|Junior and Prince|
With geese, the ganders help care for the young. Since Prince no longer has a mate and there are no goslings around, he has turned his affections toward my guineas. From the moment I brought home four half-grown guineas last fall, he has taken a most paternal instinct toward them.
When they first arrived, I had to keep them in a cage inside the coop for a couple weeks before letting them free range -- otherwise they would try to "home" back to where they came from -- and Prince stood guard by the cage every night. When I finally did let them loose, he followed them around the yard. Junior went along, but it was primarily Prince who set the pace. And he made sure they went back in the coop, too. If they tried roosting in a tree, he stood at the bottom and raised a ruckus! By the time the first snow came, they were well trained to go inside.
The guineas turned out to be three males and a female. I really had no intention of breeding her, but she had other ideas. Her first nest she built too close to the road for comfort. Prince was having a fit because the road is his boundary and the males were going across it to my neighbor's yard. That's how I found the nest. I took the eggs before she started setting, hoping that would be the end of it.
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|Molly's well-hidden nest|
Prince stood by them outside the cage, often not even wanting to come outside the coop. When they were feathered out and big enough, I turned them loose -- and here you can see both ganders herding the flock around the yard!
|Prince herds the flock home toward evening, fall 1014.|
|Prince and Junior guarding the flock|
in the chicken yard, fall 2014.