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The first of the geese are hatched! When I went out Wednesday morning, April 11, there was one cute little goose lying in the nest with 10 eggs. By yesterday afternoon there were 8 goslings--7 little gray girls and one yellow boy. (We have Pilgrim geese, which are sex linked--meaning that the sexes are different colors so you can tell sex from the time they hatch. The girls are gray with brown eyes; the boys are yellow with blue eyes.) They were typical little ones-- jumping out of the nest and into the water bowl, running around and driving their distracted mother crazy. She was still trying to hatch out the last three eggs. By this morning she had given in to the needs of the 8 little hatchlings and moved off the nest. Our 11 ganders who have been whiling away the time in a great bachelor party all jumped in like proud fathers, each one boasting about how much his little ones could do. Our domestic geese always surprise me because the fathers don't seem to care if the babies are theirs or not--babies are babies and they claim them. This morning the proud mama (with about 5 fathers) took her babies out of their enclosure and walked around to show them off to every other mother. (Remember from a previous blog: there were 9 goose nests.) At first I thought Mmma was just showing off, trying to make the other geese jealous, but then I realized she was introducing her babies to the rest of the gaggle. After the introductions she took them down to the pond and coaxed them in. I was frantic because the pond has steep sides and I couldn't see how they could get out again--but they did. She walked them around in the shallow water to the place where a little stream runs in and then she and the fathers brought the babies out, sometimes by carrying them on their backs. When we left they were all up by the barn resting in the sun. It is a good thing I am at the store, because if I weren't, I would be at home frantically watching and worrying about those baby geese ALL DAY! (Hmmm, I will be worried about them all day! I worried about them all night last night, especially after we saw a giant o'possum trying to raid nests before we went to bed.)