In the Goose Yard
A couple of weeks ago, I could tell that Golly, the gander (male) goose, was starting to hiss a little more than "normal". Then, I noticed on a homesteading FB page that someone said they had goose eggs for sale!
I dug out our goose nest boxes. I had Logan make these about 3 years ago! Finally time to put them to use! I filled them with straw and put them into the run. I was not sure if I should put them in the run or in their little goose coop. BUT, we don't want to have any baby geese this year. I had read that you should not let them sit on the eggs the first year. Just like other poultry, they lay pullet (smaller) eggs when they first begin to lay. You don't want to have these smaller eggs develop chicks because the goslings will then me smaller and less likely to thrive. Therefore, we want to collect and eat all the goose eggs this year and I thought it would be easier to collect the eggs with the nest boxes in the run area. I tucked them in under an apple tree.
After putting the nest boxes out, I filled them with straw. Nothing seemed to happen at first and then I noticed that the ladies had built up the sides and made a nice little nest inside the nest box. There are no bottoms to the nest boxes so they rest on the ground which should be more forgiving once a heavy goose is sitting on eggs. I kept checking and then finally, I saw a small bit of white in one of the boxes! Sure enough…it was a goose egg!
|The first goose egg!|
Now, letting the geese out in the morning has been pretty interesting lately because they try to come right at me! I make sure to have all the feed and water ready and then I lower the ramp and run to get over the fence. They really come out honking!
Surprisingly, they go to bed pretty well but once they get up in the coop, you better get that ramp back up quickly because Golly turns around and comes charging! One night when I was putting them to bed, I noticed a big mound of straw in the coop. It seems that they have made a nest in their coop too! I had to leave for a short trip so the next day, Henry distracted the geese while Joshua went into the coop and found another egg!
So…what can you do with a goose egg? You eat it! One goose egg is the same as 3 chicken eggs or 2 duck eggs! I have read that they taste more “eggy” and am can be baked or cooked the same as chicken/duck eggs. Goose eggs are richer, fattier and heavier than chicken eggs and will have nice dark yellow yolks. Geese are herbivores so they only eat plants. Also, the yolk to white ratio is 1:1 which means that there is lots of yolk! Goose eggs really shine in custards or homemade egg noodles!
Lastly, the shell is much thicker and you are really going to have to whack it to crack it! If you are careful enough to blow the contacts out, goose eggs are great for crafting!
Most geese just lay in the spring (I think there is one breed that also lays in the fall) and will lay between 20-40 eggs depending on the breed. Geese lay white eggs and they hide them by putting straw on top of them.