We live on a 8 hectare smallholding just outside a small town in the Western Cape of South Africa.
A few weeks back we bought 3 ducks and 6 geese. But earlier this week, we caught otters killing 3 geese and a duck. We have been trying for weeks to get the geese and ducks into one of the sheds/stables on the farm but they refuse to go. We try inticing them with food or herding them slowly from behind. As soon as we get close to the entrace of the shed they panic and fly at our heads.
It is stressful because if they stay out at night they are guaranteed dead and we are trying to protect them, not hurt them.
We spend the last 2 hours before dark every day desperately trying to get them inside. The ducks come easily but the geese just refuse.
The three remaining geese are now more suspicious of us and therefore no longer come up to the house for food either.
We have managed the last 4 nights to get them inside, but it requires us to get into the ice cold dam to push them out. We build a tunnel around the shed to funnel them into the double doors.
Then herd them up to the entrance only to have them fly away, and we repeat this 5/6 times and usually get lucky on the 6th time.
This cannot continue like this, or we will have to give them away. There is nothing worse for us than to find pieces of our favourite geese all over the dams. The first goose killed had just layed eggs and was sitting on them. She had more inside her when we found her body. Now one of the surviving ones has also laid outside right next to the dam, but we cannot leave her outside with her eggs, its too dangerous.
Would it help once we get them into the shed to leave them in there for a few days with food to get used to it? Or will they just eventually get used to it if we keep herding them up to the same location eacn night? We also built a very strong caged enclosure right next to the dam, but they will not go in there either. Is it better to have it next to the dam or not?
Urgent advice would be very much appreciated.