only ducks disappearing.


In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 27, 2012
In the last few weeks we have had at least 11 ducks come up missing without a trace. The chickens have not been touched. The ducks include 1 peking, 1 mallard, 3 Indian runner and the rest were mixes between mallards/runners/east indies. They are fenced in on 1/3 Acre. No holes under fence. No extra feathers anywhere. Usually when we have problems there are feathers everywhere, dead bodies and usually chickens. There are also 2 goats in with them. And a goose. I don't know what time of day they come up missing.I know there are red tail hawks here, the neighbor lost his chickens to foxes. I do live in the country.
I was just wondering if anyone had any pointers on how to keep birds of prey away if that is what it is. It is just weird that it takes ducks only. The chickens are so much easier to catch!
I've had problems recurringly with hawks. They generally kill on impact and will eat on site what may be to large to carry off. How tall is your fence? I've lost a few to coyotes that are very persistent. They can jump quite high. With no noticeable feather loss. With the larger ducks something like a bobcat would still have a bit of a fight. Try changing when you let them all out to free range. Mix it up a bit. There's definitely different precautions for different predators.
The fence is a 4 ft no climb horse fence. I have not locked them up at night in over a year, probably 2. They do have a big shelter/house to go in to, which is why I think they are disappearing at night since the chickens are inside and the ducks tend to stay in/around the pond at night.
Wouldn't coyotes go after the goats too? One of our goats is a fainting goat so he would be an easy target.
We did a walk through of the woods and field today but could not find any feathers any where.
The fox always took my ducks first because they can't run very fast.

Your birds were found so you really need to lock them up at night. Whatever it is will be back for the rest.
There must be something especially delicious about ducks, predators always seem to prefer them over chickens, even the smell of ducks got a fox to rip a hole in our greenhouse plastic even though they weren't in there at that time. We had had chicks in there during the day for a couple months before that (bringing them inside at night) and the first night after the ducks were in there the fox chewed his way into the greenhouse.
As suggested, I would lock them up at night. Whatever it is, will be back. A motion sensor camera would be helpful to help you find out what you are dealing with. Bass Pro has a Moultrie 880i 2nd Gen on sale today for $80. Can't get any better than that!
With a mere 4' fence your more than likely dealing with a ground predator. I'm still banking on a coyote. I also let my birds 100% free range for several years before the wilderness finally caught on. Now they all get penned every night and leave out every morning. Check my thread in my sig, I try to keep it documented.
At night a big tom bobcat can pen an adult duck and kill it with a single bite. He will also not have any problem coming and going over a no-climb fence in any direction with or without the proverbial dead duck in his jaws. The same will be true with most coyotes. A bald eagle can fly off with the largest of ducks, hawks not so likely. Most types of chicken hawks are extremely poor killers of duck size birds and there is usually a protracted struggle where the kill is made. Hawks also denude their prey by stripping the feathers from the living flesh before feeding can begin. There fore it will look like a hand grenade went off inside a feather pillow after a hawk makes a kill.. Bald eagles also are semi aquatic animals who don't mind plucking a meal from the waters surface. You folks looking for predator advice make it hard when you fail to give your location. Every location has a different string of predators.

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