This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Category: Gigi

Goodbye Gigi

This one’s a little rough, and extraordinarily sad for me…

We had to say goodbye to Gigi, our almost 10-year resident goose here on the homestead. It wasn’t necessarily that she had died, it was how…

Sue went into the barn one morning to get the dogs out of the kennel to take them up to one of the goat fields for their morning time up there, and when she opened the back door to the barn, the dogs met her there.

Wait…what??!! she thought. That’s impossible…the dogs are in the kennel!

It was true; they were out, and the worst fear had come to pass…

Being Border Collies, they have an extremely strong instinct to chase down animals, and sadly with birds, eat them. And sure enough, Sue found Gigi dead. She took up the dogs, and came and got me, and it was true. Interestingly, Gigi didn’t seem to have too many injuries to her, only torn open a little in her chest, but maybe the whole experience was too much physically, or something happened to her neck, or the injuries were just worse than they looked, but she was gone. We pray she didn’t really suffer and that it was quick and painless.

The chain link fencing at the bottom of the kennel door had been pulled up some, and the dogs had apparently squeezed through. Brodey at times past has become scared or something, usually in thunderstorms, and will bite on the kennel door fencing and pull on it. He’s even broken a lower canine of his, we figure from doing that. Well, we assume this is what happened and how they got out.

It’s so heart wrenching, because it was easily preventable. And needless to say, we are much more aware of the conditions of the kennels now.

But, before the world was even created, God planned in His wisdom and goodness to grant us just 5 days short of 10 years to take care of His gift Gigi, who brought pleasantness to the homestead. And we thank the Lord that no other animals were killed with the dogs free like that — a great grace and mercy!

Here is Gigi with each of her mates, including videos of their introductions:

When Gary met her:


And when she met Augie:


And finally, when she met Gustav:


And here’s a final video of she and Gustav, after Gustav had got a watermelon rind stuck on him. We hope God grants us another female at some point so Gustav will not be alone:


We thank the Lord for allowing us to have Gigi and the blessing she was, and thanks again to the folks that gave her to us!

Goodbye, Gigi…

Our Goose Gigi

Gigi Nesting

Gigi's Grave

Gigi's Headstone

— David

Gigi the Goose Gets Gustav the Gander

With the loss of our gander Augie, I figured it’s just not right for Gigi our goose to be alone. Plus, they cost basically nothing to maintain, and can sometimes alert when some things are not status quo around the farm.

And so we kept an eye out for a mate for her on one of the internet lists.

And recently, the Lord granted we find one fairly close by! Yea!

Apparently a young Chinese-breed gander, we went and picked him up and introduced the two, and they quickly became “an item”! Yea again, and thanks to God for both!

And we decided to name him Gustav (Goose-tav 😀 ). He reminds me somewhat of Gary, in the way he looks and sounds. Fond memories of Gary. 🙂

Anyway, here are a couple pictures of Gustav and Gigi, with him on the right:

Gustav Our Gander & Gigi Our Goose
More of Gustav Our Gander & Gigi Our Goose

And then a video of their introduction and them getting to know each other:


They continue to do very well, hang out all day together, and we’ve even seen Gustav act in a way that looks like he’s protecting her. 🙂

Again, we are thankful to the Lord for granting Gigi a mate so she won’t be alone, and that they were very quickly like old friends! We pray they might benefit the Church and perhaps the farm in some way.

— David

Gigi the Goose Gets Augie the Gander

After our gander, Gary, died last year, his mate, Gigi the goose, was obviously all alone. Since then, she has basically spent her days up by the the goats, as from what we’ve seen, geese appear to be social animals; and we’ve hoped to find her a new gander, but haven’t been able to.

Until now….

Some of the community folks gather here on Wednesday and Sunday evenings to listen to our teacher Mr. Bunker’s Internet radio show. After it was over one night, Mr. Woods was looking on Craigslist, and came across a “geese for sale” ad. I asked him to forward it on to me, which he did; and within a few days I followed up with the person who was selling the geese. He indeed had a male for sale — a couple of them; and so, we said we’d like to go ahead and get one. The day we went, he rounded one up; and then we picked him up.

We were trying to think of names; and because “Gigi” is French-sounding, we started looking at possible male French names. At one point, I was reading them aloud, and got to “Gustav,” and Mr. Plumley said, “Ha! Goose-tav!” I hadn’t thought of it that way, until he said something, but thought that would be a fun approach. Well, after several gyrations of similar ideas, and trying to find the right name, we decided to go with a starting point of “Au-goose-tine” (given it’s sort of related to us in our Reformed beliefs), which we are just shortening to Augie. And so, please meet Augie the Gander! He’s apparently a Chinese-breed goose:

Augie the Gander

And here is a video of him and Gigi’s introduction:

Gigi has dropped a clutch of eggs each Spring we have had her. During the Spring and Summer before he died, Gary and Gigi did try to mate, but weren’t really successful; and we figured a water-pond-type environment might be necessary for them to mate properly. In the following picture, you’ll see the little pool; and now with Augie, we hope they’ll be more successful; and perhaps Gigi will be able to hatch out some goslings, if the Lord wills.

Augie the Gander and Gigi the Goose

We’re thankful for the opportunity for Gigi to have a new mate, and we hope the geese will be a beneficial, and even fun, addition to the homestead.

— David

Gigi’s New Digs

Last year, our goose Gigi laid a clutch of eggs in a nest she made behind our main, inner fence area. With all of the critters running around at night looking for a delectable morsel, such as a goose, to eat, we couldn’t let her continue to nest back there; and so, we tried moving her eggs into the barn, where she and Gary are put at night. Sadly, that didn’t work as she showed no interest in sitting on them; and so nothing came of the eggs she laid.

Also last year, I had put together a couple of palettes on their sides, end to end in a right angle to use as a separator in our goat sheds to keep kids away from their mother over night to allow us to be able to milk the doe in the morning. When the milking had stopped, I moved it into another pen area to get it out of the way. Well, this year, Gigi decided to nest in the inside the corner of that palette structure. With it away from the back wooded area by maybe 150 feet, we figured this would be a fine place for her, if I could build up the structure to make it a shelter that would keep out critters if they discovered her presence up there.

And so, I did some work on the structure to enclose it for her, adding two more palette sides, putting some plywood on them, and adding a roof. This was to allow her to begin to have a more secure place in which to sit, but wasn’t quite ready for her to be there all night, as it had many places for critters to get in. Then, one night recently, Gigi decided to sit on the eggs, even up to darkness, when we would have typically put she and Gary in the barn. And so, suddenly she needed the finished product available to her. Sue and I grabbed some spare wood, and we worked to finish sealing it up as best we could. Gigi sat there the whole time we shored it up too. And here is her completed nesting shed:

Gigi the Goose's Laying Shed Front
Gigi the Goose's Laying Shed Back
Gigi the Goose's Laying Shed Inside

However, the next morning, she decided to not nest anymore, and hasn’t tried to again in the evening since; but now she has her place ready, if she decides to again sit.

This is a look at her clutch of eggs:

Gigi the Goose's Eggs in Laying Shed

And here she is another day actually on the eggs:

Gigi the Goose Sitting on Her Clutch of Eggs

It would be neat if the Lord granted some goslings, although it appears that since Gary and Gigi don’t have access to a real watering hole (like a pond), and they seem to mate when they’re in the water, I don’t know if they’ve actually connected; but we’ll see what happens.

We’re thankful to God for allowing us to watch this process, and for ordaining that Gigi would nest in a more secure area.

— David

Animal Update

We thought it might be nice to post an animal update from around here at our homestead.

And so, here we go…..!

Brodey and Nessa

If you haven’t seen the introductory post on Brodey and Nessa, it might be nice to take a look at it before watching the following video so you can get some perspective on their growth:


Cattle

This was taken before the birth of the latest calves:


Chickens


Gary and Gigi


Goats


Pigs


We are grateful to the Lord for the provisions of these animals, and may we use them for His glory.

— David

 

Gary the Gander Gets Gigi the Goose


When the offer from Mrs. Judy came for Gary to have a potential mate, as much as it is fun to have him hang around me, I figured it would be great if he could have his own goose; and so, we accepted her offer of bringing one down during this last Fall’s Ranchfest.

At first, we didn’t know what to name her. But I kept calling her “Girlie Goose”, because, well, she sort of is. That led to us thinking about the first initials of that name; and so, we decided to call her Gigi, which also sounds nice with Gary’s name :).

Here is a video of their introduction and other times together. At one point on intro day, they went off into the woods together; and so we had to chaperone them back. The video ends with our nightly walk back to the barn where they spend the night:

This video has Gary bringing me back from work so he can show off for and try to impress his “lady”:

While Gary still follows me around if I am in the area; all of the rest of time, he sits with Gigi, mostly next to the goat pens. I am hoping he makes the switch to her at some point to make her his mate. Mrs. Judy said perhaps this might happen during her “cycle”, perhaps in Spring.

There have been signs of her wanting to be around him as well, shown in a couple of ways. One has been what seems like her sometimes squawking when Gary is not visible to her. Another has been that she is often hesitant to come into the barn at night unless she knows Gary is already in there. Gary will squawk at someone making a coughing noise; and sometimes when she is undecided about whether to enter the barn or not, I will fake-cough enough to get him to squawk several times; and she will turn from where she is going and then come into the barn.

We’re thankful to Mrs. Judy for giving us Gigi, and to the Lord for granting Gary hopefully a mate (even though I’ll miss his company 🙂 ).

— David