So, we've been in Indiana for about three weeks now, setting up house and getting settled in.
As our first foray into the world of mini farming, we decided to focus on getting a few farm animals established. I would have preferred trying to get a garden going first, but since it's late October and we don't have a greenhouse yet (I want to make one SO BAD), it's just not good timing right now. But establishing a small number of animals on the property will be beneficial when we are ready to start the garden, since animals make free fertilizer!
So after much research, we decided to get a single pair of geese. Geese are supposedly one of the easier types of poultry to raise, as they tend to be very weather hardy, disease resistant, good foragers, and self-protective.
We spent a day or two preparing a site on our property to house the birds. We picked the area directly behind one of our outbuildings (an older wooden garage), so that their free-range pen can be easily linked to the garage (which we now call the mini barn) to give them shelter from the elements, predators, etc. Most of their pen is essentially open grassy meadow, bordering on the edge of our forest to give them shade in the summer and let them play in the scrub. They have a little swimming pool, and we built them an outdoor shelter as well as giving them open access to the mini barn. We also put up a three-foot high fence, as per the internet's recommendation.
Then we brought home a pair of geese! We've had them three days now and already the experience has been invaluable. They teach us as we go. We have one white goose, of the Embden variety, and one brown gander which is a Chinese Brown. The white goose looks pretty typical of what you think a goose would look like, but the brown goose is really interesting looking, with wild-ancestor type coloration and a strange knob above his beak that I have no idea what it's for.