Bad news

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CJreef, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. CJreef

    CJreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Guinness lost his mate a couple nights ago. There was blood and down feathers on the ice. I was so worried they would go under the ice and drown but it had to be a predator of some kind. It happened either during the night or very early in the morning. They have a floating duck house but only use it on occasion. I can't imagine a mammal wanting to walk on the ice and I think Ro was a little big for an owl. I guess we'll never know. I'm so bummed out and so is Guinness.
    The friend who had given us Guinness and Ro has a few of Ro's ducklings and will bring one or two this weekend. They are 3-4 months old and hard to sex. She will try to pick them up and listen to the quacks to try to find a couple females.
    My question is: do ducks mate for life the way swans do? If so, I'm wondering if we should only get one female to replace Ro.
    Thanks, CJ
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Some ducks form strong pair bonds, others not so strong, and many are polygamous. Your drake will readily accept a new mate/mates. I would be concerned about getting more ducks until the predator problem has been resolved. It will return.
     
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  3. CJreef

    CJreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the reply, sourland.

    I don't know what to do about predators. The chickens won't let the ducks into their barn and we thought for sure that the floating duck house would protect them. I can't imagine a fox or other predator wanting to go on the ice to reach them and there isn't much I can do about predators from the sky.

    Guinness is all out of sorts so I need to get him another mate/s soon. He won't even come to the house for goodies any more.
     
  4. Amykins

    Amykins Overrun With Chickens

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    I wouldn't rule out an owl, I've seen them take on muscovies! Either way my heart goes out to you and your poor widower drake. :/

    Have you considered making them a shelter that's not out on the lake? If they aren't keen on using their floating shelter, maybe it's time to bring them closer to home.
     
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  5. Crazy4Fowl

    Crazy4Fowl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My duck coop
    Agreed. Maybe a new coop is needed!
     
  6. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If an animal is hungry they will do anything for food. A few people on here have spoken about animals swimming out to floating houses for a meal. Since its winter food is harder to come by and ducks are easier meals. I'm very sorry for your loss and I would look into getting another duck or two. Maybe make a seprate area for the ducks in the barn or their own coop.
     
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Actually I was taught by a trapper that fox love to run the ice when traveling or hunting - no obstacles and no leaves, twigs, etc to make noise when stepped upon. Once the ditches froze he would frequently use them for setting snares.
     
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  8. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Sad for your loss. I agree that you need to change strategies. Protect them somehow.
     
  9. CJreef

    CJreef Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone for the feedback and the kind thoughts. It's really bad news, particularly if foxes run on ice :(. I will have to do some thinking and talk to the feed mill where we got the floating duck house. I can't imagine that a small coop by the pool would keep foxes out, and, they are very very expensive. My husband isn't keen on making one either. The chickens are really good at going into their stall and up on their roosts at sun down. The ducks don't seem to have the same sense. They don't even use the duck house on a regular basis.

    The barn is about 300 feet from the ponds and the house half way in between. The chickens will not let the ducks go anywhere near them and even if they did I doubt that the ducks would wander this far from their pond. It's too bad, they could have a nice stall all to themselves. May be by spring things will simmer down. They are not all that tame and we have only had them Since November 1st. I keep saying ducks but for now it is only Guinness who seems quite lost. Saturday, my daughter's friend is bringing us a couple of girls, ducklings from our poor Ro. She too lost a Mallard drake, she thinks he might have gone under the ice and drowned. Foxes took their toll last year and she does have a coop. I guess it's a battle living in the country. I think you'd have to have a foundation so they could not dig under to get in.

    Thanks again to all.
     

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