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Our Life Denbury Farm 11th October 2018

The Evil Badger Cull has started again, with licenses to kill over 40000. Yes you are reading it right 40000 that this evil government has put a death sentence on, knowing that the scientific evidence proves they are not the cause. It is orchestrated by the National Farmers Union. If you insure with them please change to another company.

A bit over a year ago we lost our cob Black Swan. We found him floating on the lake as if a sleep, but when we lifted him out his underneath was open as if he had been attacked.  The Swans had been together for 5 years and were very close. We were unsure to replace him, but we felt it was not nice for the pen to be on her own so we replaced him with a one year old cob. That didn’t go down well. The pen chased the new arrival relentlessly for weeks, so reluctantly we decided to find the cob a new home. 

The pen got on well without a mate until this spring when the Canadian Geese flew in to nest. She wasn’t too happy when they arrived and half heartedly chased them away. Eventually she allowed them to stay. The pen and the gander avoided each other whilst the goose sat the eggs, it was a happy lake. But as soon as the eggs hatched and the goslings showed themselves it all changed. The goose and the gander made the pens life a misery. In other years she had the her male swan to back her up, but that had now changed with the geese chasing the swan relentlessly. It got worse when out of the blue a new pair of geese with a gosling turned up. And even worse when the gosling started turning into geese. After I had fed her of an evening I had to feed the geese so that the pen was not cornered in and attacked by the geese when she moved away.

The swans were never over friendly even with me. I feed them every evening with corn and whole meal bread, that was the only reason they suffered me. That changed with the pen being on her own. She would sit with our holiday guests and became very friendly with them. We had hoped that when the geese flew off leaving the angled wing gosling she may have suffered angle wing, but she chased her off of the lake as soon as she got near it. With the holiday season coming to the end we decided to try another cob to keep her company.

We found an advert for Black swan in Maidstone Kent. It turned out to be Leeds Castle. They wasn’t sure what sex they were but were good enough to get them checked by DNA. Having birds sexed by DNA is quite easy. Just send a feather to the DNA testing company and you get a result very quickly. Fortunately there was a cob and we made arrangement to have it transported back to the farm.

The cob arrived in a carboard box  and had taken two days to get here. We decided after the way the pen had treated the last cob we tried to introduce we would put this one into a large cage in the hope they would get use to each other. That lasted just a minute or so as the cob decided he wasn’t having any of it. He wanted out and made it very clear. I reckon the minute he got out of the cage he realized what a big mistake that was. The pen decided no way was she going to allow the cob onto to her lake. and all hell broke loose. The poor cob didn’t know what had hit him. The pen chased him until she had caught him and jumped on him trying to push him under the water. As much as the cob tried he couldn’t get away from her trying to duck him under. Eventually he made his escape onto the lakes bank and there he stayed until the next day. With the cob on the bank it was the first time that  had chance to see what he was like and I must admit I as very disappointed. He looked very thin, his beak was a pale beige a good sign that he was not happy in swans and by the look at the size of his neck he could well have been related to a giraffe.

The pen continued chasing the cob for nearly a week and would not allow him to feed. It got the stage that we were seriously think we would need to find him a new home, then one of our holiday guest told me that although the pen and cob were avoiding each other the cob was on the water swimming. Then a report that they were getting a little closer to each other. As the week went on the pen allowed the cob to have some of her feed. Within days although there was a little bit of bickering they were sharing the feed close to each other. Now they are a pair and enjoying each other company with the cob putting the pen in her place if there is something he is not happy with. The cobs beak is nearly to the correct color.