Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sammy "the beak" Goosefino

A long time ago, when we first moved to Peebly Rd, I bought some goslings.  I knew nothing about geese, but that didn't stop me from getting them.  They were little and yellow and cute.    

Because these little goslings didn't have a mother they soon began to think that I was indeed their very own mother goose.  I let them follow me all over the place and would pull up blades of grass and feed them.  They were a lot of fun.  I got them a plastic kiddie pool and as they got older, we graduated to very large cattle trough that mickey buried in the ground so they could get into it.  Things were going along just fine.  They grew and grew and loved living here.  I learned they were Toulouse geese.

A tufted Toulouse is a breed of domesticated goose originating near Toulouse, France. The original grey coloured breed is a very old one and the name has been recorded back as far as 1555. The breed was first brought to the United Kingdom by Lord Derby in 1840, who imported some of them to England, and from then onwards the French Toulouse were used as breeding stock with the consequence that by 1894, English breeders had produced a massive bird. The 'Toulouse' in France, although kept in greater numbers, have never quite equaled such weights.
The bird generally has a placid disposition, with the consequence that it doesn't thrive in flocks of mixed breeds. More aggressive geese will greatly distress the Toulouse, putting it off mating and sometimes resulting in its losing out at the feeding trough. These are very domesticated birds, easily bewildered by more active breeds. They do not need a pond. However, being waterfowl, they love bathing and playing in water and will also mate in water. They are not great wanderers, preferring to stay close to home, making them ideal for a large garden or orchard, where they will thrive. Interestingly, individual geese vary, and others thrive in mixed flocks and become severely aggressive, biting and hissing, while others are placid and prefer to follow around smaller ducks as opposed to other geese.
The Toulouse is the breed most used for the production of foie gras. The breed is a moderately good layer of eggs, producing as well as most other goose breeds. They rarely have problems producing fertile eggs, although problems can occur during severe weather in the winter and spring, as is the case with most breeds. An average Toulouse lays 20-40 eggs per year.[2] These birds are generally not good sitters.
All this from Wikipedia.

So as I was saying,  things were going along quite well...Then some stray dogs came onto the property and we lost all but one of our geese.  Our female, Daisy.  It was very sad.  Before this happened she had laid some eggs down in the barn.  After the tragedy, she sat on the eggs and we waited and waited.  She was all alone.  Time passed and still the eggs didn't hatch.  I felt very bad for her.  I just knew those eggs were never going to hatch. SO.  I had an idea.
I went to the farm store to buy some goslings.  My plan was to plant these little birds in the nest and  Daisy the lonely goose would come back and alas there they would be.  It was a perfect plan! 
So while at the store, I found him.  Sammy.  Here was this little bitty gosling that was born with a crooked beak.  How in the world this happened I don't know.  But I felt that no one was going to buy this poor little guy and he would surely die as he was unable to eat it seemed. 

So Sammy the beak came home to live on Peebly. 
When I got home that day with Sammy and a few others, I went directly down to the barn.  I tried to distract Daisy and put the goslings into the nest and take out the non hatching eggs but in doing so I realized that something was happening!  Her eggs were hatching!!!  Oh brother!  So here we had one confused goose!  She didn't really take to these little birds that were not her own and especially now that she had a job to do with all these eggs  hatching..Sigh..I guess thats why they say to let nature take its course..
In short, it all worked out.  Some of the eggs never did hatch out but we sure had our share of geese then at this point.
Sammy lived out his days here on Peebly.   I kept his food in a bowl that was deep so he could bury his beak down into it an scoop it up.  He tilted his head to the side to eat grass.  He found his own way of eating food and drinking water. The only problem he really had was getting his tongue sunburned in the summer, without that top beak protecting it. He was a sweet little guy and I was happy with the choice of bringing him home.  I think he liked it here too. 
Sammy got sick and passed on one winter, but we will never forget him.

Have you ever had an unusual pet?

Tell me.



  1. Poor Sammy the beak. He had a hard life, but a good life thanks to you.
    The only strange critter I have had was a pony that thought he was a dog.

  2. What a really wonderful story! I love it. I had a guinea pig named Bob (odd no?). I was in college and someone's roomate had this guinea pig they didn't want anymore...they were going to set it "free" on campus. Well, we all know a guinea pig is not native to Colorado so I agreed to take said pig.

    His cage was tiny and filled with inches of poop and dirty litter. He couldn't even turn around.

    I put him in a giant aquarium with clean litter and named him Bob.

    He immediately began jumping and squeaking and running around in his cage... I found out his favorite treat was a fresh carrot.. he was happily eat the carrot turning his little white face orange...

    And it came to be that when I said his name, he would squeal excitedly. Friends and family all tried to say his name to illicit a squeal and he always remained stony silent... only I could say his name for a squeal. He lived for years.

    He got sick one year, I nursed him along with baby food for awhile and there came a time when it was evident he wasn't going to make it.

    I called the vet to have him put down... I was sobbing as I entered the lobby of the vet office "I know he's only a guinea pig but he's MY guinea pig!"

    I got another pig 3 or 4 yrs after Bob.... but he was NEVER even remotely like Bob. I gave him away to a friend who wanted him.

    He is thought of very fondly and I believe there will never be such a very cool and loved penny gig as my penny gig Bob. (yes, penny gig) grin.

  3. I'm so glad you found Sammy and gave him a good life.