to hear about the 3rd gosling but as discussed, we may be able to help there.

    1. Keeping our fingers crossed that you have a good hatch as we have just Tweedle Dee left, the two that were attacked by the cats just failed to make it, have out a Hubbard in with Tweedle Dee as it was so lonely.

  4. I am sorry about Tweedle Dee, they are so cute. Minks are a problem here in the states too. I still have the chicks and Mom in the house. I have lost too many chicks. In a couple of weeks they will be big enough to go into a larger coop. Keeping them protected at their size will protect them from snakes. The Bluebells are beautiful. Glad you got the mink.

    1. We lost two of the three because of the cats, the remaining one is safe and we have given it a twelve day old chick for company, hopefully Matt will have some spare gooslings in a few days.

  5. What lovely pictures and cute goslings. So sorry to read the comments and hear you lost two. Hope you get those spare ones. I remember the last time I visited you in Galicia and you had a confused goose who spent most of it's time with a hen!! Made more amusing by the fact the hen thought she was a cat!

    Like the comment under the mink! Well done Simon on catching it. Flowers are beautiful. Love those bluebells, they look magic, x