Thursday, March 24, 2011

All About the Benjamin?

Yesterday, Benjamin (Pilgrim gander #2) arrived.  He's the replacement for the poor little guy who didn't make it with the first shipment last week.  Benjamin arrived healthy, beautiful, and raring to go.  He's gigantic, too.  I am very pleased with him.

With Benjamin came a "companion" duck, though once I saw the size of him, I didn't see how he could have been much help in the body heat department.  He gives the word runt new meaning.  But all lives are precious here, and I never look a gift duck in the mouth.  I am very glad to have him.  I put he and Benjamin in with the other goslings (because, though he is a duck, he is WAY behind the girls and would stand no chance with them) and got a good look at everyone.  Next to the goslings, Mr. Duck looks like a cottonball with a beak.

Maybell in foreground, Caroline slightly out of frame, Benjamin in the back, and I think you can tell which one is the duck.

Benjamin and his duck "friend"
The little guys moved in right away.  Benjamin is wobbly, but he's only a couple of days old.  He is very affectionate and sweet.  The girls put him in his place a bit, but they put Oliver in his place too, so that's not out of the ordinary.  I find it funny that the girls seem more dominant in this breed than others.  With Ferdi and Ginger (American Buffs) he was always the one in charge, though he was mellow about it.  There is a pecking order with geese and ducks just like chickens, but with geese at least, it's not a particularly harsh one.  A little bit of nipping, and everyone knows where they go.  They've not ever drawn blood, and it never gets ugly.  I guess it's equivalent to a slap on the wrist.

The duck was not wobbly at all. In fact, he decided right away to show his "dominance", and proceeded to nip everyone in the beak to prove how manly he was.  It would have been effective, save for the fact that he had to jump up to reach them.  It was the smallest guy on the playground taking on the biggest.  Pugnacious little bugger.

Caroline doesn't trust the camera.  Cottonball boy is thinking about taking her on.
For quite a while, they just let him do what he was doing.  I don't think that the goslings really knew what to make of him.  But like all things, they got really tired of his shenanigans, and started fighting back.  That made the little guy sad.  He stood apart for quite a while and looked depressed.  I let nature take it's course, and today I saw that though the goslings were not including him in their sleepy huddle, they weren't excluding him, either.  He managed to butt in and get to the back of the pile, and no one chased him away.  Could this work after all?  Only time will tell, but I don't see why not.

In the meantime, I am very happy to have the two pairs of Pilgrims.  I have waited a long time for them, and I love them already. The three from last week are growing like weeds and are more than two handfuls a piece in size.  They are sweet and affectionate and not skitzy at all, which is a pleasure.  But see?  I am showing my goose weakness--I can't help it.  I enjoy the ducks, too.  Though they don't love when I come over to pick them up and check them out, they are the nosiest girls imaginable, and I always have to go say hello, or they get hurt feelings. 

Nosy?  Us?
They are all in their awkward teenager phase right now--the same phase all fowl go through.  1/3 feathers, 1/3 down, 1/3 baby fluff.  So odd looking, they're completely adorable.  

Sigh.  It's a good year.   
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