Thursday, December 07, 2006

Wing clipping – Part 2. Back on 8th Sept, I told you how we’d clipped the outer wing feathers of our white geese as they were managing to fly for a few metres, the odd one thus finding itself outside the confines of the protective electric fencing and not then knowing what to do. We’d left the grey geese as they seemed too heavy to fly … until now!

If I could liken the white geese to the slim grace of an F16 fighter plane, then our grey ones would be the four-engined B52 bombers of the avian airforce, which seem too heavy to ever get airborne and yet, defying all intuition and aerodynamic logic, they finally lift off, in black clouds of exhaust, at the very end of the runway. Our geese often have a “funny five minutes” for reasons known only to themselves and the famous animal behaviouralist who specialised in geese, Konrad Lorenz. When we come to put them away in the evening, once out of their enclosure, they often race off up the field with lots of flapping of wings and equal amount of noise, then stop and return to us in similar fashion. They also do this in their enclosure, doing it across the diagonal for extra distance. Like the aforementioned B52s, our grey geese were getting airborne and, after three occasions of finding a grey goose (the same goose, marked out from the others by a quiff on its head) on the outside of the fence in the same week, it was time to take action.

As we knew what we were doing now, the clipping took place in double-quick time and the whole lot were together on the field in less than ten minutes. They still have their funny-five-minutes of racing about and screaming but without leaving the floor!