Missing Cayuga...Can you help?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by teach1rusl, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I'm posting this for my neighbors (who are also my in-laws). I know a lot about chickens, because I've kept them for several years. But I don't know much about ducks. My neighbors have (maybe HAD) four ducks, an Indian Runner (the only male), two female Cayuga, and one that's colored like a mallard, but very large in size. None can fly, I suppose due to their large sizes.

    Anyhow, they are lake ducks. There is a run and doghouse available (they often lay their eggs in the doghouse) to them, but they are sometimes left out at night (they do shut them inside overnight MOST of the time). Tuesday night they were not shut inside the run, and yesterday it was discovered that one of the Cayuga was missing. Coincidentally, my husband and I were awaked around 4 a.m. Tuesday night/Wed. morning by duck quacking. At the time, I thought it was odd, because they'd never woken us up before, but it didn't stand out as sounding frantic or anything.

    So of course now we're assuming that a predator got the duck. My husband and I walked all around helping them look (and I took my golden retriever to sniff out a possible living or dead body), but we could find no evidence of anything...no feathers...nothing. My dog did find a hidden nest over the dam side of the lake, in the tall grasses. Could a raccoon have taken on a full grown Cayuga, with no sign of feathers and such? We do have coyotes in this area, but we only ever hear them far off in the distance, and I've never lost a chicken to anything (of course my chickens are put inside every night). I didn't think a coyote would come in this close, because most of us have dogs here. Or do you think there's a possiblity that she's hiding on a nest somewhere??? I'm hoping for the latter, but believe she was probably taken by something, although the lack of feathers about anywhere has me puzzled. Thanks for any input.

    * I just thought...could a large owl have carred off a duck of that size??? Without evidence of struggle/fight?
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  2. Onewiththeducks

    Onewiththeducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    4 in the morning doesn't seem like a good time to have ducks out. It's still dark out and foxes and other predators could be around. I lost a Cayuga to a predator (still unknown) at 7 in the morning
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yeah, I know. I've always read that dawn and dusk were the peak predator hours. Trust me, I've "coached" them as much as I can about securing them at night. All I can do is offer advice...whether they take the advice or not isn't within my control.

    So you found no evidence of a struggle when your duck disappeared?
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Sorry for your loss, but it does sound like a pred. a large owl could diff swoop in and carry off a cayuga.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013

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