Sunday 12 December 2021

The foxes and the geese

 Five years ago I planted a shelter belt of mainly broadleaves on the western boundary of the croft and have kept the grass under control with a mix of Roundup and strimming but I don't like using herbicide and strimming is hard work. So I thought , "geese can subsist on grass and two of them eat as much as a sheep but they don't eat trees." I ended up with six Embdens from three sources so  plenty of genetic variation.

I've a good fence with and electrified wire on top to deter the deer and the geese are big and noisy so perhaps this will keep the foxes away. I was wrong two geese were taken and the survivors were very upset and frightened but they found their own solution to the fox problem.

Every afternoon at about 3.30 pm they take off and fly down to the little tidal lagoon below the croft where if a fox comes along they can jump in the water and be relatively safe. Next morning  they fly back for breakfast; some  mixed grains followed by a day grazing. They have either worked out this strategy for themselves or it's instinct and they're behaving more like wild geese.

I really don't understand why so many people think foxes are cute and cuddly creatures, they are wanton killers. Fifty years ago when I was lambing in Glen Isla on my early daily round of the hill I found 12 dead lambs strewn about their heads missing, they'd been killed for fun, by a fox. The next night the estate gamekeeper sat up with a rifle waiting for the fox to come back for more fun.... end of  fox!

Another solution, the end of the goose killers. 

1 comment:

Michael said...

Here in Sheffield the foxes are wanton shoe stealers.

I left my smelling running trainers outside and one disappeared. Turned out a few neighbours also lost shoes. Finally, someone caught the fox on video, shoe in mouth.

Apparently young foxes like to play with shoes!