Friday, 17 May 2013

Runty

Runty, the gosling who seemed to be recovering so well, suddenly deteriorated again on Wednesday night, and couldn't stand or walk, and this morning it unfortunately died. While goslings don't have personalities like dogs do and I don't get sentimental about them, this is incredibly frustrating, in part as it seemed to be doing so well for so long and went downhill so fast, and in another part because it was a rare breed and every individual is important to preserve the genetic diversity within the breed.
This leaves me with various quandaries. Fatty is now alone, and in need of an anserine companion, but as I strongly suspect that both Fatty and Runty have been affected by a contagious disease, acquiring another gosling carries the risk of Fatty infecting it as well, and Fatty could then die leaving exactly the same situation. Friday morning was spent driving to a specialist avian vet in Swindon with the dead goose, for a postmortem. I won't really know how to move forward on this until I get the results. Unless Fatty recovers properly and starts to thrive, there is not much point trying to keep it overwinter, and in this case it might be easier to leave any new attempt until next year and hope whatever caused this has gone from the environment by next spring. If Fatty does get better, it will be a case of overwintering it and trying to find another source of Toulouses in order to get it a mate. This will also be a case of us not having a roast for the winter...
I'm also back at square one with the West of England geese. To some degree this experience has put me off bringing in eggs from casual breeders, but on the other hand I do believe this is the best way to find unrelated stock, rather than relying on always buying goslings or eggs from bigger breeders. I will either need to find a goose and a gander from separate sources this year or try again next year with eggs.

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