The Goose that laid


Goose egg

My geese have begun laying – in fact this is my very first goose egg of 2015.  I knew laying would start quite soon, as my girls went quiet and slow, giving much attention to their underparts and being rather secretive.

A goose egg

In my little ‘Guide to Keeping Geese’ it says that geese traditionally start laying on Valentine’s Day. Realistically it is anytime from mid winter to mid summer, depending on the weather.   Mine usually lay early in the morning, (producing an egg every other day), sometimes staying on the nest until lunchtime – as if to rest after the ordeal!  They are excellent scrambled (the eggs that is) or made into an omelette, for baking and they make the creamiest custard ever.

Geese have been domesticated since ancient times, being kept for their meat, eggs and down feathers. There is archaeological evidence for domestic geese in Egypt more than 4000 years ago.  My three do a very useful job of keeping the grass mown at the workshop, they’re beguiling, characterful and thus, very good company.  It doesn’t surprise that they feature in many a legend and myth.  It is wonderful to think of Aphrodite coming ashore to be welcomed by the (Roman) ‘Graces’, whose chariot was drawn by geese and we all know the Mother Goose tales and the warning Goose that laid the Golden Egg.

Board game of Golden Goose

A coloured engraving from 1848 – a large goose, with three golden eggs and numbered circles printed on her body for playing a game with counters – Wellcome Library, London

And this is the Golden Goose – Laurie’s new and entertaining game. It seems rather complicated – played with a pair of dice, any number of people can join in, and the aim seems to be to get round the goose to exactly finish on number 63.  Apparently if you land on a goose, your throw is doubled and you progress more quickly.  There’s also something about paying a stake if you land on things like the ale-house, well, or maze.  If you’re overtaken by another player, you must go back to their place, and then both pay a stake!  Does sound entertaining, if rather difficult to win.

Fancy a game?

Perhaps after I’ve done justice to my egg gift.





  1. Comment by countrysidetales:

    That is a beautiful egg- it could, at a pinch, be one of your sculptures. By extraordinary coincidence, I had a dream I was back with our geese a couple of night’s ago and they had just started laying too! Hope you enjoyed the egg, whichever way you chose to cook it x

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      I’m getting quite a bowl full of eggs now – how lovely to be dreaming of geese, were they pets? Scrambled on fresh baked wholemeal bread, and simply scrummy.

  2. Comment by countrysidetales:

    They were part pet/ part guard geese on the farm where I grew up. We raised a batch of goslings in the bath one year, adorable!

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      Goslings are utterly adorable. I now have a picture of you all in the bath sploshing together! One of mine (Yan) is the gosling from another (Clarice) – I lost my Gander (Beaky) old age. Got another gander (GG – standing for grey goose, my others are white) who turned out to be a goose and is now laying.

  3. Comment by Ellen Abbott:

    never had a goose egg. ate a duck egg once which made me throw up. the egg wasn’t spoiled but my stomach said ‘no thank you’.

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      They’re delicious Ellen – well actually just very much like hen eggs, but you get more. I think duck eggs by comparison are a strong and gamey flavour. Somehow because it is a home grown, organic meal it feels so wholesome and extra special as it came from my lovely geese.

  4. Comment by countrysidetales:

    Our first gander (greylag, like the girls,) was a lovely boy. He’d defend his ladies but as long as you were careful around him and he knew you he was fine. The second was a vicious thug whom you could only go near with a big stick, just in case. Even so he managed to grab my sister’s top lip when she was nine and hung on leaving her with a scar. He was the reason we hatched the babes in the bath- a second lady went broody and he chose to parent the first batch and therefore attack the second. All 5 hatched in the airing cupboard and immediately imprinted on us. They were eventually successfully attached to a wonderful goose called Rain who was made to be a mummy and she took care of them. I must record this on my blog- thank you for the nudge to do so :o)

    • Reply by Jennifer:

      They do take looking after their ladies very seriously don’t they. I know a beak can inflict serious injury. Geese are just so full of character, I love hearing their stories and look forward to yours more fully.

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