FIRST one on Friday, then two on Saturday and this morning three. Goose eggs that is. Hatched. I am thrilled. Last year we had very little success at all with hatching any goslings. But these six eggs, bought after spotting a roadside sign, have proved winners.

I very nearly ran foul of the egg vendor. We had been to the smallholding advertising the eggs at the gate several times. Only to find the gates locked and no-one at home. Then success. The gates were open. My initial enquiries as to whether there were any goose eggs for sale and how much were they, were met with a swift rejoinder to read the notice on the door where all the information was listed. A sign I hadn’t seen.

Then when I asked if the eggs were fertile I was roundly told off for not stating that was what I wanted in the first place. There were fertile and non fertile eggs for sale. At different prices. And by merely asking for goose eggs I could have gone home with half a dozen eggs only fit for cooking. Not hatching.

Once my intentions were clarified I was shown the geese that laid the eggs and another egg cracked so that I could see that they were fertile from the tiny white bullseye of the germinal disk in the egg

Hatching eggs out in my incubator is not a precise art. I lost the instructions . The temperature guide is guesswork. The egg rack buckled.The automatic egg turner erratic to say the least. Would it stay the course for the four weeks necessary to hatch out any goslings? It has. Miraculously. I have been in that time a slave to the egg’s well being. Sprayed them with water every few hours to stop them drying out. Ensured they were turned regularly. Everything I have read told me that the actual hatching period is not an exact science. So when I came down on the morning of the 28th day to find a cheeping gosling in the incubator, I was thrilled. Two more eggs had already chipped . I had to sit on my hands to stop helping them along by picking at the shell. With three goslings safely under a brooder lamp, it meant there were three left in the incubator. I went to bed disconsolate that they showed no sign of hatching and woke to three fluffy goslings. Mother Nature certainly knows best. And certainly better than me.