Muscovy duck murdered... need help identifying suspects.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Gator113, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Gator113

    Gator113 Out Of The Brooder

    86
    0
    39
    Apr 25, 2009
    Port Angeles, Washington
    One of my Muscovy ducks, a 4 month old drake, was found to had been murdered. We found him under our house. He had been in a cedar fenced area with his buddies and our 4 toulouse Geese. I think that the preditor found access to the duck from an open foundation vent for our house. Or, this drake wondered under the house, got lost and was then attacked.

    I didn't think to take a photo before burying the duck.

    I need help in trying to identify the predator, so that I can then focus on destroying those responsible for this.

    The ducks neck flesh was completely gone. The neck bones and head were still intact and connected to the body. The skin was open from the neck, over center breast and all the way down to the vent. There was a small bit of torn tissue at the lower abdomen and some of it's entrails were exposed. The breast meat was still there, not eaten or damaged and other than the skin having been pulled back, no other flesh was missing.

    I don't know if this is enough to go on, but I would sure appreciate opinions as to what the predator may have been, such as to allow me to focus my efforts in killing off every one of these vicious predators. I know that whatever it is, they will eventually come back, but I will kill as many as I can.

    I would also appreciate any guidance on how best to trap and kill these varmints.

    I don't know if this helps, but we have had 26 laying hens for a little over a year. While we were on a 3 week camping vacation, our neighbors forgot to close the backdoor to the house, resulting in the loss of 7 of our girls. I did not see the destroyed birds, but was told that their necks were stripped and breasts were eaten out. The predators removed eggs from the house, leaving a dozen empty shells outside the house. One egg was found on a neighbors drive about 100 yards north of the house. The neighbor speculated that a weasel did this.

    While I have never seen these in the 25+ years that we have lived here, we have several predators that frequent our area: weasels, raccoons, feral cats, lynx, skunk, cougar, eagles, hawks, owls, the American Bold Eagle, bears and mountain beaver. There may be others I haven't mentioned. Stray dogs are not a problem here... they used to be, but not anymore.

    This drake was one of 6 of the Muscovy ducks that we bought about 3 weeks ago. They were already eating from our hand, coming when we called and following us around. His name was Elvis and seemed like a nice guy, though a little shy. I will show no quarter when it comes to dealing with the predator, as soon as I know what to hunt and how best to trap and kill it.

    Thanks for any help on this.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  2. Drk_Wlf

    Drk_Wlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    0
    129
    May 11, 2009
    Chautauqua County, NY
    Sounds like a weasel to me although I am no expert. We have fishers (a large weasel) here in upsate NY, if I found my chickens or ducks in such a state that would be my first guess. Skunks would eat the eggs but I don't know if they would kill your birds. A fox, coyote, or other large predator wouldn't of left that much behind. I don't know if a live-trap would work (that is how we deal with skunks & racoons) I havn't ever had to deal with a weasel and the fox stopped comming around when I put our chicken coop right next to my dog kennel.
     
  3. Gator113

    Gator113 Out Of The Brooder

    86
    0
    39
    Apr 25, 2009
    Port Angeles, Washington
    I forgot to mention that we also have fox, coyote in the area, but I don't think they would go under my house. My 2 year old GSD was sleeping at the open backdoor when this happened.

    We think this occurred yesterday at dusk. I had noticed that one was missing and my wife arrived home. She started searching and within a few minutes she heard peeping coming from under the house. While we were trying to figure out how to get him out of there, it went silent. It took us a long time to finally fish it out from under the house, so the body was cooled off by the time we recovered it. I am spitting mad over this.
     
  4. Blooming chicks

    Blooming chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    423
    2
    141
    Mar 4, 2008
    Bucks County
    I think quite a few of the predators in your area could be ruled out simply due to location you said it was found. I don't think it would be a cougar, bear, or any bird of prey. In my experience a fox will carry their catch away to eat safely out of site. I have no experience with lynx or beaver, so cant help with that. My best guess would be weasel or racoon. I have never seen a live weasel either, but I have seen them dead on the roadside, so they are here. I know that skunks will hunt chickens/ducks but not really sure what carnage is left after the attck to help with that specific animal. As for cats, in my area, I hear several cat fights everynight and yet there is never a single cat in my yard after my chickens or ducks. Hope that helps some. So sorry, I know it is tough to lose a pet.

    edited to add: I had a 110lb canary dog sitting on the back porch when in broad daylight a fox took my only duck (at the time). Sometimes I just don't trust guard dogs--please dont flame me--it is just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  5. Gator113

    Gator113 Out Of The Brooder

    86
    0
    39
    Apr 25, 2009
    Port Angeles, Washington
    I have read about weasel boxes using a BIG rat trap. I guess I'll make a few of those. I have a live trap that I've had for years. It's a wire cage that was for stray cats. We no longer have stray cats. Perhaps I will use it to try to trap raccoons. I've always thought raccoons were cute critters, but they just lost their cuteness with me... I will not catch "and release". I'm willing to give everyone I know a coon hat for Christmas.... and part of a mink coat.
     
  6. Gator113

    Gator113 Out Of The Brooder

    86
    0
    39
    Apr 25, 2009
    Port Angeles, Washington
    Quote:LOL... I have been giving Falco dirty looks all morning... he should have at least alerted, he's been trained for protection. The Geese should have been screaming their heads off too. Grrrrr
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  7. Inkheart

    Inkheart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    Columbus Ohio
    Sounds like a weasel or a mink - one got to my friends hens - and as you read up on minks -they dont always kill just for food - many of his "murdered" hens were headless - or had serious gashing to their necks. And upon research it states that the minks are known for this - biting at the neck . They are hard to trap and are very smart - but he was eventually able to catch it in a live trap.
     
  8. Drk_Wlf

    Drk_Wlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    0
    129
    May 11, 2009
    Chautauqua County, NY
    Quote:My dog doesn't gaurd she is more of a detourant plus she barks at any animal that comes near our backyard which gives me enough time to grab the pellet gun (we have neighbors can't be shootin a 22, even if we owned one) which normally works real well to scare them off
     
  9. axxell33

    axxell33 Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Sep 24, 2010
    Annapolis, MD
    Quote:Even with a .22 rifle.. you can buy the sub-sonics or the cb short rounds and they are just as quiet as a pellet gun. You wont hear any boom from the round discharging.. only the action of the gun. Just food for thought if you need something more powerful than a pellet..

    cb shorts found here:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=489754
     
  10. Drk_Wlf

    Drk_Wlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    0
    129
    May 11, 2009
    Chautauqua County, NY
    Quote:Even with a .22 rifle.. you can buy the sub-sonics or the cb short rounds and they are just as quiet as a pellet gun. You wont hear any boom from the round discharging.. only the action of the gun. Just food for thought if you need something more powerful than a pellet..

    cb shorts found here:
    http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=489754

    I am deffenetly not be telling my hubby that! He does not need any exuses to go buy a gun, he scares me enough with the pellet gun! I refuse to let him use it he is such a horrible shot.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by