Opossum attacked our ducks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Learningstill, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. Learningstill

    Learningstill Songster

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    Jun 10, 2013
    So, I am writing this for informational purposes. We have been doing lots of research on what may have been attacking our ducks. Why? Well, we just lost one of our beautiful saxony drakes and one of our silver Appleyard ducks was injured.
    We were shocked that our big boy (RIP Pinestone :hit) was not only killed but his injuries were a bit perplexing. He had a blood spot on each side of his neck/head area and his rear end had been eaten. I looked into his body cavity and his intestines were missing, but his liver was still there. His breasts were untouched! No feather mess or pieces of flesh or reminents of his intestines. Weird, right?
    We then inspected the rest of the flock and found another duck with a bite on her rear end too. The bite was as if something had it's head sideways and took a bite under her tail feathers.
    We immediately started to research and located many articles on predator identification. Those articles are precisely what prompted our story being shared with all of you.
    We caught our predator when it came back for our beloved boy... Dun dun dun..
    It was a opossum!!! What the heck? We were shocked, but thought our traumatic experience may help others identify their predator if they knew that opossums not only attack ducks, but that they can kill one as big as of saxony drake! Hope this helps someone out there!
     
  2. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN"

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    upload_2017-9-25_21-40-53.gif that's terrible. So sorry. :hit
     
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  3. Learningstill

    Learningstill Songster

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    It truly is!! Thank you. He was very loved and will be missed terribly. My 16 year old daughter was in tears when she found him. He was one of the first ducks she used her own money to buy. Such a disappointment, but a hard lesson nevertheless.
    Lucky for us, a son of his hatched last year, so his genes are still here with us!
    Btw, loved the shaken puppy! That sums this all up well, haha! We still cannot get over that a opossum could kill him :hit:mad:
     
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  4. Chickassan

    Chickassan Wattle Fondler

    Did this happen in the daytime? I'm sorry about your drake, knowing the time of day this happed might be a help to others. Also was he penned or just out and about?
     
  5. Learningstill

    Learningstill Songster

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    Good point and thank you! It happened some time overnight or early morning hours. The flock was grazing free range until dusk. My daughter put them in their pen (similar to a fenced yard), but they were not locked up. With that said, their huts were left open for them to go in and out. He (Pinestone) was at the back of one of the huts (maybe was cornered and trapped by the opposum?).

    Also, not sure if this matters, but the opposum is male.
     
  6. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN"

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    AWH :hugshugs for your dd that's so sad. I knew they could be a threat to chickens and little ducks but I wouldn't have thought they would really go after a big drake. I have a lot of opossums around my place I just saw a big fat one yesterday :(
    One time I had one get under my house and make a home inside my duct work. It's the flex duct kind. . it knocked it down from the unit and just made itself at home apparently.
    Hubby and son went under the house and reattached it not knowing it was in there and it tried to come up into the house! :eek:
    Imagine my shock when I saw that thing staring at me through the floor vent!:eek:
     
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  7. Learningstill

    Learningstill Songster

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    Oh my goodness! I would have freaked! Yikes! I am sure you were shocked. I hope your opossums have enough sense to leave your birds alone! Best wishes to you and your flock! We will be making pen adjustments this spring with hopes to reduce predators.
    Thanks for the sympathy. I will share it with her. We are really bummed that it did not get some of our smaller ducks as they are not my daughter's show quality stock. (Hope that doesn't sound too bad. Obviously, we would prefer to not lose any)
     
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  8. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN"

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    It's not bad. .I know what you mean. ;)
     
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  9. Learningstill

    Learningstill Songster

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    Just wanted to update as it has been sometime since we caught the opossum. He was the culprit as we have not had any issue since his capture. Since he also injured one of our ducks, if it were not him, I would assume the predator would return to finish the job and that did not happen.
    For anyone wondering, her wounds healed nicely and she is her healthy self again :)
     
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  10. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN"

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    Glad you got that sucker.
     
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