I just found my rouen drake, Albert, dead. Along with his mate Eugenie, he was one of my first ducks. I had him for almost five years and raised him from two or three days old. I let him and the other big ducks and guinea fowl out to free range, and didn't shut them in before taking my dogs to the dog park like I should have. I haven't had any predator issues at all in years, so I guess I got complacent. I thought between the size of the ducks, the guineas alarming, and the fact that they go back into their dog houses in the kennel at night on their own, everything would be okay. It's strange that there were hardly any signs of a struggle, barely a feather out of place. Only very close inspection revealed puncture wounds on the neck. I feel bad, I know I could have prevented this... On the other hand, I know Albert lived a wonderful life with me for the years that he had. I just wish his life hadn't been cut short. I keep large numbers of poultry as pets, so there is a lot of death involved just because of numbers and because things happen. I sometimes struggle with the sadness of losing birds. Ultimately I love keeping poultry and it's certainly worth it, I wouldn't trade it for the world, but it is always so sad to lose one or more. I've had a lot of heartbreak with my birds in the last few years, lots of accidents and unexpected losses. It always seems to be because I make some stupid, minor decision and don't think the outcome is going to be what it is. It's always "But I didn't think [whatever] would happen!" Most of the time, it was things you wouldn't really expect to happen, but they do anyway. I just hate the feeling of blaming myself and feeling like I failed my beloved birds. I try hard to do the right thing for them but when I slip up it always seems to have a terrible outcome. I'm really going to miss Albert. I feel bad that it was my own bad decision that led to his death. I could use some hugs and nice thoughts if anyone has some to offer.