One day my goose Polly honked at me through the back door. She climbed right up the stairs to the mudroom door and honked loudly until I finally went to see her. Then she hopped down and began to walk away! She did this many times.
On this particular day I was cold and I looked out the window to see what was up…
She must have heard my footfalls on the wooden planks as I walked over to the window because when I looked out this is what I saw.
She looked at me as if to say: “Well, I’m waiting, com’on out will ya, I got something to say!”
Well, when she put it that way, I donned my Crazy Chicken Lady attire and went out to see what she wanted.
Seeing me she quickly turned and waddled to the gate by the barn and began to rub herself back and forth along the gate.
She reminded me of the prisoners who rattle their cups along the bars in the old movies. This was a signal I immediately recognized, and so I opened the gate for her.
Quickly she continued on
Waddling as fast as those little flappy feet would take her.
They are quite fast this morning because she is a goose on a mission!
Polly wants to lay an egg!
Looking about in the sleeping nest she moves a bit of straw around and then honks at me again: “Meh! I can’t lay an egg in here. It’s filthy!” Which is putting it politely…
Geese are not the cleanest of bed mates I am afraid.
I see her moving the straw again, and know what she wants. She wants a clean nest! She begins rubbing herself on the back of the kennel fence this time. (I use this fence to keep them out of the rest of the barn at night, because geese just LOVE to chew and dibble and will ruin even the toughest of items if you let them.)
I open the kennel fence and she goes over to the bales of straw. Clipping the twine allows a flake to fall to the floor and she immediately begins to tear it apart moving it and arranging it to her liking. While she works I put up a blockade to keep her out of the other side of the barn where she might get herself into trouble.
When I am done I leave and pull the kennel fence shut so the cats and other animals can’t get in to disturb her.
In about a half an hour I return to let her out, but whoopsie! She’s not done…
Laying an egg is strenuous work. She looks at me as if to say, “Hey, a little privacy here! Come back later!”
And a bit later…
There it is!
An interesting factoid for you: One goose egg is equal to three chicken’s eggs.
One goose egg will make any cake you bake the best you have ever eaten! Now don’t feel too bad that I am taking Polly’s eggs to make cake… You see, her eggs are not fertile this year, because I have no ganders. I thought I had a gander when I got the three baby Hueys, but it turns out they were all girls! (You can read all about the arrival of the Hueys HERE)
Oh, but never fear. I have new baby Pilgrim ganders arriving on April 30th, and next spring it will be as it should be!
Now, because she is done, and ready to go join her friends, I open the kennel fence and we walk back to the side of the yard where the rest of the geese are eating and swimming. They honk greetings all around and then continue their grazing.
Polly has been telling me when she needs to lay an egg for about a month now. Last week was the first time she came calling at the back door for me.
Strange, smart, amazing goose!
ADDENDUM: Because so many of you have remarked on Polly’s intelligence, I have added a link to a 2007 article from the Boston Globe entitled,
Eggheads: How bird brains are shaking up science <— Click
This article is on the intelligence of the avian species! They really are quite remarkable in their thinking and reasoning abilities. Far more than we have ever given them credit for.
So, from now on when someone calls you a “birdbrain” you may just take it as a compliment!