Monday, 4 April 2016

Goose Gone

Russell

There are times when I miss that old pirate The Red Faced Welsh Farmer
He was always cheerfully there when I needed support at the more unpalatable aspects of keeping animals.
He once left his tea warming under a plate on top of the aga when I needed someone to dispatch the sexually amorous Boris when he went off his feet ( for those that don't remember Boris was my first turkey who had stalker  " issues" ) and when I needed a friend to teach me to cull a particularly aggressive drake in the duckhouse , he was there with a Long John Silver " arrrrhhhhhhhhh"  and a murderous look in his eye!
Alas, he is no longer around to help a somewhat ineffectual wildfowl keeper.

Today I needed to cull an old gander. His name was Russell and he was totally off his feet and unable to walk. He was lame when he arrived several years ago now, and his arrival was a product of a conversation I had with two visitors to the new graveyard.
They had hoped I would agree to take him..........which was lucky as he was sat in the back of their car, strapped untidily into an old sports bag!

But now, the old guy has gone " light" and a totally disabled gander is not fair to keep, so I separated him from the girls and led them slowly  away to the upper field to feed on cheap processed bread.
Russell was light and quiet  as a hen when I lifted him up to walk to a secluded spot down by the old pig pen. It was sunny and bright this afternoon.
And as we went the three anxious female geese stretched their necks through the wire fencing and honked a loud and rather worried chorus as we disappeared from view.

The three female geese 

50 comments:

  1. I know you have to be cruel to be kind but I couldn't do it. I hope his exit was a quick one. x

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  2. Poor Russell, Kind of you to end what could have been a painful end.

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  3. It takes a lot of courage to help a creature at the end of its time. I hope your day is much better after a sad beginning.

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    1. The walking dead finale is on in one hour! X a

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  4. And by this we grow as adults, take care and keep caring.

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  5. I feel the same today...one of my cat's I rescued in 2005 has stopped eating, is very thin and vacant look in his eyes. I have called the vet who agrees with me that he is probably on his way out. I am keeping him on the back porch as I don't want him going out into the timber to die. I want to be able to bury him and "know" when the end comes. Selfish?

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    1. No linda..let him hide away under the bed.......you'll know where to find him x

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  6. All that matters is that it's still not easy for you. If it were easy, then you'd have a real problem.

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  7. I admire your ability to do the right thing by Russell, and bravo to you for rescuing him in the first place. (One wonders what his original owners had in mind when he was first loaded into the car.)

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    1. His owners didnt know much about geese and had another gander who bullied russell terribly, they visited him many times since he came to me

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  8. Keeping and tending to animals requires us to think about endings as well as the beginnings and middle parts. And sometimes doing something about it. It's hard but it's part of the whole. And I do think that animals have a sense of what death is.

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    1. They hide away so many times dont they?

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  9. It takes a lot of courage to do what one has to do, but I think that if one loves animals enough, and you do, then one can dig deep inside one's self to do what is necessary. It's not everyone who can do this, only special people. Vx

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    1. I was taught well vera.....but i do hate to do it, just like you do

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  10. You are a strong gentle man.

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  11. So sorry, John. That is a tough thing. You helped Russell through a difficult time and you had the compassion to do the right thing for him in the end.

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  12. It can be hard caring for these creatures...you do it so well

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  13. Bless you for doing what was necessary, there was a time when I was very young that I could have done this, it happened on our small holding as a matter of fact, no-one took any pleasure from it, but there was no alternative. The only creature that I have ever killed was a poor rabbit I found in a dreadful state with the Mixi when I was in my early teens. Some 50+ years later I would really struggle, I was never called upon to deal with the poultry though thank goodness, but I would have had caring instructors if necessary.

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  14. Sadly it's something that we all have to face if we keep poultry of any description. Lovely Hubby usually deals the fatal blow/wring/shot, I'm totally lightweight. But saying that I would if I had to end suffering.

    We used to have an enormous New Hampshire Red cockerel that had always been lame in one leg, when he hurt the other one we had no option but to despatch him, it was a tussle and a half for LH and he came back from the barn white faced, instead of the pot the bird went across the farm to be badger food as he couldn't bring himself to eat him.

    At the moment I'm busy trying to catch a Pekin Bantam who needs her last antibiotic shot to clear up an eye infection, but as it's the last injection she's feeling well enough to make her pretty uncatchable. Oh well once she settle's for the night I'll be able to grab her !!

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    1. Its frustrating that animals can be so difficult the moment you need to help the sue eh?

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  15. Russell needed your help more this day than ever. Giving suffering creatures a quick end is a final thank you to them for sharing and enriching our lives. Anything else would be dismissive of all they brought to us.

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  16. I so agree with Dianne. Russell needed your help more than ever today. He had a wonderful life with you.

    cheers, parsnip

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  17. Perhaps you should pop down to the nearest residential home for the elderly and offer to do a bit of culling there. Will you be eating Russell? Here's a helpful link:-
    http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/8764/classic-roast-goose-with-cider-gravy

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    1. He'd gone light, which is a sign in birds of some disease process.....not much meat on him yp

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  18. I can't add anything to what other people have already said, except another voice saying "You're a good man, John."

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  19. I don't know that I could do it. I have taken cats to be euthanized by the vet, and held them as they died, but I don't know that I could do this ... it takes a different courage. Bless those who have it.

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  20. Awww, sorry mate. But it would have been worse to watch him suffer.

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  21. Always the downside of keeping any domestic animals John. But I always remind myself that there are a lot of humans out there who would very much like the same fate. Why is it that we let humans suffer when we have the sense to put sick animals out of their misery.

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    1. When you want me to break your neck when you are older..just call me...i'll leave you out for the badgers to eat too

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    2. Could I persuade you to perform that service for me as well?

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  22. When Colette was dying of old age I fed her spoon after spoon while cuddled in my lap. She looked at me one night while sitting on the stairs and we both knew and so I just told her how much I loved her, what a friend and loving creature she had been and how grateful I was to have her as my familiar and companion. The following morning she was dead so I wrapped her in a fine linen sheet I had since I was a child and my late husband, who adored her, buried her among the roses and rhododendron where she used to sit and watch the hummingbirds eat. I could not have kill her is my life depended on it, but I have unending admiration for those who can put aside their own feelings for a moment to take into consideration those of a creature in pain.

    Far better people are they that what I consider myself to be. Not envy here for your courage, just gratitude for what you did today.

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    1. He was a sweet bird, very good natured for a goose! Thank you for sharing those memories

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  23. You're a compassionate caregiver to people and your beasties alike. It's never easy but you have to do the "not so pleasant stuff" sometimes too. All part of it, isn't it?

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  24. It's always difficult to make that final decision for a much loved animal, we've done it twice, We've had two dogs die naturally, which is easier on our consciences, but still a terrible shock when we found them.
    You did the right thing for Russell, John, and he wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

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  25. The right things are not always the easiest to do. Commendable that you stood up to the plate and gave the old fella quick release instead of suffering. Seeing things as they are and dealing with them appropriately and with dignity. If you have a relationship with your animals it is to be expected that we always do our best for them in life and to pass yonder.

    Pattypan

    x

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  26. I had a cat who hid for three days before I found him and the vet wired his shattered leg back together. He had another ten years ahead of him. Dear old Russell; he'd used up all his living.

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  27. Farewell, Russell. He got a few years extension on the good life thanks to you and that's the important thing.

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  28. Oh Russell , I didn't even know you but I am weeping because you are gone.
    God bless Russell.

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  29. you gave him a kind and gentle passing, more than most people get,, bless you for that,

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  30. You ended this story beautifully, John.

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  31. You are a kind man.

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  32. Thank you. Somedays the right thing to do is so very hard.

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  33. Sad thing about keeping animals is when they get sick and you have to help them. Thankfully you know a quick way to despatch a poor old gander .

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  34. Aw, good on you John, I'm sure that it was with a heavy heart that you said goodbye to Russell, you did the best for him that you could by taking him in a few years ago, the girls are going to miss him.

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  35. Always sad, but these things need to be done. RIP.

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  36. Adding my voice to the chorus here John...x

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  37. I have learned in my years reading your blog what a kind and loving person you are (or you really have me fooled) and I admire you for being able to not shy away from the most difficult parts of animal husbandry. I couldn't do it. (I also couldn't deal with regularly cleaning shit off doors).

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