We had two geese hens sitting on nests when the flooding started in May. Both nests went under water for several days and 20 goose eggs were lost. Button, the smaller American Buff goose hen, went back to grazing with the other geese. She was no longer interested in having another nest. Opera, however, went on a tour of the barn poking her head into every corner. She finally asked to go into the green house and settled there. She made another nest and started to lay eggs.
She laid 5 eggs and began to nest again. We brought food and water to her. We would have to step over and around her to take care of the rabbits that were temporarily housed there. She was very understanding about it and never left her nest.
In due time, two of the eggs hatched. The other geese came into the green house to see the babies and expressed their joy and concern about them. They would visit several times a day until in a few days, Opera led the goslings out of the green house and immediately was surrounded by the other geese. This became a standard practice and where ever the babies wandered, the adult circle moved to follow. They all watched over them. The three ganders chased the chickens and ducks away from the babies. They even tried to chase the barn cat and goats away. (The barn cat thinks it’s a duck so that didn’t go over very well and the goats just looked at the geese and didn’t move.)
The goslings usually stay within the circle of adults. I can’t decide if they know their mom or not as they are always encompassed by the adults. The geese talk among themselves about everything before they do anything. It is truly a “village” raising the “child” in action.