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Duck killed and now flock is scared, unruly, and will not eat?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by boysrustimes3, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. boysrustimes3

    boysrustimes3 Hatching

    Nov 20, 2013
    My father has approximately 16 ducks that he has been in the routine of taking care of. Every morning he would go to the house that he built and let the ducks out to roam during the day inside a fenced in area, or pen. At night he would approach the pen, clap his hands twice and the ducks would file back into the house. Last week a hawk attacked and killed the male leader and now the ducks are lost. In the mornings they will not come out of the house and he has started feeding them inside the house. He said they are drinking well. The females have stopped laying. When they do come out of the house they huddle in the corner of the pen and anytime they are approached they will all scatter in different directions. My father is lost and needs to know if the ducks will ever get over the loss of their leader and return to the routine that he has had for years.

  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I think they can adjust. But they do need time, and they need to feel safe.

    The hawk, meanwhile, knows where to get an easy meal. If it were my flock, I would make some changes to keep the hawk from having hunting success again.

    I feel that the ducks know they could be next. My ducks let me know when they sense danger. Their day pen has fence across the top, and the tea garden has deer netting across the top.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Sadly, this would be quite normal they are fearful and lost without their leader. Was this the only drake? As Amiga said, your dad will have to do some altering as the hawk will have likely return to the area.

    I'm sorry for his loss, sounds like they bring him great pleasure.. and [​IMG]
  4. boysrustimes3

    boysrustimes3 Hatching

    Nov 20, 2013
    No, he was not the only drake. He corrected me and told me that he has a total of 18 remaining ducks and 4 of them are males.
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Sounds to me they are traumatized and that takes time to get over. Think PTSD multiplied by 18.. I think with patience and time things will be normal again. But in the mean time your dad needs to make sure the remaining feel as secure as possible, they had an attack by a pred so now they fear for their lives. I have seen it here, when a hawk made a failed attempt [thank goodness] but it makes them feel vulnerable not a lot can be done to help them feel safe when they free range but they have to learn how to move quickly and stay out of plain view, which is a lot easier for my chickens to learn to do than my ducks for some reason. I think here Time and Patience is the key. and another of the drakes moving in as leader which they will sort out.

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