Death of a Duck

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by DuckDuckGeese, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. DuckDuckGeese

    DuckDuckGeese New Egg

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    Jun 13, 2016
    Ubly, MI
    Last night and owl got into our chicken/duck pen and killed a chicken. . . As well as my lovely Pekin duck, Friday. It may not sound like much but my flock only consisted of two ducks and 16 chickens, to begin with. This wasn't our owl friend's first visit and it killed three on its previous venture, so now our flock has 11 chickens and a very sad duck. Friday and Sunday were full grown and were bough together as small ducklings. Sunday had an accident when she was younger and cannot quack. We tried reinforcing the cage but this owl I have seen on its first visit and he/she seems to be large. Is there anything I can do for Sunday? And how do I better protect them in case of this happening again? I'm only fifteen and I have never raised poultry of any sort beside this year unless you count our broilers at school. I'm very upset over the death of my duck and I would really love some insight. . .
     
  2. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 7, 2015
    Peyton, CO
    I'm so sorry for your loss. [​IMG]It can be surprising how attached we get to our birds.

    If possible, see if you can find a new companion for your surviving duck. A duck of similar age would be best. You can check craig's list or a similar sight. You may also find something on here in the buy-sell-trade section. Ducks can get really depressed in situations like this so try to spend as much time as you can with her. A little extra TLC will help.

    How is your pen set up? If there is no cover I suggest putting one on immediately. As you are now well aware a predator will keep coming back to a food source. If you can't afford a solid cover even a net would help. They sell bird netting in the big box home improvement stores (Lowes, Home Depot). It's usually in the landscaping area. Just remember that this owl might be protected by federal wildlife laws so try not to do anything that will harm the owl.
     
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  3. DuckDuckGeese

    DuckDuckGeese New Egg

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    Jun 13, 2016
    Ubly, MI
    It is basically just a four foot high dog fence and we did cover it with planks and we just keep adding them whenever we find it necessary but I'm pretty sure the owl is pulling them off. I even put cinder blocks on them though so I'm not sure how. I was very attached to him. I'm just worried she won't be able to get attached to a new duck, and I'm equally as worried I won't be able to either. . . She is in a pen with chickens though, so do you think maybe she would be alright with them around?
     
  4. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2016
    Hello DuckDuckGeese,
    My condolences. It is never easy to lose members of our flock, I know all to well. Since you know that you are dealing with an avian predator you can take particular steps to protect your flock. Iomine has some fine suggestions. That being said regardless of whether or not the owl is protected by law you do not need to harm it necessarily to keep your birds safe. Owls are nocturnal hunters and your birds roost at night so the security of the sleeping area is the most important thing you can do to protect them. The owl knows where they sleep so no attempts to 'hide' them are really worth your trouble. I would absolutely recommend a coop that can be shut up once all the birds are inside it. I picked up for free on craigslist an old camper that fits into the back of a pickup truck. It is made of sheet metal and can be jacked up off the ground on its hydraulic legs and it has a full sized lockable door. It is for all intents and purposes the Ft Knox of chicken coops but if something like that is impossible you can take steps to improve your current pen. I say once more if you cannot close up your coop at night then you are going to lose more birds. Netting is all well and good but it is no substitute for a solid barrier between your loved ones and death. Be creative with your solutions, we humans throw out all manner of useful materials that can be repurposed to reinforce your chicken's home.
     
  5. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it is a dog run maybe you could add some chain link on the top. If you wire it securely it should work. Though if the owl is moving cinder blocks I don't know. Are you sure the second attack was an owl too? It could be something else climbing the fence and squishing through the boards (just a possibility). A fully secure coop would be ideal if you can manage it.

    As far as the lone duck with the chickens. It's hard to say if she will be okay or not. It depends on if she is bonded with them or not. You can certainly wait and see if she starts hanging out with them. It's good she has them if if they aren't close because she isn't left completely alone.
     
  6. DuckDuckGeese

    DuckDuckGeese New Egg

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    Jun 13, 2016
    Ubly, MI

    I may have found her another companion, so thank you for your opinion. It is an owl because once it gets into their pen, it cannot get out and so my step dad pushed it out of the pen at two this morning.
     
  7. DuckDuckGeese

    DuckDuckGeese New Egg

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    Jun 13, 2016
    Ubly, MI

    Being the age I am, most of my decisions come off of decisions my parents have made and our makeshift pen is the work of my step father. Their coop is basically a couple shipping crates that they grew up in as chicks. We made those into a coop and to be honest, the pen is as redneck as it gets. I'll see what I can find on local swaps. Thank you for your input!
     
  8. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I understand your position. As a redneck myself there is nothing wrong with doing things on the cheap. Like I said, I got my Chicken Palace for free just the labor to haul it away. Just know that the owl will be visiting your all you can eat buffet again. If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.
     
  9. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh gosh, no question it was an owl then. What a persistent little bugger. Sure hope you can figure something out.
     
  10. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would it be possible to cover the top with a tarp or cover it with hardware cloth or even galvanized livestock fence wire (not chicken wire) ?
     

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