UPDATE ON DUCK DISAPPEARANCE: What predators will eat ducks at night?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BJ, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. BJ

    BJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our 3-month old mallard ran off this evening around 9:00. He is semi-wild and stays out most of the time, but we put him in the coop with the chickens at night for protection. He always hangs out near the coop and ranges with the chickens every evening. He was in the pool the last time I spotted him...then just gone. We looked ALL OVER our yard and the neighbor's yards. What could have happened? I'm so worried about what might get him at night. I'm guessing dogs are the worst. We live in Indiana...we've got owls, hawks, coons, possums, dogs and cats out there...also coyotes occasionally.

    I just feel awful about this...

    UPDATE: 2 Days after Darwin the duck's disappearance, he returned for a visit with us. He arrived in the morning and spent all day eating and lazing around in his pool. The kids fed him worms and he seemed content. I learned that a friend of mine about a mile down the road with a large pond noticed an extra Mallard that had joined in with his flock. Hmmm. We banded Darwin with a 7/16" legband. At about 9:30 PM the same evening, he flew off again! Apparently, he is making his way in the wild duck world and we may be blessed with an occasional visit from him!!! I am awaiting word from my friend to see if Darwin has re-joined his flock, which will hopefully be apparent with evidence of the leg band. Pretty cool, huh?!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  2. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * Racoons, possums, foxes and owls are probably most common. Hope he shows up for you.
     
  3. BJ

    BJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    He has not turned up as of 7:30 AM. Sun is shining here. There is no sign of a struggle...no feathers...just nothing. My neighbor's daughter is going to be devestated. I can't imagine why he would have "flown off" at 9:00 in the evening, but you would think I would find signs of a struggle if something got a hold of him.
     
  4. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mallards can fly very well. Maybe he saw a flock and joined up.

    you have to cut their wings if you are going to leave them loose. But if you leave them loose with the wings cut, they can't flee a predator.

    So you can either raise them and let them fly away and get eaten.

    Or you can clip their wings and keep them in a big run and coop. That's what I do with them.
    dixy
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  5. Carole AM

    Carole AM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recently lost a pair of bantam ducks. [​IMG] The hen was broody, and they was no sign of her the next morning. The drake was partially eaten. I'm sure it was coons! I have killed 5 already this year.

    Something got one of my hen turkeys too, but I think it was too big for a coon.
     
  6. BJ

    BJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was so strange...I keep playing this over and over in my mind. He was there at 9:00PM and it was still light out, but getting dark. I debated about putting him inside, but he was so happy in his pool and I didn't want to "round him up" yet. We were in and out between 9:00 and 9:30 and we were playing with the chicks on the other side of the house. By 9:30, he simply vanished. No feathers, no sign of struggle...just gone.

    I can't imagine hawks could have gotten him THAT late. We do have hawks...but you would've thought they would have hunted him down during daylight hours.

    We never wanted to hold him against his will. He was an orphan. We fed him, he grew up, and then we felt obligated to provide him with food and shelter. But we always let him outside the run so he could fly away if he wanted to. He and one bantam chicken were good "friends".

    I like to imagine that he joined up with a flock. I have seen flocks as late as 9:00 PM. Lately, he has been looking up at the sky a lot. He also has been flying across the yard.

    I guess I should consider our time with him a gift and a unique learning experience. We called him Darwin!
     
  7. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had to cut my mallards' wings at about 6 weeks old. They started flying about when i tried to herd them in. I really do not want my mallards to fly away. So now i have got them fenced in with an 8 foot tall fence roof.

    I worked so hard to try to make them safe and happy. I don't leave mine out that late because the foxes start showing up at 5pm. So they HAVE to be in their house by 5 at the very latest.

    I am so sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
     
  8. robinaggie

    robinaggie Flew the Coop

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    Maybe Darwin did join a flock. If you didn't find feathers - imagine the best for him. [​IMG]
     

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