Goosed by a goose: Waterfowl a hit small animal barn

Charlie Denison

Jasmine Brinley enjoys a moment with her geese, Romeo and Juliet, in the small animal barn Thursday afternoon.

Photo by Charlie Denison

First-year 4-H member Jasmine Brinley wanted to do something different at this year’s Central Montana Fair. Instead of bringing a rabbit, goat or even a turkey, she brought three geese to show: Ice-T, Romeo and Juliet.

“My mom used to raise them and I wanted one,” Brinley said. “I like their personalities. Instead of running away from you, they walk up to you and love you forever.”

Ice-T, an African Gray Goose – and youngest of Brinley’s geese at two months – is particularly friendly, often greeting people as they walk into the small animal barn.

“He’ll run up to you and talk to you all day if you let him,” Brinley said.

Ice-T also is a good listener.

“He knows his name and comes on commands,” she said.

This is a good thing, especially since he loves to greet people wherever he goes.

“We take him into Fleet and Tractor Supply when we get feed and people just love him,” Brinley said. “He really likes the attention.”

Ice-T is a playful goose, as he often nibbles on shirts, jewelry, phones or whatever he can get his beak on.

Although he likes to nibble, Brinley said he’s friendly and gentle. He doesn’t nibble with attitude.

The goose is well behaved, she said, and the right people are taking notice. During his showing last weekend, Ice-T received a first-place blue ribbon, as did Romeo and Juliet.

Although Romeo and Juliet are doing well at the fair, they don’t have quite the popularity Ice-T does; his extroverted ways have gained him many friends, and has earned him quite the reputation.

“Is this Ice-T?” a young girl asked Thursday afternoon in the small animal barn. When the girl found out it was indeed Ice-T, she smiled, and petted him, and – yes – he nibbled at her affectionately.

Carla Horan, a 4-H advisor, has enjoyed having Ice-T, Romeo and Juliet. There would be no geese in the small animal barn otherwise.

“We’ve had a fun variety of animals at the fair this year,” she said. “I’m impressed with the quality of the animals and the different breeds. A judge who came in from Great Falls was also impressed.”

Another interesting small animal this year were the guinea hens, but they weren’t nearly as winsome as the geese.

Ice-T and the gang are welcome back any time, and Brinley said she’s happy to oblige.

“I’m really liking working with geese,” she said. “It gives me something to do in the summer other than work with horses.”

For years, Brinley has worked with horses. She rides competitively and hopes to breed horses in the future. It is her love for horses that has inspired her love for other animals, be it geese or ducks, which she also showed – and sold – during this year’s fair. Spending all this time with animals has also helped her find direction in life.

“Ever since riding my horse when I was little I’ve wanted to be a veterinarian,” she said. “I want to give animals a second chance.”

But, for now, Brinley’s just excited to show off Ice-T, and introduce him to the community at the Central Montana Fair.

“Come down and enjoy what we offer here in the small animal barn,” Brinley said. “Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as we do.”

Ice-T, she said, would love to meet you.





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