Something got my baby duck through 1/4 inch hardware cloth! What was it?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by petesgirl, Sep 30, 2016.

  1. petesgirl

    petesgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    May 28, 2010
    Seattle
    I have a coop where I keep injured or neglected chickens and ducks. It is made of wood and hardware cloth, the wood area with the heat lamp and an area for fresh air with hardware cloth. I had a baby duck and chick in there for the last 2 nights. This morning I went out to check on them and the duck's neck was broken and eaten. But the duck was still in the coop, the baby chicken was untouched, but dead, laying next to the duck. Stayed with him instead of going back to the heat lamp side, must have died from cold. I am heartbroken. I have used this coop for a couple of years for babies and injured and nothing has happened before. It is right against the back of my house in a fenced area. Weird thing is I have a chicken that will not go into the adult coop that sleeps on top of the baby coop, and ducks that stay in the fenced area and open wood shelters. The adult chicken was fine, and none of the adult ducks were touched. Something reached in and grabbed the poor duck. What would be able to reach inside that small of hardware cloth? A rat? Weasel? Possum? And then not touch the adult chicken or ducks? I am devastated. I raised these little guys back to health after they were left by their mamas.
     
  2. petesgirl

    petesgirl Out Of The Brooder

    97
    2
    41
    May 28, 2010
    Seattle
    Oh, also, I have never had a problem with a chick attacked in this way. Is there something that will just go after ducklings?
     
  3. 112Days

    112Days New Egg

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    Sep 6, 2016
    SW Washington [State]
    Sounds like a rat. They kill by biting the neck, like a weasel does. Sounds like the rat either got scared by the duckling (if it made noise and came after the rat) or was desperate for some food since this was an isolated incident. Sorry for your loss.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I can't think of anything that could reach in thru 1/4" hardware cloth.
    As far as I know the only that would 'reach' in, is a coon.
    1/2" hardware cloth a small coon could reach in thru.
    Broken neck can happen if birds panic and fly into side/top of cage.
     

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