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The duck that thinks he’s a dog

A Stowmarket family have been looking after injured and young ducks for about five years. Angel, a white duck was the first duck they rescued and he is now part of the family. Left to right, Sophia, Dawn (mum) and Eden Rednall.

A Stowmarket family have been looking after injured and young ducks for about five years. Angel, a white duck was the first duck they rescued and he is now part of the family. Left to right, Sophia, Dawn (mum) and Eden Rednall.

A dog is said to be man’s best friend but one Suffolk duck is staking a claim for that title.

Angel the duck is no any ordinary bird – in fact he apparently thinks he is a dog.

The five-year-old was found by the Rednall family deserted by his mother and alone.

He was fed and nurtured but unlike the dozens of other ducks the Stowmarket-based family has rescued he refused to accept he was not a pet just like the cats and dogs he soon grew friendly with.

Now he even travels on family outings in the car.

Dawn Rednall and her three children, Sophia, Eden and Thomas have reared about 100 rescue ducks over the past five years.

“Angel was right at the bottom of our driveway, he was very stressed and he was running around calling out, he had lost his way,” Miss Rednall said.

A Stowmarket family have been looking after injured and young ducks for about five years. Angel, a white duck was the first duck they rescued and he is now part of the family

Stowmarket family have been looking after injured and young ducks for about five years. Angel, a white duck was the first duck they rescued and he is now part of the family

“We waited to see if his mother would come but she did not. He was going to be a meal for one of crows if we did not do something. We brought him back and he was the first duck we had so we had to learn quickly. Ducks need lots of attention and need to be looked after when they are young; it’s very hard work.

“He is very intelligent, I do not know if it’s because he has been with us since he was little. He goes into the car when we go to my dad’s for Sunday lunch. He jumps out and runs to the front door and he jumps over the threshold and greets my dad. He is a real character and has no fear of humans.”

Along with the four ducks the Rednalls look after they have two dogs, four cats, a parakeet and a rabbit.

Angel is so familiar with humans he recently visited 14-year-old’s Eden school so students could learn more about the bird.

Source: http://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/weird-wacky/stowmarket_the_suffolk_duck_that_thinks_he_s_a_dog_1_2195915

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Wall of death

Partially covered by shop trays, the body of a goose which was killed when it flew into the wall of The Sands apartments. Photo by Andrew Higgins 130408a    21/01/2013

More than 500 people have now signed petition forms demanding action to end Scarborough’s North Baywall of deathgeese carnage.

However, action has yet to be taken despite the building’s owner claiming in February that a solution was set to be brought in last month.

It follows a consultation with a leading ornithologist.

Since the launch of our Save the Geese campaign at the beginning of the year, petition forms have flooded in calling for urgent measures to prevent any more birds from slamming into the side of The Sands development.

Slips have been handed to the building’s managers, Escape 2 The Sands, which has handed them on to the owners, Benchmark, based in Stafford.

A spokesman for the management agent said: “Everything has been given to Benchmark, we are just waiting for a decision. The ball is in their court.

“They are concerned and they are looking at various options but haven’t made a decision yet which route to go down but they are getting professional advice.”

Canadian geese have been slamming into the pale-coloured end wall of The Sands apartments for more than three years, mistaking it for sky.

The birds break their necks and slump to the ground, leaving the blank end wall of Kepwick House peppered with large indentations.

When Geese Attack!

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In spring, there always seems to be lots of love in the air, as the natural world settles into the breeding season. For parenting creatures, danger lurks around every corner as predators sniff out the presence of tasty young prey. Defensive instincts are now at their height for all things in the middle of breeding, and for those people unlucky enough to fall foul of them, this is especially true of geese.

Goose attacks on humans have caused serious physical injury, such as broken bones, head injuries, and emotional distress, many occurring when the person tried to avoid an attack and tripped. When fed by people, geese lose their natural fear which often leads to more violent attacks during the spring nesting season, because they will begin nesting closer to areas that people frequent.

goose5The breeding instinct is among the strongest drives of animal behaviour. Geese usually start choosing mates and selecting a territory for nesting in late February to early March. The females lay eggs March to mid-May, and incubation begins as soon as all eggs are laid. The gander has the job, during the nesting season, of defending the female, the nesting territory and the eggs. If any intruder enters the territory, the gander will usually give a warning call before chasing it away. Some geese can be very aggressive and will only stop their attack when the intruder has left or the goose’s life is threatened.

Geese have excellent vision and seem to pay very close attention to the eyes and body language of humans and other animals. Coming across an aggressive goose can pass peacefully if you maintain direct eye contact while facing your body directly towards the attacking goose. Never turn your back or shoulders away, and never close or squint your eyes.

goose1If the goose approaches you aggressively, hissing or spreading its wings, you should slowly back away watching carefully for obstacles you could trip over. DO NOT, EVER yell, kick, or act hostile in any way. At the same time, never cower, hide your face, turn your back, or run. Over aggression may cause the female to join in, creating an even more aggressive attack from the male. If one flies up towards your face, then duck or move away at a 90 degree angle to the direction of flight, but be sure to keep facing the attacking goose.
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Remember that, scary as such an attack might seem to you, it really is a case of the birds doing what comes naturally. If you have kids that seem threatened somehow, you would risk life and limb to defend them. It is exactly the same for those geese when they set upon you, and though you may have no idea how close the nest is, rest assured it will be close by.

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In reality, the number of people suffering anything more than minor injuries each year is very small, but the trauma and indignity of such a savage onslaught by a normally harmless bird stays with the victim forever. The geese DO NOT want you to forget, so if you really want to avoid their anger, steer well clear of them in springtime.

Source: http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/news-savage-attacks-breeding-geese#5wIviIeLTCHJWGmr.99

Eggstraordinary!

Russian nesting dolls or matryoshka are based on the matryoshka principle like having a doll within a doll. Now a hen in Southern China is giving matryoshka a whole new meaning of nested.

There are fairy tales of hens laying golden eggs, but few if any about a hen laying three eggs, three eggs in one that is.  In a little village of Bijie in China’s Guizhou province, a super hen has laid five eggs of monstrous proportions.  And no, these were not goose eggs found in her nest.  Ms Yung said she thought he hen was dying when she laid her first jumbo egg that weighed almost half a pound.  “The first huge egg appeared about three weeks ago and there are four to five over sized eggs now”.  She said the hen’s eggs had double yolks before, but triplets?  “I’m more then 80 now, but I’ve never seen eggs like this before”.

One speculation is the fowls unique diet.  Miss Yung says the fowl doesn’t like to eat corn so she feeds it rice.  But whatever the reason, Miss Yung’s hen will go down in the chicken hall of fame for her eggstraordinary creations

Keeping Geese – Getting Started

So far we’ve been concentrating on everything to do with keeping chickens, but if you’re after a bird that is full of charm, character and can guard your house like a dog, then geese are the answer!  These wonderful creatures also make great pets and in the coming articles we’re going to look at everything you need to know about keeping them successfully.

Did you know?

Did you know that geese can live to be more than 20 years old, so is certainly something to consider when deciding on keeping them.  They are also sociable animals and like to have each others company, so you should be thinking of getting more than just one!

What do you need to start?

Just like keeping all types of poultry, geese need space to roam.  Geese are by nature, a free ranging breed, and need space to move around, so a large garden for a smallish flock is ideal.

Housing Your Geese

Just like any other pet, your geese need a safe, sheltered spot that they can retreat to at night and when they want some relief or protection from the sun, wind or rain.  A stable, shed or small building will provide suitable housing. If purpose-built, the house does not need to be huge, but should be at least 6ft high and 4ft at the back and give each goose at least a square meter of floor space.  An area of 8ft x 6ft will comfortably house 4-6 geese. A good wide door should be provided and most of the front should be wire mesh. The house should face away from the prevailing winter wind. A higher roof makes cleaning easier, as does a concrete or wooden floor. Sections partitioned off will encourage your geese to make their nests in a secure place, as well as preventing them from stealing each other’s eggs when sitting. Make sure the house is well ventilated and dry and that the floor is covered with a dry material such as sawdust or wood shavings, which you replace when necessary.  Straw makes the best bedding and needs to be changed regularly.

Feeding Geese

As geese eat grass and the insects that live in the grass, you’ll find that the small areas of you garden the geese graze will become messy and bare, and the geese will need to be moved onto a new grassy patch as time goes on.  Make sure the grass is kept relatively short; less than 4 inches high.  But grass isn’t their only food source and you’ll have to make sure they get the protein, vitamins and minerals they need in their diet too.  You can supplement the grass with a mixture of wheat and pellets, given dry in a bowl.  Geese will also happily eat vegetables such as cauliflower trimmings, carrots and potatoes, but you need make sure that these are more of a treat, rather than a staple part of the diet.  Like any bird, they will also need grit in their diet and you can provide this by supplying a dish containing coarse sand or mixed poultry grit.

Water

Of course water is vital!  If you have a pond (it must be clean) it will supply the geese with a consistent and fresh source of water.  Geese are a type of waterfowl, so will want to be able to play in water, doing things such as preening and dipping their heads.  Of course even if you don’t have one, they will need fresh water every day, which can be provided with special water hoppers.  How about a child’s paddling pool?  You’ll find the geese, like most waterfowl, are rather messy creatures, so will have to empty, scrub, and refill the water containers and tidy up their enclosure on a daily basis.

Don’t Forget to Check With Council

Finally, don’t forget to give your local council a call before you bring any geese home to see if there are any limits or restrictions on how many geese you can keep.  There are more likely to be restrictions in urban areas.

Free Range Chicken Farming

What Is Free Range Chicken Farming?

Free range chicken farming is the practice of having chickens that are raised mainly outside of pens and runs and only enter the coop at night. The chickens are allowed to roam free and forage for their food. You may also provide them with supplementary food in their feeders and water. Free range chicken farming can be done when raising backyard chickens. You don’t need lots of acreage.

What Are The Advantages Of Free Range Chicken Farming?

free range chicken farming

The advantages of free range chicken farming are numerous, one of which is that if you are selling the eggs or the chickens you will get a better price as people are willing to pay more for free ranged chickens and eggs. This is because the eggs and meat taste better, are healthier and are more nutritious with higher levels of nutrients and less fat. The cost of feed for free range chickens is less because the chickens will eat bugs and greenery when they are outside. You also don’t have to spend more getting them grit and rocks as they will find their own grit. Because their diet is so varied, they tend to produce more nutritious eggs.

free range chicken farming raising backyard chickens

Another advantage to free range chicken farming when raising backyard chickens is that chickens which are free ranged will weed and debug your yard because they prefer to eat weeds and bugs to store bought feeds. If you have a small garden and need manure, the chicken poop (guano) is an excellent manure source which will save you on additional costs. Free range chicken medical costs are cheaper especially if you decide to go with herbal and natural treatments for minor ailments such as lemongrass for detoxification, guava, chilies and garlic work as antibiotics and there are leaves that can be used as anti-mite and anti-parasitic medicines such as ipil-ipil leaves. You also don’t need to spend any more time cleaning up after them and the coop stays cleaner for longer.

Are There Disadvantages?

free range chicken farming raising backyard chickens

Free range chicken farming has its disadvantages however and you should take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to free range your chickens when raising backyard chickens. Free range chickens will often poop everywhere so if there are areas of your yard you may not want to get the chicken poop, you will have to find a way to block the chickens from those areas. Free range chickens will also tend to lay their eggs everywhere which can make it difficult to collect the eggs. The chickens may stray into neighboring homesteads and free range chicken farming makes them more prone to predators. The chickens also eat up the greenery so that some parts of your yard will be bare which can make your yard more unattractive.

Alternative Methods of Raising Free Range Chickens

One way to raise free range chickens without some of the disadvantages to free range chicken farming is to use paddocks or mobile pens, such as chicken tractors. These are a way to raise your chickens through a modified free range method while eliminating some of the problems such as poop everywhere, difficulty collecting the eggs, and lack of safety from predators. You can build a simple pen by using chicken mesh wire and making sure it is light for easy portability. Move it every so often so that the chickens have fresh grass to forage in and so they also don’t leave too much poop in one place.

Whether you go for the full or modified free ranging method for raising backyard chickens, free range chicken farming is an excellent way to ensure happy, healthy chickens with nutritious eggs and meat.

Sourcing:  http://www.backyardchickenkeeping.com/chickens/free-range-chicken-farming/