Out of the shadows..

FunnyFarmH3

In the Brooder
Aug 26, 2019
4
25
39
West Tennessee
Hello all! I finally decided to stop stalking the forums and join the conversation! My name is Misty. My little family moved onto 5 acres about a year ago, and with it we inherited two pekin ducks. I had been planning our future flock prior to the move, so we were happy to keep the ducks and get our feet wet keeping poultry. The enclosure the ducks were in was tiny and not secure in any way, and within a few weeks before we could make much improvement, an owl paid a brutal visit to one of the ducks. So when we got ready to build out our flock and their home, it was gonna be fort knox quality. We have converted a 10x20 shed into two coops. Ducks on one end, chickens on the other. We added coop doors on both ends that open into 10x20 seperated runs that are completely enclosed with hardware mesh. I have not added anti-dig mesh around the perimeter yet, but thats happening this fall, when its not 126 degree heat index! We have 6 pekin ducks now, and 14 chickens. One of which is..was.. a dominique rooster and hen pair. Every morning we let the birds out to free range while we complete our garden chores and clean up the coops, but we have gotten too relaxed at letting them roam unsupervised for the majority of the day. Last night when I went to lock everyone up for the night, our dominique rooster and hen were missing.. they stick together always and forage along the brush line. Sure enough, i found a pile of tail feathers right at the brush line. They were clean feathers though, no blood. Then i found several more piles of clean feathers leading across a 2 acre open field into a ditch of tall reeds where the grass was laid over pretty heavily.. It happened mid day, and all the birds were out and the coop and run doors were open, so i suppose we are lucky we only lost 2. I am just wondering what kind of predator we have. The rooster was full grown and knee-high. Hes pretty stout, and I have my doubts that a hawk could have carried him off. I would expect a dog or cat to have left a bloody mess. Coyote? Fox? Would they have stopped at just 2 chickens? Whatever it was never disturbed the other birds enough to make them go into the coop or hide. They stayed in view, within 50 ft of the crime scene all day.
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
58,181
240,964
1,687
Hello and welcome to BYC. I hope that you enjoy your time here.

This is a useful link to take a look at - “How to...” guides. You may wish to consider including your location under your avatar (using the guide in the link above). You can use this link to contact members in your area - U.S. States, UK, Europe, Australia, Canada (for other countries, check here - Where am I? Where are you!)

Best wishes

Pork Pie
 

FunnyFarmH3

In the Brooder
Aug 26, 2019
4
25
39
West Tennessee
Thanks! We are in west Tennessee. Predators include foxes, skunks, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes, opossums, feral cats, dogs, hawks, eagles, and owls. Also, the neighbors all around are absolutely certain that there are black panthers, and i know we had some in Arkansas when i was a kid, so I suppose they may be here as well.

We do have game cams up, but they didnt catch anything. However, our garage camera 2 acres away did catch the rooster being chased into the ditch next to the road. Its very blurry but we are pretty sure it was a hawk. Im just sort of shocked at the lack of evidence i guess, and where they went after the trail of feathers stops. But we are moving on well enough, and learning our lessons.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom