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I'm a wreck-my favorite duck is gone!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by prncssprplfrog, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. prncssprplfrog

    prncssprplfrog Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    Schuyler Lake
    My son couldn't get our two ducks to go into the coop last night- they slept in the little kiddy pool that we have set up outside the coop. I saw one briefly when I left this morning for work and didn't think anything of not having been greeted by my quacking guard ducks. Tonight, I went out to check on our group. I have about 14 chickens and 2 ducks. They've pretty much free-ranged our one acre all summer without a problem. Until now.

    I saw one duck wandering around quietly. Not good- then I saw 3 clumps of feathers on the ground near where the ducks hang out and large clump of what I can only assume was back feathers with flesh attached. No blood, no carcass...... I am sick. What got him?

    I hatched these two from a dozen Cayuga eggs that I got this spring. I had to peck each one out of it's shell and cuddled both of them. Of course Quackers- the one that was killed was the friendly one, the only that didn't mind being held...... These were my son's ducks. I know it is a hard lesson to learn and as many animals as I have lost, it never gets easier, but I feel that he trusted me to protect him and I failed. I am worried about tonight as our defenses against predators isn't great. I will make sure that everyone is in the enclosure tonight. My son wants to stay outside with them..... He's pretty mad.
    My remaining drake looks totally lost- should I be worried about him? They were pretty much raised with the chickens from this year...and "flocked" with them, but the two ducks were attached at the hip even though I think they were both drakes.

    The only thing that we changed was that our lab/great Dane mix used to go to the bathroom out back (about 20 ft from the coop). We're doing construction back there, so we've been letting him out front instead. Could that have made a predator bolder?

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Since it was probably killed in the evening, the predator may have been a Great Horned owl. Lock the survivor up safely tonight.
  3. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Awww, that is so sad, and my heart goes out to you. It could have any number of things that caught it unfortunately.
  4. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    So sorry. [​IMG]
  5. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    we lost one a kahki campbell to a raccoon on left a small pile of feathers. I know how you feel. Im so sorry [​IMG]
  6. Baymule

    Baymule Songster

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    I am sorry about your duck. Predators are simply looking for something to eat. It sucks, but that is what they do. Lock 'em down.
  7. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    [​IMG] so sorry [​IMG] Its never easy. I had a hen attacked but she survived and I had to put her down in the end, I've never cried so much in my life [​IMG]

  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] Awww, I am so very sorry for this loss! [​IMG]

    Of course it HAD to be your favorite, Murphy's Law of Poultry Depredation states that it's always your favorite birds that get taken first. I don't know if your dog's activities had anything to do with it, if this predator had been lurking on other nights but discouraged by your dog's presence or signatures. It could have been just an unfortunate coincidence that on the one night you don't put the ducks in the coop that something, I think a raccoon, happened by.

    This is what most poultry-keepers do, building the most predator-proof coops we can and trying to insure our birds are securely contained each night. But often some predator will give us a harsh lesson on how we need to do better, and we learn the hard way and apply what we've learned to our coops & our procedures.

    We lost our favorite drake Webster to a raccoon that must have come in the early evening, after dark but before we had put the ducks in the coop for the night. [​IMG] Your drake will eventually adjust to being the only web-footed bird in the flock, although you could try to add another for company.
  9. iluvsedward

    iluvsedward Crowing

    Jan 19, 2010
    Calvert County MD
    srry for your loss [​IMG]
  10. prncssprplfrog

    prncssprplfrog Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    Schuyler Lake
    The kiddy pool has now been moved into the enclosure, but I'm not sleeping well at night. I talked to one of my neighbors down the road's children today at school. She said that Wednesday (the day it happened) her dad had seen two coyotes in their yard & had shot at them, but missed. They caught a bird in his back yard. He's seen them take a newborn white-tailed fawn not 20 feet from his back porch before. Today my next-door neighbor called and left a message telling us that she saw a fox running from her yard towards ours.

    I have made plans to ramp up the coop's protection, hopefully we can get it done this weekend. I am having a really hard time getting over this. I know that it happens and it's nature & all, but I just feel horrible.

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