Finally became a member.

DuckyGaze

Songster
Apr 10, 2015
200
37
126
Hello everyone.
I have been to this site often in last year looking for answers and help to some problems but seeing that there is so much great stuff here I finally decided to become a member.

I started keeping ducks again last year after 16 years without any fowls at all and I am loving each moment.

Last year we built a big covered pen that no fox, raccoon, wolf or cayote could get into, but then we came up against a cute little ermine this year. In 1 week at beginning of April, the cute little ermine killed my 2 chinese ganders, 1 silkie rooster, 1 silkie hen, 1 red hen, (she was awesome and sat on our laps and imitated the purring of our cats) , my barred rock rooster Kellogg and a beautiful columbian rock hen. Ermines and weasels are cute but are deadly. It is in their nature to do what they do but now they do not seem so cute to me.
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I was devastated and cried at the death of my ganders. I had raised them for almost a full year to be friendly and socialable with me at least. LOL They were hand fed, and doted upon very much just like I doted upon my own children.

All I had left were my 2 Khaki Campbells, 1 magpie, 2 silver appleyards, and 1 lonely african goose, so I went out and bought a 1 yr old gander.
But today I went out and bought 2 Cayuga ducklings (4 days old) , 5 chinese geese (also 4 days old) and last week had bought 4 beautiful 1 week old crested ducklings

(Yes, I know about the gene in crested ducklings and I do NOT buy ducks to breed and sell ducklings. They are my pets and I just want them to be happy, so please understand they are not for breeding.

Since we do have a mommy cat and 4 kittens in the house, the ducklings, and baby geese are all in large plastic containers in my bedroom. (lots of cacking and quacking all night long ) It is the only part of the house the cat does not have access to.

On this beautiful, hot, sunny day we took them all outside to swim a bit.

Now all refreshed , washed and tired out... they are sleeping, all snuggling together.
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Leighe

Songster
May 17, 2015
632
750
216
Denton, TX
Oh my word....I nearly cried just reading your post. Cannot imagine the devastation. You put your heart, soul and love into caring for the animals and something comes and wipes out all that you have put in, in one moment. I have feral cats on the ranch and none of them bother my chickens, thankfully. I was the same as you. After using the site to help me with my chickens, decided to join and become a member of a great group of chicken and fowl loving people, lol.
 

sunflour

Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
14,974
7,756
772
Macon,GA
Welcome to BYC, so sorry about your losses.

I see you have posted the ermine issue on another thread, hopefully someone there will give advice on how to prevent this in the future.
 

DuckyGaze

Songster
Apr 10, 2015
200
37
126
I haven't gotten any reply but I did alot of research and the only thing I could do was to build another pen totally out of wood and only to keep the ducks and geese in
during the night. We did that a few days ago. It is dark but comfy and quite large. They go in at night when it is almost dark and we lock the door and in the morning at
about 6 am we let them out for the day.
I know many would put in ermine and weasel traps, but being a home for lost and abandoned cats, I did not want to take a chance of having a kitten get caught in the
trap.
Cats have never hurt any ducks, chickens or geese here so I was not weary to think anything would kill my babies.
Now nothing can.
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
137,926
263,560
2,027
Out to pasture
Sorry for the predator issues. I, once upon a time used to think Raccoons were adorable clowns. UNTIL, I saw photos of what devastation they can cause, biting off any parts of a bird they can snag through fencing, and then leaving them alive to suffer.

Welcome to Backyard chickens, so glad you joined the flock
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Leighe

Songster
May 17, 2015
632
750
216
Denton, TX
Right there with ya Drumstick Diva on the thought about raccoons. We had them for years here and then my sweetie died and one night I let my Schnauzer out and heard him screaming and raccoons screaming. I ran to the back of the house and there were four baby raccoons hanging onto my wooden fence whilst their momma had ahold of my Schnauzers neck and what looked to me like she was strangling him. I shot my gun in the air and her and the babies ran off. Up until that night I thought the raccoons as cute. No more. They are DANGEROUS!! Especially to domesticated animals.
 

ameracaunagirl

Chirping
Apr 26, 2015
83
1
59
Brentwood, California
Right there with ya Drumstick Diva on the thought about raccoons.  We had them for years here and then my sweetie died and one night I let my Schnauzer out and heard him screaming and raccoons screaming.  I ran to the back of the house and there were four baby raccoons hanging onto my wooden fence whilst their momma had ahold of my Schnauzers neck and what looked to me like she was strangling him.  I shot my gun in the air and her and the babies ran off.  Up until that night I thought the raccoons as cute.  No more.  They are DANGEROUS!!  Especially to domesticated animals.


That is terrible! I work at a kennel and know a woman who's dog was killed by raccoons. One easily underestimates those furry bandits. I live where there is a lot of wildlife, however, we have never had a problem with the raccoons in our area. They steer clear of our house. I have two big German shepherds who watch closely over our flock.
 

Leighe

Songster
May 17, 2015
632
750
216
Denton, TX
Yes, I would say your German Shepherds are your lifesavers. If I ever needed a guard dog, for my animals, I'd probably get a Great Pyrenees.
 

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