Missing Drake, a few questions for a concerned mother of a pair

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by MscoopMcgoop, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. MscoopMcgoop

    MscoopMcgoop New Egg

    Oct 4, 2015
    HI, officially a new member, Been a lurker for a bit and I think tonight I'll finally join in, I'll post my introduction and the rest of my flock when I'm a little less heartbroken.
    I've got two khaki campbells, they are my first ducks and we're still young got them earlier this year and they are pretty beloved pets, Wasabi and Ginger
    . [​IMG]
    well had, I made dinner last night and went out to check on everyone but I found Ginger my female standing alone which isn't normal. The two are inseparable, have been since they were ducklings, where he goes she goes and vice versa. I went searching, Shaking his favorite treats (meal worms) and calling out, he normally comes running but no luck.I hoped he return today. He didn't.. searched again for the most of the day, tried putting her in carrier and using her quacks to draw him out or at least pinpoint where hes at if he's hurt but no signs of him or any signs of tracks of feathers. nothing showing me something bad happened.
    I've got a creek on the property and I let them play in pools and wander the stream but they always come home and never have ventured far out of sight...
    so now my questions...
    I know predators is the initial thought, I've never had an issue thus far, He's a pretty brave little guy. I've seen him protect her and me from guests and strangers.Everyone gets securely put up at dusk and it would have meant an attack during daylight while I was close by, and she was too, not to mention all the rest of my birds seemed fine and not spooked. Should I be more careful about letting everyone out? any clue what I'm facing?
    We've had a bit of a cold snap here, this may be a silly inexperienced first time duck owner question but is possible that his migratory instincts kicked in? He hasn't shown much interest in flying and from what I read I didn't think it would happen but I just can't imagine him wandering off when he's got a happy mate, a creek, warm coop, and plenty of food and love.
    and while I'm still holding out hope that he does come back final question for you guys is how do I help Ginger adjust to life as a single duck,
    She spent the morning quacking and looking for her friend and then seemed kinda mopey but ultimately ended up trying to hang out with my four hens just to get picked on and rejected each time she got close. Broke my heart a bit, is there anything I can do beside running out and trying to find a replacement duck to ease to transition of this loss if he doesn't come home?
  2. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2015
    [​IMG] I am so sorry you are going through this! How sad! Yes, I think it is most likely you have had a predator. Something large enough to carry him off. Ginger is probably spooked, but it is likely the rest of the flock didn't even notice. I would keep your ducks close for the next while until you can figure out what got him. Predators have the tendency to return for more ducks until they are all gone. They found an easy meal, and they will take advantage of it. I can't guess what the predator is, do you have an idea of what is in your area?

    Don't rush out and get her a new friend, she is more likely to form a bond with one or more of your remaining ducks than a new one. THey will work out the new pecking order, and hopefully start to be more friendly to her.

    He didn't migrate. He looks like a pure bred Khaki Campbell, and they don't have migratory instincts. Especially if it meant leaving his mate behind. Most KC's can't maintain flight for more than a couple of feet, mine can only hop fly at best, and rarely tries even that.

    Can you fence them in close to your house for a while? I know it can really bum them out, but it is for the best. I've had to coop mine the last few days because we have a falcon circling our property. He actually dove at them a few times, when they were just a couple of feet from me! I am stunned, because I am in a very suburban area, and had never seen such a large bird here in the 30 plus years Ive lived here. I will need to wait him out, when he realizes there is no meal here for him, he should go away. I hope.

    I am so sorry for your loss, I really hope he wandered off to find a yummy treat and will return soon! [​IMG]

    And BTW - I love your ducks name. My Khaki Campbell drake is named Ginger too. We named him GingerSnap when he hatched because he was the color of a ginger cookie, and he snapped at everyone and everything!
    2 people like this.
  3. MscoopMcgoop

    MscoopMcgoop New Egg

    Oct 4, 2015
    Thank you so much for your response and the kind words, searched again this morning no sign of him.
    As predators, I live in ky, so fox's and raccoon aren't out of the question and why I keep everyone locked up and safe during the night but I'm sorta ruling out the four legged creatures as I have big female doberman who was out with my flock and is pretty good about protecting her property and her birds, she motherly with them almost, I like to think if a dog or something came up and snatched one there would have been barking and a ruckus, maybe I'm naive and something snuck up on her too but I can barely keep the squirrels around. I hadn't thought of predatory bird though and that might defiantly be the answer and why there aren't any tracks. I haven't seen many but they aren't uncommon in the region.
    I guess I just wanted to be hopeful with migratory question and not assume the worst, he really was a beloved pet. I should have also specified abit about my flock, Still just beginning out and this our first year, started with 4 chickens and 2 ducks. So sadly she doesn't haven't another duck friend to fall back on, and I do feel bad just having a single a duck, I figured 2 would be a safe start for a newbie and until I see how everything went and educate myself. With winter coming and me grieving I'm not in a rush to go find a new duck but In long run I think I'll have to find and bring home someone new. Having a single duck just feels unfair and watching her isolate herself is sad. Is it bad that I wish it was one of my chickens missing instead? I love them too but they just don't have same personalities and it wouldn't have been such a loss to me or Ginger, they seem like easier targets and I was prepared to lose a few of them when I started this journey but the ducks not so much...
    I took your advice and fenced everyone in for the time being closer to the house and with a bit of tree coverage so if it is a big bird then hopefully I can keep from losing another, I can't say they happy about it but it's for the best.
    Thank you again Jducour.
  4. jducour

    jducour Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2015
    I'm so glad I could help! I completely understand how you feel about losing him. I haven't lost a duck yet to illness or a predator, but I did have to find homes for 3 drakes after raising them from babies. I still think about them almost every day, and it's been 5 months. Since she is your only duck, it would be beneficial to get her a new friend, a female duck would be a good companion, and you would get double the eggs! Look in your local online classifieds, there is always people trying to find homes for adult ducks. I have adopted 6 adult female ducks this summer, all of whom are already laying and desperately needed a new home. Most people want $ for a female duck, but it is usually $10 - $20. Most of my ducks came from a not so great environment, so it felt really great giving them a nice home. I know you will figure something out, because I can tell you really care about your flock.
  5. Carcajou

    Carcajou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2012
    Delhi, New York
    MscoopMcgoop, Welcome to BYC. So very sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    jducour offers great advice. It is always hard when we loose one of our ducks. I have lost two to owls and two to a hit and run driver. It is never easy. But ducks do need companionship as they are not a solitary bird. As jducour advises search local ads and livestock auctions to see what is available. I had to do that for my drake 4 years ago when he became the only duck left.

    Best of luck to you.
  6. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2014
    West Chester, PA, USA
    I can't really add much to what jducour said, but I wanted to say welcome to BYC! I'm from KY too, btw.
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Also check if you have any water fowl rescues in your area most do adoptions. and very sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015

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