Staying Safe: Geese

By all accounts I’ve found, Geese are great guard animals. They understand the members of the homestead as part of their ‘flock’ and behave accordingly. I don’t really expect them to run down a coyote and I don’t need them to watch the front door from strangers, but I do think they’d prove handy with keeping the birds safe.

In one of my early posts, I mentioned the Great Raccoon Attacks of Twenty-Twelve. Those jerks were so ruthless; the idea of guard geese came up. It seemed like a lot of bird for my little yard but if it ever got that bad again, I might reconsider. And with land, well ho, bring’em on.

After some poking around, I think I favor the Chinese Goose. One of the last I thought I’d want (Sebastols are so curly and cute!) but they have a certain sensibility about them and the “good forager” aspect tickles my fancy. There is just no reason to invest in birds who aren’t invested in their own future.

chinese_geese

There’s also been a lot of talk about foie gras so the idea of geese have come up in more than one manner. I haven’t eaten foie gras, or even desired to. I am not sure if I would. But you should know this about me: I kind of want to make it all happen from scratch, likes and dislikes aside.

To date, this leads to a lot of sauerkraut being made and never eaten. I seriously just bought a second tome on fermentation that is fermenting out in my car. I don’t make sense. (However, this fermented mirepoix is amazing. I really did make it and really have cooked with it and it really didn’t kill us is good.)

Every goose has a liver, so these bitches can definitely become foie gras too. Word on the rue is that Toulouse geese are the ones to raise for eating. And when you look like this well, frankly I’m not surprised. I’ll support it but I won’t do it myself (care about and/or make foie gras), maybe we’ll throw a couple in.

toulousegeese

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Staying Safe, The Conundrum

I’ve never shot a gun. I think I’ve only held one once.
The attraction to try comes and goes. I want. Then I get nervous.

Either way. This beautiful dream farm of mine needs some heat.

Traditional choice: Dogs.

My dog is a lot of things, but not a Livestock Guard Dog. Rupert v Squirrel – Win. Rupert v Raccoon – Draw. Rupert v Coyote – Big Loss. Big, heart-wrenching loss.

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I totally believe in the power of LGDs. But I don’t think I am there yet. Dogs cost more money, either for the breed or the bills or what you feed them. Maybe after a stretch, maybe after some tragedy, it’ll be more worth it.

If a llama happened to fall into our lap, I’d put it to work. I hear they’ll straight-up kill a coyote. So, in lieu of a dog, a llama is probably a pretty good option for keeping my goats safe. But dog > llama in the all-around enjoyment measure. So, the jury’s out.

For the time being. I’ve got a great idea. Stay tuned.