Predator -- is this the answer?

Skye'sDucks

Songster
May 13, 2018
697
1,407
226
The 'too much sunshine' sunshine state
So a while back, some of you may recall I made a thread about a mysterious predator killing 2 of my ducks. Done early morning, no trace of a body except a puff of feathers and some wings and a foot. Was getting worried we had a fox or something, but then... nothing. Life has pretty much gone back to normal. We got a camera even but nothing has shown on it other than normal wildlife I know we have.

Yesterday, I got home from my horseback riding lesson (and early too because a of a lightning storm--and I'm thanking God it did end early now) and we saw two neighborhood dogs going crazy over something beside our house. They are both actually pretty sweet, but sadly their owners will abuse them and they get out a lot. Turns out, my muscovy hen Aspen had flown into our front yard (I do my best to keep her out of the front) and the dogs had gotten to her. I'm amazed that she made it out with only a couple of scrapes on her feet and a few missing feathers. She's doing fine now but man it was a scare.

Anyways, sorry for the long story, but my mom had a revelation as I was treating Aspen's feet last night. What if it were the dogs that got out? So let me give a quick explanation: we live in a neighborhood and our house backs up to an open drainage/ditch area that my ducks live in. I've seen these dogs out there before (and they have chased the ducks, just never got one). I'm trying to recall now if we ever thought of the dogs back when we had our predator problem, but I'm now pretty convinced it was them who killed my two a few weeks ago. It would match up perfectly: it explains why only 2 were killed, since something like a fox would definitely come back more consistently, it explains how the bodies were carried off (one is a pit bull and the other a pit mix), and I can see how the ducks might have been surprised by them. Aspen is a very quick bird, and she flies really well, and yet she managed to get caught off guard by the dogs yesterday. (she made it behind our garbage bins luckily)

My verryy long post is this: is it plausible that the dogs are the answer of who killed my two ducks a few weeks ago? I don't see why not, but I'd like to ask around! I like to learn more about these situations to be better prepared for my flock.
 

416bigbore

Pretty Girl
Premium Feather Member
Jun 11, 2020
806
1,147
143
NC
Hello, sorry for your loss. I am going to say no to the dogs being responsible. Dogs will kill poultry for sport and leave them lay. I would set up some type of trail camera to see who else is responsible for your loss.
 

DukesDucks

Chirping
Oct 6, 2019
84
167
69
Eastern Ontario, Canada
You don't specifically say but I'm guessing this neighbor would not be approachable about the situation. It is my understanding that once a dog gets a taste of the chase and kill of poultry and young livestock, it is virtually impossible to stop. I'm not blaming the dog(s). There are regulations and laws to deal with this. My suggestion is to contact whatever authorities to get some information. Also, start documenting including when the original ducks disappeared. Take pictures of the dogs whenever you see them loose, especially if they are chasing things.

This is not a good situation for anyone including the dogs. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Skye'sDucks

Songster
May 13, 2018
697
1,407
226
The 'too much sunshine' sunshine state
Hello, sorry for your loss. I am going to say no to the dogs being responsible. Dogs will kill poultry for sport and leave them lay. I would set up some type of trail camera to see who else is responsible for your loss.
Thank you! And thanks for the reply, I don't own dogs so I wasn't quite certain what their behavior would be. I do have a camera set up, and frustratingly we haven't seen anything. I may never figure it out if it wasn't the dogs, since we will be moving soon. But I thought I'd research it a bit more, since this sure left me stumped.

You don't specifically say but I'm guessing this neighbor would not be approachable about the situation. It is my understanding that once a dog gets a taste of the chase and kill of poultry and young livestock, it is virtually impossible to stop. I'm not blaming the dog(s). There are regulations and laws to deal with this. My suggestion is to contact whatever authorities to get some information. Also, start documenting including when the original ducks disappeared. Take pictures of the dogs whenever you see them loose, especially if they are chasing things.

This is not a good situation for anyone including the dogs. Good luck and keep us posted.
Well, I'm uncertain how approachable the neighbor would be. I have a neighborhood friend that I talked to more recently, and she actually knows the owners, since they have brought the dogs back to them a few times. But I heard they do drugs so perhaps it is best to keep our distance. We have always remained on edge about calling or doing something about those dogs, since it'd probably be better for them and everyone else. I don't think the dogs pose a real danger to people (on the surface, I know any dog can be vicious or turn) since they are actually quite friendly and sweet, but yeah. But, on the other hand, we are moving soon so perhaps we won't feel like trying to get into any extra messes since we are as busy as it is. I don't know.

Thank you for the reply though, I figured as much that dogs will continue such behavior, especially if they are left unchecked. To be fair, my duck wasn't allowed, or shouldn't be, out front, but their dogs also shouldn't be getting out. It was actually a few weeks ago that the ducks were killed, so some time has passed. But, we are moving where my flock will be safe in our own yard this time, so hopefully I won't have to stress about a mysterious predator soon.
While we are here, I'll keep you all updated about the situation.
 

Beaglegal

Songster
Sep 8, 2019
954
2,345
191
Western Washington
Neglected dogs on the loose would be on my list of possibilities. Maybe they are not well fed so the ate them? Regardless I would probably report them to animal control. It sounds like one of these days someone is going to get hurt, most likely the dogs themselves.
 

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