Lost all of my ducks last night :(

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by shandani, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. shandani

    shandani Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2014
    So, Mama duck and her babies had finally become friends. I moved the babies to the outside pen with her and they were all happy. On Saturday night one baby disappeared. I saw some evidence that something had gotten it through the pen and pulled it out somehow. My babies are almost as big as mama so I'm not sure how. Well last night something ripped through the screen around the nesting box and got all 5 remaining babies and mama.

    I haven't told my kids yet. didn't want them to head off to school crying. We loved our mama duck, Bryce so much. She was 1 of 2 who hatched from our first eggs that we ordered last year. She went on summer vacation with us and traveled all of the east side of the US, camping at Stone Mt, and in SC, up to Snowshoe, WV and back home to FL.

    I'm not sure if I'll continue with more ducks or not. It seems now that some nasty predator knows where I keep them it would just come back.

    Sad day.
  2. purplesquirrel

    purplesquirrel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2013
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Oh no! I'm so sorry, they really are part of your family I know. You may feel like you don't want to try again but you must! And you know you will, ducks are brilliant :)
    Have you told your children yet? How old are they? Maybe tell them mummy and her babies needed more room so they to a big farm or something.. What sort of predators do you have where you are?

    Predators will always been on the scout, you may need to reinforce your coop etc, Maybe get a crazed, aggressive cockerel to be a good guard?
    It all probably happened very quickly and then it was all over. Predators are quick and efficient. Try not to dwell on it too much, you gave them the best life you could and in the future some more happy critters will be lucky to have you as their strange, big, featherless family member.x
  3. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Sorry you lost your birds. Raccoons maybe. Need a very secure pen to keep them out at night, hardware cloth and solid latches on doors, no chicken wire or screen and no gaps anywhere. If a raccoon can't get his body through an opening he'll reach in and pull out whatever he can get ahold of. And yes, they will keep coming back as long as they can get a meal.
    1 person likes this.
  4. shandani

    shandani Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2014
    Thanks, we have a big chocolate lab and he did go out and bark a lot last night. He lives in the house though so he couldn't protect them :( I think it was probably nasty raccoons. They get in my trash all the time. I may go postal on them tonight and sit out there with a pellet gun.... my kids are 19, 13 and 9. The 19 year old is home for spring break and she knows. She is heartbroken. She took 2 of the babies to school with her when they were tiny for 2 weeks and hid them in her dorm. they were much bigger than the others when she got them back to us because she fed them nonstop to keep them quiet! The others will find out when they get home from school. I just didn't want to send them off to school sad.

    The screening was thick trampoline mess but whatever it was go through it. They left no evidence, just took everything. I hate that they were trapped in their cage with whatever got them. At least mama could have flown if she were out of the pen. Poor things :(
  5. Aacre

    Aacre Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm deeply sorry for your loss! [​IMG]It's a harsh world out there! May I advise you to use hardware cloth/chicken wire next time, instead of trampoline mesh? Raccoons will do what they have to to get in to our birds, and they have sharp claws and teeth- they can get through mesh with no problem- even chicken wire is a bit risky.
  6. Learningstill

    Learningstill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2013
    Oh my, that is completely devastating! I am sure you probably looked around for them, but I cannot believe they could take everything. Is there any chance some escaped under something nearby?

    How awful, I am sorry for your and your family's loss. My prayers are with your family. :hugs
  7. knightie

    knightie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2012
    Chicken wire will only keep chickens in.. Not a predator out. Even as strong as trampoline mesh is...as far predators go... It's still fabric. Hardware cloth is the only thing that will keep them out (and even then bears could get through.
  8. shandani

    shandani Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2014
    I live in a neighborhood so we aren't too concerned about bears. We do have raccoons and foxes though. Our mom and dad ducks had been in this pen for almost a year with no problems. I guess once the predators realized they were there all bets were off. I did find mama but none of the babies. I've lost various pets before, flushed fish down the drain, etc.. but our sweet Bryce, I had to find a soft towel to wrap her in before burying her. Nasty old raccoons. I may get some knarley rat traps to put by the garbage cans... I told my 9 year old son. He thinks Bryce probably got away since she can fly. I'm letting him believe that. One kid left to tell. I wish I could have protected them. If I hadn't had the TV on in my room I probably would have heard something and gone out there. Their pen is right outside my bedroom window. I knew when they didn't start quacking after my duck quack alarm this morning that something was wrong.

    Just glad I found the mama and not one of my kids. She was not really damaged except that whatever it was took her head off and it layed right by her body. Too sad.
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I am sorry but yes, i would go for predator proof housing at night and/or make your pen with hardware cloth... while the pain of the loss is fresh, rebuilding seem impossible but do try, sadly, loses do occur but we learn from them and try and move forward. As you know they bring great pleasure, i hope you find the strength to begin again.

    2 people like this.
  10. Finny

    Finny Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2014
    I am so sorry for your loss :(. If you decide to get ducks again, a predator proof pen is:

    5 foot high fencing, and put 2 feet high hardwire cloth around the bottom of the fencing. Have strong netting over top, and concrete slabs going all around the outside of the pen.
    2 people like this.

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