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Depressed duck?!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by beneduck14, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. beneduck14

    beneduck14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I hatched out 2 male Pekin ducks in March and they have been doing well.... until now. (2 scary words)

    Yesterday I went out to feed them, as soon as I shut the door a giant bird (possibly a hawk with brown feathers and white belly) flew up and onto a nearby tree watching us. Usually my ducks come out of their coop quacking (The coop and run are attached) but this time only one duck came out.

    As I got closer, there were feathers strewn across the grass with blood on them. With a closer look , there my duck was; headless, bloody, and still. He was stuck to the side of the run where the wiring was and on the wires were spread apart and some were broken. The interesting this was that the duck was still inside the run. It was horrifying to see a decaputated duck and for once, I wished a coyote would have taken it instead because they would take the whole body away. The bird was still there watching and so was my survivor duck who had no idea where his friend went. Maybe while the duck was sleeping in the run close to the wire, the bird grabbed him with his claw through the wires? I don't know but there was no way the bird would have gone into the coop.

    I thought about it carefully, I had wrapped the run with chicken wire at least 2 times to keep out the coyotes but I didn't think of preventing it from a giant bird! What time of wiring do you guys use?

    Now this is the main thing. Now I shut the duck inside the coop until we have secured the run and confirmed that the bird went away. (The bird was still there this afternoon knowing that there was one more duck left). The survivor duck now doesn't really eat unless i'm there. That is a huge problem because I'M NOT ALWAYS THERE! So now he's starving himself. Can ducks get depression?

    I'm crying myself [​IMG]now because I can't find any ducks for sale currently near me on craiglist and there are none for adoption at rescues.

    In summery here are the questions:

    1)What wiring should I use to prevent ANYTHING from getting in or reaching in and grabbing.
    2)What type of bird is brown with a white belly, big, kills ducks, and only eats their head.
    3)Can ducks get depression?
    4)How can I help him eat when i'm not there?
    5)Besides a heater, how can I keep the water un-frozen.
    6)Where else can I get a duck right now.
    7)Do you think my duck can survive the whole winter by himself inside a coop meant for 4 ducks?
    8)How can I clean his feathers, they are all brown?
    9)How many hours does a duck NEED to be outside, I'm not sure of letting him out because of the bird.
    10) How can I help with his depression?
    11)Do I need a heater for him inside the coop, like absolutely need it?
    12) Just want to know if birds of prey kill birds slowly, eat them alive, or quickly kill them.?


    I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW BIRDS COULD KILL ADULT DUCKS!

    That's it. Please answer as many as you can. I am worried but I know being worried won't get my duck any better. Thank you for reading this. What would you do?

    [​IMG]

    (The one with orange beak was killed)
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. revans2003

    revans2003 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2015
    Im very sorry for your loss.

    Based on your description of the duck being pinned against the wire, it sounds more like a raccoon or similar predator who are known for reaching through the wire and grabbing. I agree that birds are predators and it would be a massive coincidence but I have not heard of that behavior before (pinned to the wire) from a bird. (That certainly does note mean it is impossible and I could be wrong) Regardless, you need to put some wire/chicken wire/bird netting on the top to protect your duck (and future ducks) from airborne predators, they can definitely kill a duck.

    Chicken wire is not enough, you need to use hardware cloth which is a solid steel mesh. It will prevent reach through and cutting with claws.

    Ducks can get depressed, and I am sure your duck misses his buddy and is lonely & traumatized. The best thing to do is to spend time with him, offer him food, read to him, sing to him, let him know that he is not alone. In the meantime, as you are doing, try to find him another friend. Have you checked the rehoming forum of BYC?

    As long as you provide food, water and heat then he will survive, but he will be very sad and really does need a companion.

    To clean his feathers, and as an added bonus to soothe him, bring him inside and give him a lukewarm bath.

    With regards to a heater, how cold does it get inside the coop and in general in your area. Ducks are pretty resilient when it comes to cold and a heater in the coop leads to other complications.

    What would I do? First, cover the run with bird protection and wrap it with hardware cloth. Let the duck free range so he can be in a familiar environment. Comfort the duck best you can with the warm bath, treats, and spend time with him. Set up a lawn chair and do your work so your with him as much as possible. Find or hatch another duck if possible. I know that as we approach spring Metzer and other hatcheries are shipping ducklings again. I would get 2 additional ducks in case something like this happens again. Last and most importantly, I would seek comfort from your friends here at BYC.

    Good Luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  3. revans2003

    revans2003 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2015
  4. beneduck14

    beneduck14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2015
    Cattlet, VA
    Our run is a triangle shape so all the sides are covered. I seriously did consider used hardware cloth. I do have some in my garage and will have to do a coop renovation tomorrow then. I live in Virginia and it's just starting to get cold. Right now it's like 27 degrees, last year my ducks survived a blizzard so I think 27 degrees is around the ok zone i guess? I don't know why they sell wimpy chicken wire but anyways yah, I will do what you told me.

    Ducks have treats? I know chickens do... where in the world have I been...
     
  5. beneduck14

    beneduck14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 20, 2015
    Cattlet, VA
  6. revans2003

    revans2003 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2015

    Ducks LLLOOOVVVEEEE treats, if you search there is a thread dedicated to treats complete with ratings.

    Chicken wire has its uses but it's not designed to keep predators out, it's designed to keep chickens and ducks in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2016
  7. Vosh Sahaal

    Vosh Sahaal Out Of The Brooder

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    For easy treats try grapes and peas. You may have to hand feed your normal feed first if the bird isn't used to treats. They tend to distrust new stuff. Eating some yourself might help. Also hardware cloth is really only needed to about two feet from the ground. This makes it impossible for predators to reach through. Any fencing sufficient to keep out the local predators is fine higher. It can also help having higher order domestic predators. My chessy is still a pup but is already big enough and matured enough that between him and his urine I don't get coyotes. Also hawks usually tend to be a bigger problem for smaller duck breeds. Hawks actually avoid geese (predators are cautious of anything that can reduce their performance, a large goose can actually break a red tail's wing; with a great deal of luck) the hawk could easily kill the goose, but geese with goslings will lash out until death while most other birds won't. Large ducks look and sound similar. This sounds like a raccoon.
     

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