uk predator...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by poachedeggs2013, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. poachedeggs2013

    poachedeggs2013 New Egg

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    I'm hoping for a bit of advice from all you wonderful poultry owners.
    I live in Derbyshire in the UK and I have a small flock just 3 ducks and 1 chicken, they are free range and wander my garden. However, we found one of my ducks dead yesterday, eaten and left on the garden. She was a real mess- her face, neck and wing all eaten away. Does anyone have any idea what it could be? I thought polecat, ferret, weasel or stoat? I'm really worried it will come back and take the rest! Plus I have rabbits and guinea pigs too. Any advice about deterrents, fencing and catching culprit??? Thanks. [​IMG]
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    Welcome to BYC, and very sorry for your loss, and you are right it will come back now that it knows there is free food available. Hard to know what it could have been but to eat it there sounds strange because unless your garden is very secluded most preds like to kill and carry off idf they can, so maybe rule out the large pred like fox. the other preds you mentioned are smaller and if your duck is on the large size they may not have been able to carry her off. That had to be awful to come upon. Good fencing will help but unless you fence over top and secure down what ever will climb up and over. I have my flock inside a half acre fenced property close to my home and i think during day light hours my dogs keep most preds away even though they don't have access to the flocks property unless i am with them, But at night everyone gets locked inside their houses. Their are ways to catch by using bait [dead duck pieces] or other meat and those traps where they go in and the trap goes off and they are trapped, we have a predator thread here where you might get more info. I'd keep everyone close to home till you figure out how to best keep them safe, but just remember if you catch one there will be more to take their place and with winter coming soon most natural prey is going to be scarce so preds will be looking at our flocks to fill the void. I don't let my group out side the the fence unless i am with them. I even notice they are much more wary when I let them out now since the leaves are off the trees and cold weather is here.
     
  3. poachedeggs2013

    poachedeggs2013 New Egg

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    Thanks for advice Miss Lydia. We got to the bottom of my predator problem the next day. It was an escaped Harris hawk! We rescued her and she is being looked after by the Independent Bird Rescue. I cannot believe the poor regulations we have in the UK of birds of prey! [​IMG]
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Western N.C.
    An escaped Harris Hawk what does that mean? was she caught in something is that why you rescued her. Glad to hear you were able to find a place to look after her though, and now you know what the pred was, but don't let your guard down for a minute there are so many preds just waiting.
    Thanks for updating.
     
  5. smonkeySK

    smonkeySK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 20, 2013
    wigan uk
    Harris hawks aren't native to the UK - it would be a falconry bird that had escaped into the wild.

    I would definitely concur that regardless of whether the culprit from this particular attack was caught, you need to secure your birds from the main UK predators.
    We have a large number of native birds of prey to worry about and foxes are the biggest offenders for taking poultry.
    Both are fairly easy to keep out of most runs; unless your birds are free ranging on a large field in which case all you can do is be vigilant.
     
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