The geese are gone. We stumbled across someone looking for 3 Toulouse geese and we nabbed the opportunity to give them a more appreciative home.
It is kind of quiet without these characters--they had a very large presence on our farm. I loved their pompous self-importance and their obsessive curiosity. They were so picturesque walking around the farm. And I loved their constant chattering amongst themselves.
On the other hand, they thought they were the bosses of all creatures on the farm, including us farmers. Last summer they were sweet, but as full-grown adults they had become obnoxious and sneaky. They waited until you were preoccupied or indisposed and then ganged up on you. For instance, you have an armload of eggs and they won't let you out of the chicken coop. You have an armload of hay and they won't let you out of the barn. You are milking the cow and they sneak up and bite you on the behind. You are hauling out the recycling and they bite you on the shins. They don't have teeth- their bites are actually more like pinches, but strong pinches, that leave a significant bruise.
I had read and tried different strategies for training geese, trying to figure out how to tame them, or at least get their respect. If you shooed or kicked them away, that just made them more fierce. Usually it worked to act like a bigger, meaner goose, raising your wings, looming over them and hissing loudly -not practical if you are carrying buckets of milk or baskets of laundry. They didn't really like to be confined, so if you picked one up and held it in your arms, if would then leave you alone for a while--but the problem was there were three geese, and when you picked up one, the other two would take the opportunity to get you. The dogs were no help--they weren't going anywhere near those scary things.
All of us found ourselves trying to outwit or avoid being seen by the geese. Sometimes you had to take the long way around the barn --or hide in the shed. Everything took three times longer than it should.
So, life is much calmer, quieter and more peaceful now. But I feel a bit wistful -- I do miss them. I hope the new owners are coping with their bossiness - at least they are experienced goose-owners and knew what to expect.