Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Meet our adopted gosling, "Hercules"

This is Hercules.
Hercules was the last born of our 4 goslings. He also arrived a lot later (1 week) and as often happens (so I've read in the last 24 hours) the parents/flock often reject latecomers. And that's unfortunately what happened in this case.
After arriving to let the geese out in the morning and finding him all alone kicked out of the nest, we witnessed the geese lead their other charges out the door and throwing Hercules back in the pen each time he tried to follow. This was followed with a series of sharp pecks and when he was lying on his back struggling to get up, a stomp on the head which left him shaken and dazed. He wasn't being allowed access to food or water and with the beatings to top it off something had to be done. Kids were distraught watching it all and begged me to intervene.
I know some people would say that you should let nature run it's course, but I won't stand by and watch a perfectly healthy baby die when some help could save it.

So Hercules has been adopted by our family. He imprinted on us within 12 hours and thinks humans are great already. He chatters to us, calls out when he can't see us and is reassured by a call back or a pat, is eating and drinking well. He would be dead already if we hadn't intervened, and I'm hopeful he'll live. He seems strong and healthy so far.
In a couple of months we'll try to get him to join the flock - I've been reading that it can be done. Until then, we have a gorgeous gosling to entertain us with his cute antics and tug at our heartstrings. What a sweetie!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Support Species in a Food Forest

It has taken me a while to get my head around the concept of support species and how they work. All the diagrams in every Permie text I've read show cross-sections of a hypothetical Food Forest and I've always thought - "how do the larger support species not compete heavily for nutrients in the early phases when they are outgrowing the productive species (heightwise)?

I stumbled upon this video recently and suddenly it all clicked! I have now gone mad planting Tagasaste babies everywhere around my young fruit trees and filling out my forest.

Huzzah for Geoff Lawton!