Predator ALERT GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by glenaf, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. glenaf

    glenaf Hatching

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    Jul 28, 2014
    My daughter has two peking ducks. She's raised them from babies and are two years old. They have a big pen, fully secure and we've never had it compromised. (we also have two chicken pens, hen house, etc).

    We were gone overnight and came home to find Gossie and Gertie dead. They were blood everywhere in their pen. They had been eaten in the middle of their backs. I've read that most predators eat their heads off or attack at the neck area.

    The pen is still fully secure. No sign of entry anywhere around. No fur, nothing that we can find.

    We had a small pen of month old chicks in the front yard. Also a very secure pen and after cleaning up massacre of the ducks, we checked our big chickens and they are safe and secure and accounted for.

    The babies in the front pen were safe accounted for EXCEPT for one fancy speckled chicken with the top knot. There is no sign of a struggle, no feathers, no sign of the baby chick and no way that it could have gotten out of the cage except if someone opened the pen and lifted it out.

    What kind of predator would grab the ducks in the middle of the back and kill them and it looks like they were shaken with all the blood everywhere?

    I'd like to figure it out so we don't loose anymore of the girls pets.

    Is it possible that the neighbors dog did this and then they just left the mess? I don't know what other kind of animal could have done this. These are HUGE duck.

    Thank you for any advice. My girls are heartbroken and if I could at least try to figure out how it happened I might could prevent it again.

    We've had poultry for three years and never had an issue like this. I guess I should add that we live in a suburban community but on an acre with chicks and bunnies and ducks, cat and dogs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    Welcome to BYC, but sorry it is under such circumstances. Perhaps if you provide a bit more information (type of wire used, height of enclosure, covered or not, any wire buried beneath surface of ground, etc) or, better still, photos of the setup we can better assess possible culprits.
     
  3. glenaf

    glenaf Hatching

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    Jul 28, 2014
    I can post some photos later we buried it to keep anything from digging under, the bottom is small holed wire and wrapped again. The very top is 4x4 inch heavy wire. We've found no signs of the pen being compromised at all.

    But when hubby gets home I will get some photos and post. The front pen that babies were in is a crate with wires pretty close together I can't get my hand in there. We found no feathers or other signs of the missing chicken. They are about six weeks old and aren't too tiny.

    Both are all metal and have bottoms.
     
  4. laughingdog

    laughingdog Songster

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    do you lock your pens? sounds like human preds.. have any neighbors complained or commented on noise of your ducks, or groups of shady kids hanging around? weasel only thing i can think of besides dog, weasel wouldn't leave blood n go for more neck or maybe face, were dog sounds spot on completely n helped get in and out by someone..
     
  5. glenaf

    glenaf Hatching

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    Jul 28, 2014
    The pens/cages are hooked but not locked to keep out a person. We do have troublesome neighbors and they used to have ducks and chickens but they had hundreds of them and the zoning made them get rid of part of theirs but they never complied with zoning and I think they ended up somehow all of them being gone last year.

    We are well within zoning and so have had no problems with the zoning folks, other than a couple of calls and they come out and see we are in compliance.

    We were gone for the night and the next day and I'm sure they were aware we were gone.

    But I've searched and can find no predator that would go for the back and shake them violently spraying the blood everywhere and then half eat them.

    Best as I can find, seems like a dog, which they have. Which we had to call animal control on two weeks ago because it was in my yard and is violent. It has bitten four neighbors and still is there.

    I just want to rule out, if I can, any predator that might have somehow gotten in the yard and done this without leaving a shred of evidence, other than the massacre with the Gossie and Gertie.
     
  6. arnaudgf

    arnaudgf In the Brooder

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    Does your pen has a roof or anything that would prevent a flying predator to get in.

    It could have been a hawk or an owl who flew in, killed them and ate whatever they could in the pen (since the pekins were probably too big to carry away).

    We had that happen to a few of our ducks.

    I've also see hurt injuries on one of our ducks who go attacked by what we think was a raccoon (never really figured it out), but in that case I assume you would have found evidence of the raccoon breaking in.
     
  7. glenaf

    glenaf Hatching

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    A hawk can't get into the pen, they are all covered and wrapped all the way around. The wire is too close and it's wrapped and has a bottom so they can't dig underneath.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

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    How large are the "very small holes" - and what is the gauge of the wire --- ie is this 1/2 inch hardware cloth or 3/4 - 1 inch poultry netting? The "very top" is 4x4 inch openings? How high up is the smaller opening wire and how much of the pen is covered in that 4x4 opening wire? A 4x4 opening leaves the door open for a lot of predators - many of which people don't commonly think of as being able to fit through such a space - -that is a huge opening in regards to predators. There are a number of culprits that could have gotten in and done the damage, been unable to carry heavy kills out the same way but made their own escape with ease - the large openings made it unneccesary for them to do any damage to get in, which is why there seems to be no sign of where they did enter/exit (ie fur, moved wires, etc)
     
  9. glenaf

    glenaf Hatching

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    What kind of critter would I be looking for that could fit through the top openings and do that much damage to the two ducks? I'm still waiting on the hubby to get home for the photos of the pen and I'm not sure what gauge the wire is but it's Construction site gauge, so pretty heavy, not just the tractor supply wire. But the very top of the duck pens the squares are about 3x3 or 4x4.

    I don't know that we will get any more ducks since that pair was a gift to my daughter on her birthday a couple years ago but I'd like to try to figure out what kind of animal might be lurking around in my yard that could do such damage.

    I can't find anything that tells me what animal would attack them in the middle of their backs and rip and shake them like that. Their heads were intact and necks, most predators I'm reading about say they go for the head/neck area and most often are found headless.

    I am pretty clueless what could be around here now after having poultry for three years and want to be able to seek it out and relocate if possible.
     
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    A dog would grab a duck in the middle of it's back and shake. Would your neighbors do something so awful as to open your pen and let their dog go after your ducks? I cannot image but people do awful things. So very sorry for your losses, and when you say looks like someone stuck their hand in and took the chicken out the the cage. Makes you wonder.
     

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