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Raccoon Attack, please help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cath892, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. cath892

    cath892 Out Of The Brooder

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    A raccoon got my sweet little mallard duck, Dixie, last night. I rescued her after her mother was killed and she's been the most wonderful duck ever since. She has three other duck friends who survived.
    They have a huge cage with a pond inside and an enclosed area for cold weather. I couldn't sleep so i went outside to check their food and water and the cage was open. The three big guys were outside running around. As soon as I saw them out of the cage I knew something was wrong. I went in to wake up my boyfriend to help me look for Dixie. We couldnt find her anywhere and decided to give up for the night and continue in the morning. Then we remember the enclosed part of the cage. For some reason, something was keeping me from going in there. My boyfriend insisted on crawling in and looking. He got in there and screamed and yelled at me to get out of the cage. There was a big raccoon in there and he had Dixie. Then I knew that there was no way she could have made it.
    I'm devastated, I love that little girl she was such a sweetheart! But my question is, the other three ducks are terrified of the cage. they wont go near it and i dont blame them! Should I redo the cage? or should i build a completely new one in another part of the yard? I'm thinking of them and I just want them to be comfortable.
    Thank you!
     
  2. billw

    billw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They'll get over it, but you need to reinforce things so that the raccoon can't get in again. Once they have gotten a duck, they become very persistent and are surprisingly good at overcoming defenses. If a raccoon can get even one paw onto a duck, it will kill it. We had a series of killings last year where coons found very small spaces to get their paws through and pulled the heads off ducks, even though they couldn't drag them through the fencing.
     
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can either build them a new one or force them into the old one. You need to make sure that it is completely secure. Raccoons are very smart and it sounds like it may have opened the cage. Childproof latches or locks are needed to keep them out. Small spaced wire, 1/2" hardware cloth around the bottom 3 feet is best, will keep a raccoon from being able to reach into a run.

    I am very sorry for your loss but unfortunately, the raccoon will return as it has found a meal. You can also try to trap the raccoon. Depending on laws in your area, you can probably dispatch it. When I lived in the suburbs, I worked at the SPCA and we had to euthanize any raccoon brought in trapped. So, that may be an option to if you aren't rural.
     
  4. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    You've been given some good advice already, I am so sorry for you loss. We had a coon attack when we first moved our ducklings outside, rookie mistake it reached through our wire, we made the pen good enough as it never accessed it but did the old reach and grab and tore into the side of one of our ducklings, he did survive thankfully but taught us how you have to be cautious.
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Sad to hear of your loss. Give yourself time to grieve. And listen to your gut about whether to reinforce the existing structure or put up something new. I would definitely change things around, and pay attention to helping the survivors through their trauma. I would give them vitamins and electrolytes for starters, move them to a safe temporary place for their sake and to discourage the raccoon. It will keep looking, but if there is nothing there it is just a tiny advantage you will have as you deal with the long term problem.
     
  6. cath892

    cath892 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2012
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    We got rid of the raccoon yesterday morning. But there could be more, I have no idea. We're going to clean out the cage completely and then go from there, still not sure whether we should knock it down or rebuild it a little. I still cant go out there, my boyfriend and brother said it would be better for me not to see anything in the cage. They found some pieces of her and a lot of blood.
    For now I've been giving the other three warm baths and electrolytes. We have a separate garage that I cleaned out for them and they're cozy in there for now.
    Thank you for all your advice!
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    So sorry for your loss [​IMG]
     
  8. KBG204

    KBG204 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry about you duck. [​IMG] That makes me so mad. Stupid raccoons!
     
  9. cath892

    cath892 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 6, 2012
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    my least favorite animal!
     
  10. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm glad that you were able to get rid of it. At this time of year it is unlikely that it had young so it may have been the only one. But still take precautions. I'd probably just reuse what you have since others are cleaning it out for you. Maybe get a battery powered light (they sell them for closets) I've seen them at the $ store, to put out there the first night to make the others more comfortable. Transition them during the day. Put some treats in there so they can see it's not a scary place. Good luck.
     

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