Josephine looking out the gate to the geese's enclosure.


I just liked the name.  It came down to a choice between Josephine and Sophia, and Josephine won.


Around early April 2005.  


China White (aka Chinese White).  China Browns and China Whites are not very large, but Josephine is unusually small.  She looks rather like a large duck.  Because of her size and the problem described in the Medical Conditions section below, we worried that she had some kind of genetic abnormality.  Since she's recovered, that appears not to be the case, thank goodness.  She's apparently just petite.

When Gabriel died in July of 2005, Lysander was once again left without a companion.  He does not do well alone, so the search for another goose began.  After a few phone calls, I found a gentleman in Green Valley (Arizona) who had a bunch of geese - and some other really cool animals as well.  I made the trip down there, selected Josephine, and she went home to meet her new mate.
Josephine is on the shy side and is not aggressive at all.  She would much rather not be handled, but on the occasions we've had to handle her she's never tried to bite.  As far as geese go, she's also fairly quiet.
She immediately accepted Lysander and rarely strayed more than a few feet from him during his lifetime. She also readily accepted Clyde after Lysander died. Oddly, some of Clyde's more assertive personality seems to have rubbed off on her. She now threatens the dogs through the fence on occasion - something she never did before - and occasionally wanders away from Clyde and hangs out on the other side of the enclosure. 

Josephine began laying eggs not long after we got her. Shortly after she started laying, the condition of her feathers deteriorated and she didn't look good for quite some time, though she appeared to feel fine.  Her vet suggested that we put her on a diet formulated specifically for waterfowl and allow her to sit on her eggs (we'd been discarding them because we didn't want her to breed right away).  

It took a while, but she did decide to sit on her eggs, after first building the most perfect, round nest.  We shook the eggs so they weren't viable, and it did seem to slow down her laying.  Shortly after, she quit laying for the summer and between that and the new diet, her condition improved greatly.

Strangely, she didn't lay eggs at all for the next eight years! With the arrival of Clyde, she began laying again, though she hasn't sat on any yet. 

Digging holes.  She has excavated some fairly large holes in her enclosure.  I'm not sure why she enjoys doing this, but perhaps she is looking for grubs and other bugs.  She tends to get rather dirty when digging.  For some reason, she rarely swims.

Of course, she loves being squirted with the hose.