I am noticing how hard it is it is so very important to keep yourself from crying in good spirits while slogging like a dog working. Farming is the biggest mental game I have ever had to endure play. The grass is not always greener somewhere else, as much as my mind would like to tell me that. Come rain, shine or Valentines the animals living beings at the farm have to eat.
Happy Valentines All!
Geese in East Malaysia are kept mainly as watchdogs, weed controllers, deterrents to snakes, as pets but rarely for their expensive meat. If they are kept for their meat then the breeding stock should be selected for their expected genetic ability to produce quick-growing, early-maturing goslings with compact meaty bodies. You don’t want to waste your time should only keep breeders that will be profitable are not too fat, select only healthy examples.
Keeping records will be very valuable when selecting for egg production either for the purpose of natural brooding or artificial means. From your records you will be able to select which should be slaughtered culled or sold off. From our records we have recorded an annual production of between 45 to 55 eggs from our Chinese Geese. Please make sure that your selected breeders are at least 1 year old before letting them do the wild thing mating. Geese can be kept for breeding until they are around 10 years of age, but male geese Ganders reach the limit of their fertility at around 6-8 years of age. The length of time breeders are kept depends on their libido performance. It may be necessary to replace birds after only four breeding seasons. With our Chinese Geese we use one male goose Gander to about five Geese.
Provide your Geese with swimming pool pond as they like prefer mating under in water. The swimming pool water is usually only necessary in the breeding season. It not improves the chances of a successful mating but helps in conditioning the geese and help keep them clean, which in turn helps to keep eggs clean.
Geese are choosy selective in choosing their mates and once successful matings have been established, will remain together for life. If the birds are allowed to select their mates, it is best to put more than the required number in a pen until the selections have been made. In the event of having to change mates, run the separated birds as far from each other as possible to prevent the birds fretting. Sometimes a male goose Gander will be a choosy fella not mate with one or two of the females, which mean fertility and the hatchability rate will be lowered.
If the male goose Gander shows equal love attention to all his mates then he is probably mating with them all. To test if the matings are successful, remove females from the gander one at a time to test his reaction. If he does not throw a hissing fit is contented and not concerned, then chances are he is not mating with that particular goose. If, however, the Gander appears that he wants to hiss you to death agitated then he is most probably mating with her.
Where it is desired to ‘force mate’ Geese, remove the male goose Gander from his ladies and add the new females to the ones he is already mating with, to enable all females to first accept each other. After a few days, reintroduce the male goose Gander to his ladies.
If flock matings are practiced, male geese Ganders will want to show who is boss may fight, but no serious damage will occur if they are evenly matched. Any continually subjected to bullying should be removed from the flock so too should Geese that wander around on their own as their eggs will be infertile. There will be less fighting if ganders selected for breeding have been reared together from young.
Because goose breeds will successfully do the wild thing mate with usually no more than three females plus being only seasonal breeders, you must consider the cost of maintaining a flock as it will be can be expensive when breeders eat you out of any profit consume a large amount of feed.
Overseas, AI techniques are now being used successfully. While AI naturally requires more additional work, it does do also mean that fewer male geese Ganders are needed in a flock, and semen and fertility can be easily evaluated. We know nuts have yet to experiment with any AI techniques hence are unable to provide any further information.
There are a number of breeds you can consider. Here in Sarawak we only have access to Chinese Geese. There are two colour varieties of this breed, the White Chinese and the Brown Chinese. Both originated in China and are smaller than the Toulouse or Emden (sometimes spelt as Embden). The Chinese is distinguishable from other geese by the knob or protuberance on its head.
Our breeding sheds are very cheapskate simple. A skillion roof provides shelter and we use large flower pots placed on the side for nesting boxes but it is essential that the yard be completely enclosed. For us it also avoids the Geese wandering about placing their shit ‘deposits’ everywhere on the concreted areas and also provides easier management when needing to catch them for examination.
A layer of wood shavings or padi husks on the floor will help maintain dry conditions. Geese tend to shit a lot foul their sleeping quarters, so damp and wet litter must be removed frequently, more so in tropical weather like ours. Yard size is determined by the amount of space available and the method of management and feeding. As a guide, a yard should allow each goose 2 m2 of ground space. The size of the yards will be governed to a large extent by the number of geese to each shed. Each breeding flock need not be confined to a separate shed and yard. Provide each shed with nest boxes, even though some geese will make their own nests in the litter on the floor.
I was looking at my crappy the disgraceful the old chicken house and was thinking back to my friends 5 star accommodation he just set up for his lucky chickens. I think mine are long long overdue need a better house.
We used to chat ever so often in the late evenings in between the fence, myself and Pak Sidi. Talk the usual mostly village gossip, who got married, who had a big fight, who had a baby, who sold what land to who, which of his relatives he hated, which he thought were worth his time, whose chickens got stolen, you know how some very old men ramble on. I never knew just how old the old fart was he was but he was a young man when the Japanese invaded Kuching. He laughed when telling me how he was whacked on the side of his head slapped for not bowing down to the Japanese soldiers as they passed by. I did not see the humor in that. Then one fine day he kicked the bucket and joined the underground movement passed on.
He and the missus lived in this simple hut for more than 5 decades. No electricity, no piped water, and only the last few years with a logging track main road to town, before that it was a 4 hour boat trip to town or a 3 hour trek over Gunung Serapi. to reach the main road. Talk about the simple life, living off the land with his goats and cattle which long gone (sheds were burnt down) before I met him. He told me he was just too old to bother except for his chickens, ducks and vegetable patch.
His small abandoned neglected plot of land is for sale. The son came and asked me if I was interested since we share a common border. I just might accept the offer because I sometimes do strange things just for sentimental reasons. I just regret never having taking a photo with him. And i am slightly cheesed off as the old fart he never bothered to say goodbye.
I always thought that setting up a ‘worm farm’ would be a simple exercise here in Kuching. Not only having a highly beneficial composting system with worms that would eat all most of the kitchen scraps turning them into a rich soil conditioner, it would also save me some sweat the effort in burying, not forgetting ‘saving’ and ‘recycling’ the overripe or squirrel damaged fruits on the farm?
The search to establish the worm farm started a few weeks ago and you would have never guessed how difficult it is to even source for someone locally who had some worms, worms with cool names too like African Night Crawler,Tiger Worms and Red Wrigglers. But the cost of the worms? Every answer for a price (all from the mainland, West Malaysia) came back with a shortness of breath pricing ranging from RM160 kilo to RM450 per kilo with minimum orders up to 500 kg? What am i going to do with that much? No wonder even home composting systems are not available here. I am absolutely dumbfounded BUT from the looks of it there is tremendous market potential.
A few months ago we started work on Paddock D. Today we tested it out with the latest batch of Jamnapari Doe’s from last June’s drop. Just to test out any weakness in the fencing. It looks very good so far.
I had to get 12 Ducks ready and dressed yesterday morning to fill up the very first orders for the Chinese New Year. Asking around, there was hardly any one who had the guts any experience with slaughtering Ducks (but all said they loved eating Duck!) as I really would have preferred someone else do it. The internet gave some suggestions like here which ranged from wringing their necks (basically breaking their necks) to lopping off the heads with an axe over a chopping block and running over their heads with the car!
Eventually I just held them down one by one by leaning using my left knee on them, head in left hand with the knife, a very sharp one, in the other. It was not easy feeling their eyelid’s flicker in your palm and struggle through the whole process. It felt all the more personal this time what with feeling the animal struggle and breath its last whilst you held on to it. I think i have slaughtered my first and last Duck’s.
We had to move the ducklings to a safer place this morning. Mama Duck was bringing them swimming to the pond every morning and evening. There has to be some big snakeheads in there but wondering where they came from in the first place as the pond were last stocked with Talapia. There were 14 and 3 days later there were only 9 left!
We wish you Happiness & Blessings for the New Year