Goose Pail Tales: a goose’s gotta dibble

Living in an older home, on land that has been ranched, farmed and subdivided since the very early 18oos, leads to some interesting finds.

Digging for gardens, or even just the rainstorms we get, can bring many interesting items to the surface.  Pocket knives, old bottles and tools, items thrown into the burn pile that wouldn’t burn, and more.  There are tales of Indian arrowheads to be found everywhere here in Alabama, and that should not be surprising as this was once Native Amerindian land.  Though I confess, I have yet to find any of this valuable treasure here on the Farmlet.

What I do find, after the fact, are the items the rain loosens and brings up.  Things my geese will dibble up out of the soil, and like a Raccoon, will take to the water pail and wash.

To my chagrin, these items look dangerous and non-foodworthy.    For your interest, or not 😉 , here are some treasures my geese have collected so far this year…

Goose pail trashEach of these items were found at the end of the day when I dumped their water pails!

Row 1, L to R:  rusted clockwork; a 2 in. reflector;  a plastic soldier who’s seen some pretty serious action; an 8 in. plastic zip tie;  a small bit of white plastic; a hose washer; a strange, plastic, locking clip; and a rubberized covering for a tool tip.

Row 2, L to R:  An ancient bit of barbed wire; wire; a row of nails from 1 inch to 5 inches in length;  two bits of *twisted mystery metal; and an underwire from a rather large cupped bra, with plastic coating missing. Eaten?  😛

Row 3, L to R:  An eye screw with a bit of wire attached; a bolt with nut and washer rusted in place; an aluminum screw cap; a fuse from an automobile; a rather sharp piece of heavy gauge, cut aluminum; two miscellaneous bits of twisted, aluminum wire; and …

Row 4, L to R:  Various pieces of glass from broken windows and old glass bottles!  I find this everywhere on the property!  I don’t know why we’re all not missing toes!  Scary.

When I see the items the geese leave behind in their water, I often wonder how much of it I don’t see.  That is to say, how much is small enough to be EATEN!

When I prepare my chickens for the table I have seen bits of glass they swallowed whole, usually pea sized or smaller.  Thankfully, their crops and the rocks they swallow work the edges off the glass shards and apparently with no harm to the bird.  But then I have to wonder…

What have the geese swallowed?

I haven’t a clue.  I can only assume that if any items were swallowed, they  were nothing deleterious to their health!

It is going to rain again today and tomorrow


*INTERESTING:  I went looking for barbed wire history, and found this display:

Barbed wire 2(Available for sale HERE)

I may have a bit of antique Crandal ‘Champion’ ca. 1879, or Hodge ‘Spur Rowel’  (sp?) ca. 1887.  Neither of them collectible in their rusted state, but a fun find! 


Hm,  if I train them right, maybe they’ll find something really good and I’ll get rich!


39 thoughts on “Goose Pail Tales: a goose’s gotta dibble

  1. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Oh darn, you figured out the twisted bits on your own, LOL!
    And, I guess if you haven’t found it by now, you’re not going to; but, around here at least, the former privy hole or abandoned well used to be THE place to find a treasure-trove of similar bits to what your geese are dibbling up – all well-composted (punny, eh?: ) by now…
    Guess your eggs are a good source of iron as well? (Ha! Did it again; )

  2. victoriaaphotographyictoria says:

    I’ve heard that geese are bits of scavengers, but the thought that they might accidentally eat those small metal items is rather worrying. I hope their digestive tracts are strong.

    • Lynda says:

      Neither did I, Bulldog! I mean, I knew they dibbled in puddles and mud, but I didn’t think that they would find things and take them to their water pail!

  3. shoreacres says:

    Well, they clearly know not to eat what you’ve collected. Who knows? Maybe they wash it up nice and clean to see if it’s acceptable food. Once they figure out the answer is “no”, away they go.

    What’s most interesting to me is that you have all this stuff. I’d have tossed it. On the other hand, I have every bird’s nest I’ve ever found, so I guess we all have our little quirks. 😉

    I had to stop buying those little fur mice for Dixie Rose to play with. She likes to bite off their tail and eat it, then drown the mouse in her water dish. The vet said if I was going to give them to her – no more than one a week!

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, I didn’t actually start out to collect it. In the evening when I found the stuff I would put it into my *MCLR pocket and then toss it. Then one time I went out and there were actually about 6 or 7 nails in the bottom of the pail. That was surprising! I went to put them into my pocket and realized that I had several items from earlier in the week that I had neglected to toss. Thus began the idea for the post. I imagined that I would do the post sooner than this, but things got in the way and the items got more ‘interesting’ as the days went by. Of course, now that the post is written, the items are in the trash. Well, except for those odd bits of 1870’s barbed wire. 😉

      My cat eats his toys too. So, I don’t buy him toys anymore. Besides, he spends LOTS of time outdoors and finds his own ‘toys.’ GACK!

      *(Mad Chicken Lady Robe)

  4. SmallHouseBigGarden says:

    Holy Guacamole! that’s some insanely sharp stuff you got there!
    I know what you mean about finding stuff in the ground surrounding old houses. I’ve only lived in old ramshackley joints (before this house) and some really cool stuff found its way to the surface! Most impressive were old glass coke and pepsi bottles…like from the very first days of bottling! To this day I’ve carted those old relics along for each move, and use them as flower vases. 🙂
    In the rusty department, an entire set of old iron door hinges was unearthed…those I sold on ebay along with antique white schoolhouse
    ceiling fixture that had somehow been submerged in the dirt floor of our carriagehouse!
    You’ve brought back from long forgotten memories with this post! Yikes! sorry my comment got so long!

    • Lynda says:

      LB, No matter where we live I am certain there are many things underfoot that we just never see…

      Wanna know what is lurking under your lawn? Get a pet goose! Ha! They double as a good watch dog too! 😉

  5. Littlesundog says:

    Interesting post! All I ever find on the ground here are odd barn nails and glass shards. Although the other day I did find a strange envelope hanging in a barn window. I was hoping it was filled with money. It turned out to be a love letter from FD’s Grandmother to his Granddad in 1919. She lived in Philadelphia and he was in the military at the time. Grandmother was 17 years old and Granddad 21 years old. I decided to look into this further and discovered a whole box of letters and photographs on a rafter up above the window! Unfortunately, much of the content of the box was chewed up by mice or rats. I did find quite a few though, that were complete and not damaged. What a treasure!

    • Lynda says:

      A treasure indeed! I am sorry to hear about the rats. Bob’s parents used to store things in the rafters of the garage and up in the ‘attic.’ (Though not a true attic.) Anyway, the rats got into the attic and chewed up some real treasures, all of which had to be tossed. Then in the rafters of the garage was his father’s old bassinet! I was thrilled to find it and wanted to clean it up to bring inside, only to find that the heat there in Southern California had baked it to a crisp! Just touching it to bring it down caused it to fall into pieces! So sad.

      I guess it seemed like a good place for them (FD’s grandparents and Bob’s parents) to store those items when they thought of it. 😦

    • Lynda says:

      Well, Steve, usually they are excavating to find worms. I never knew they ate anything but greens until I got my first pair. What a surprise that was!

      And, now that you mention it, the word dibble is a noun. It is a tool used for making holes in the ground to plant bulbs and such. In my case I have used it as a verb to describe the action my geese perform in the lawns. I suppose, strictly speaking, that this is not legal, but then I am not the first person to ever do this. 😉

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