Hi Everyone, I'm wondering if anyone has encountered an animal that would pull all the feathers off of the back of a young adult muscovy? As an FYI, here is the back story: We live on the Avalon Penninsula in Newfoundland and keep a small flock of muscovies in our back yard which we started this year. Our flock as of a couple of days ago consisted of: 1 mature drake 2 mature hens 3 young adults (hatched back in July - 2 hens and a drake) 5 1 week old ducklings We keep our ducks in a pen approximely 30'x30'. It is constructed of wood fencing and 2" chicken wire. Honestly it is not really secure with regards to rodents as we never fully surrounded it with chicken wire on the bottom. We have noticed rodent holes under the fencing all summer, but were not overly concerned about it as our pen is back a good ways from any houses, and we just figured rats would only eat the grain. It is, however, realtively secure from most other predators on the island (Newfoundland is fortunate in that we don't have racoons or skunks). We have a large (8' high) fence all around our backyard, as well as two dogs that spend a lot of time out there, and the duck pen has netting put over top to discourage birds (crows, hawks etc) from entering. About two days ago, I got home from work and noticed that one of the ducklings had gone missing. We had heard that rats would take ducklings, but had never been too worried as there was always lots of grain around. But since this happend, we decided to try and intall chicken wire all around. Did that, then got up the next morning and another duckling was missing (2 down in 16 hours!!). I did find a hole that had been dug under the fencing, so I still figured a rat must be preying on the young ones. So, with this in mind, I decided to move the ducklings into a secure rabbit pen we also have. I caught the three remaining ducklings, then went back for the mom. However, I lost track of which of the hens was the mom, so, I had to catch them both. At this point, I figured that everyone should be good. The young ducklings were in a secure cage and the drake and three young adults are large enough to take care of themselves. I went off to work figuring it was all good - wrong!!!! I got back from work and while the ducks housed in the rabbit pen were fine, the original pen with the big drake and young adult ducs looked like a slaugher house. All four ducks were huddled in their houses. The adult drake had all of his flight feathers pulled out, and one of the young hens was dead. She had all the feathers stripped off of her back, but otherwise looked unharmed. Another young hen appeared to have gotten off relatively unharmed, but the third (a young drake) seems to have sustained similar injuries. A large portion of his feathers have been stripped from his back, as well as all his tail feathers (we're still not sure if he'll recover, but is moving around and taking food). I'm wondering, has anyone encountered this before? Below is a list of possibilities as well as my thoughts on them: 1) Rats - we defintely have rats around the area, and they were my main suspect for the young ducklings, but would a rat actually try to take on a healthy adult muscovy? 2) Weasel - small enough to get in though the same openings as a rat, and a pretty saveage predator 3) The ducks themselves - I wonder would the stress I caused by removing the young ducklings as well as the two adult hens cause the remaining birds to do this kind of a thing to one another? 4) We have dogs, and the younger one has figured out that she can with a bit of effort get in the pen, but she has usually just chased them around a bit and then left off. Would a dog just pin a bird down and pluck it's feathers, then let it go? Also, I have my thoughts on other predators that one may encounter in my area. 1) Fox - I can't imagine a fox would do this. My understanding is it would carry off a bird and that'd be it. Also, we have a high fence and two large dogs that patrol the yard 2) Mink - we have lots of these around, and I do know they're known as one of the worst culprits, but my understanding is mink will attcke the throat of a bird. Also, no smell when I arrived there 3) Birds (ie crows, seagulls, hawks, owls) - we have a net put over the entire pen. No way for a bird to enter 4)Stray cats - lots of these around, but no claw marks on the dead bird. Any thoughts/experiences with this type of thing would be appreciated. We have since this incident re-located the three surviving ducks to another part of the yard in a smaller, but much more secure pen. I have set traps in the other pen but have yet to catch anything. Have a good one.