Rambunctious goose rules roost with iron fist?Sometimes I think Crocodile Dundee doesn't have a thing on us. We never know what the day holds and sometimes it holds more than we expect.
Sometimes I think Crocodile Dundee doesn't have a thing on us. We neverknow what the day holds and sometimes it holds more than we expect.
The complaint was a down cow. She had gone down sometime in the nightand couldn't get up. It is a common problem with cows and one of the mostcommon reasons I go on calls. When I left the clinic, I figured it wasjust another down cow and I would be back in a short while. I had not beento this farm before, but I knew where it was. The owner had informed methat he would not be there, but described in detail where the cow was.
All in order
I arrived and found things just as he had described them. I went througha gate and approached a rundown barn with chicken wire pens all around it.It was obvious that the place had run down quite a bit over the years. Therewere animals of all kinds. I saw goats, peacocks and pigs, just runningaround loose; horses, barking dogs, rabbits in cages, chickens of all sizesand breeds, a llama, sheep and a few dairy cows.
The directions said to go through the barn and the cow would be justpast the next gate past the water trough.
I made my way to the barn and came to an incredible realization. Themanure in the barn had built up so much over the years that I actually hadto stoop over to walk! There must have been 10 feet of manure covering thefloor of this barn! I squatted down and began the trek through the barn.I was carrying a few things that I thought might be needed to work on thecow. The further I went, the lower the clearing became. By the time I wasin the middle of the barn, I was on my hands and knees to go under eachrafter. Wow.
About halfway through, I heard a loud noise coming at me from my leftside. It was a gurgled hissing sound that was accompanied by the sound offlat feet hitting on moist ground. It was dark in that direction so I couldnot focus on what it was. My mind was racing as I anticipated the creatureentering the columns of light that penetrated from various openings in thebarn.
Until you are on your hands and knees atop a 10-foot manure pile insidea dimly-lit barn, you never really realize how big a male goose is. In fact,as this monster came into focus, he appeared to be about 5 feet tall. Thisgoose had teeth and one big horn in the middle of its head (or at leastit appeared this way from my vantage point.)
I was looking at my supplies to determine what would be best to use asa weapon to defend myself. This goose was coming fast and he meant business.He had a supporting cast of about six female geese forming at his flanks.The moment found me under an extended joist and unable to stand up. I reachedinto my bag and retrieved a plastic bottle of glucose. I gripped it tightlyin my right hand and prepared for the worst. I was wondering how much ofthis goose was bluff and how much was really fight. The question was answereda second later.
He spread his wings just before he got me and then gave me a mighty peckon the side of my head and the brim of my cap. The entire time he was makinga wicked hissing sound while the female chorus spread out and honked endlesslyfrom all directions. The repeated pecks to the head area only served tochange my initial fear to anger. It hurt just enough to make me mad. I didn'tknow what to do. I did not want to hurt him, but I didn't want to keep takinga head peckin' either.
By now, they had backed me into a corner and the noise level was remarkableas they honked and hissed at the intruding doctor. Here I was, in a barnfull of dookie, backed in a corner, being attacked by a gaggle of geese.Unable to stand up, nothing to defend myself with but a bottle of glucoseand afraid of hurting them if I retaliated too harshly.
When all else fails, yell
I decided to try the "get big and get loud" approach, hopingthat this would scare them off. I got as tall as I could in the area allowedand screamed "get outta here, goose!" at the top of my lungs.It worked. They ran off toward the door, flapping and honking as they went.
They stayed just beyond the shadow of the door and just looked at me.As long as I was still, they were quiet and stayed away. If I made a movementto gather my things or head toward the door, they would honk and run myway. This went on for a few minutes while I pondered a plan. Finally, Idecided to just get up and go to the cow. If they got in my way, I wouldjust run over them. I made my way in the direction of the cow. This infuriatedthem. They ran and hissed at me with all they had. I just plowed throughthem like a fullback and made it to the side of the cow.
Ruler of roost
I began my usual treatment to help the cow. A curious dog ambled overto investigate the situation only to be chased off by the giant goose witha horn. It was very apparent that this goose ruled the farm. The treatmentincluded a bottle of fluid to be given intravenously at a slow rate. I hadto sit on the side of this cow for 30 minutes and defend myself from anattack force of geese. They never left and never gave up.
By the time I returned to the clinic, I felt like I had boxed 12 rounds.I decided I would rather combat a mad dog than a herd of geese in a manure-filledbarn.