With spring blossoming in Utah, the birds, like the rest of nature, are busy with the business of procreation. For our backyard flock, that means the ganders crush our lone goose with their insatiable instinctual affection and the drake mounts his hens. In one respect, that was somewhat problematic for us. As I mentioned in a previous blog, we recently learned that the Protester carried dirty genes.
A couple weeks ago, Katherine and I made a tough decision: we slaughtered the Protester. Not only were his American Buff genes soiled with those of Chinese geese, he was also, to put it bluntly, a jerk. He viciously attacked anyone who entered the backyard, and while I can understand a gander’s diligent protection of his goose, his aggressiveness was unbearable. He bit and bruised Katherine’s mother and one of my bosses the one time she stopped by.
From a breeding standpoint, we didn’t want the Protester’s aggressiveness to be expressed in the next generation of our geese. So, I chopped his head off. As the blood and life drained from his body, I felt the usual pang of having killed an animal. “Did we do the right thing?” I asked Katherine. For much of his life, the Protester was the favorite of our waterfowl flock. He was also the loudest. Katherine looked up at me from the Protester’s liefless carcass and said with a sigh of relief, “I’m really glad we did this.”
This Saturday, the Protester will feature as the centerpiece of our spring feast, which we’re calling the Bite of Spring (points to any readers who catch the artistic reference there). Meanwhile, the remaining gander and the goose are doing their duty – constantly – and the hen ducks are earning a reputation as prolific egg producers. We’re still waiting for one of them to go broody on the copious clutch of eggs sitting in their nest. Here’s hoping we’ll have some little peepers cheeping in the backyard as the calendars turn to April – already – and spring fully matures.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
We still need names for our gander and goose, and we’d love some suggestions from our readers. Katherine and I think Bogart and Bacall might fit. What do you think???