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missing duck!!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by kbilo31384, Sep 25, 2014.

  1. kbilo31384

    kbilo31384 Out Of The Brooder

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    Does anyone know if an owl can pick up a duck? my duck is missing and what would be strong enough to take her without a struggle.
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    I don't think owls take fowl without a trace, more likely fox, coyote.
     
  3. kbilo31384

    kbilo31384 Out Of The Brooder

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    thank you, im sad shes missing but I guess that is the chance you take letting them be cage free huh ? :( what do people do to protect their ducks.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I keep mine in a pen during the day if I cannot be with them in the yard, and in a shelter at night that is very secure.

    Sad for your loss.[​IMG]
     
  5. Homie Ducks

    Homie Ducks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah since I lost my one cockerel , I don't open them until I am near to look after them. Sorry for your lost of Duck. Next time be careful.
     
  6. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry for you. I've been through it as well and know what it's like.

    My guess is that it was some kind of raptor; owl, hawk, whatever raptors are in your area. They can swoop down out of the sky and grab a duck and have it back in the air almost quicker than you can blink. Ground predators will typically leave evidence of a local struggle like feathers laying around, tracks, etc. We have tons of raptors where we live, so we do everything we can to deter them.
     
  7. Richb353

    Richb353 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sorry for you loss. I lost 10 of my first batch of 11 Cayugas last year and each one was painful. I suspect most were lost to coyote or bobcat. Those predators are always on the move and will grab a duck and go. Nothing is left behind but footprints. Coyote and bobcat have similar size and shape footprints, the noticeable difference is that you can see the nails of the coyote. By "reading" the footprints you can tell the type, number, and frequency of predators visiting your pasture. I've also noticed the most common area where the coyote/bobcat hop the fence into my duck pasture. I've read that airborne predators will kill their prey on the ground leaving behind evidence (feathers, blood, etc.)

    Prior to my second batch of ducklings, I bought a bunch of snares and two coil spring traps. Unfortunately, all I've caught is a turtle, possum, and one of my own ducks. I stopped using the traps/snares over the summer. The best prevention I've found so far is herding the flock into a secure pen ("Quack Shack") at dusk and letting them out in the morning. It has become the normal routine before I leave for work and upon my return home. The flock is familiar with the routine as well and once they are fed dinner, they meander their way to their coop for the night. Keep in mind (IMHO), predators are horrendously more active in the winter and always after dark. I will dust off and re-set the traps with the cooler weather approaching.

    My old Golden Retriever "tells" me when predators have been nearby during the overnight. First thing in the morning, if he "does his business" once and in one spot then nothing has been around. But, if he "goes" multiple times over a large area, taking his time to sniff around, he is likely marking his territory after smelling an uninvited animal. A local hillbilly told me I should mark my territory along with my golden, but I'm not sure I believe him.

    Good luck,
    Rich
     
  8. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rich,

    The farmers and outdoorsmen (my dad and stepdad included) where I come from would tell you it's both true and not true, and also that it depends. I don't have a strong opinion about it, but I can explain the reasoning behind why it would work and when it won't if you're interested. Just let me know. I don't want to bore you or anyone else with it if there's no interest in the topic.

    Best regards,
    Gina
     
  9. kbilo31384

    kbilo31384 Out Of The Brooder

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    well I walked the property and so no feathers..some say owls just grab and go and now since I see no feathers anywhere near any of the fences where a coyote or couger would go under or over.. I see a few feathers near the pool area so now im thinking an owl had to take it.. It disappears somewhere between 1 and 3am..hubby saw it walking across the yard about 1:00. I didn't think they could pick up a duck that heavy, this duck probably weighted about 8 to 10lbs. :( well now we are putting them back in with the chickens until we can build them a secure location like the ducks have.
     
  10. JadeComputerGal

    JadeComputerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't realize the missing duck was that large. Most nocturnal raptors couldn't pick up a bird that size, at least not in North America. That's 2-3 times the size of the largest owl in North America. I've read stories of various raptors attacking prey that's significantly larger than they are when other sources of food are in short supply, but they can't get far with them because they can't get enough lift, so they're usually dropped somewhere in the vicinity. Would you mind telling us the region where you live?
     

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