What killed my duck?

Pekinmomma

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2017
36
34
46
My ducks have safe housing at night but roam the fenced in yard during the day. Last week, my only drake was found headless but his body otherwise intact with some feathers scattered around the body. The females were found untouched but terrified, hiding under bushes across the yard.
What would remove the head but not eat the body? No footprints found, no other signs. Gate locked and no entry point found. Any ideas?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
30,943
249,854
1,632
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
My ducks have safe housing at night but roam the fenced in yard during the day. Last week, my only drake was found headless but his body otherwise intact with some feathers scattered around the body. The females were found untouched but terrified, hiding under bushes across the yard.
What would remove the head but not eat the body? No footprints found, no other signs. Gate locked and no entry point found. Any ideas?

No footprints, no head, during the day = hawk.
 

DuckyDonna

Crossing the Road
Aug 26, 2018
5,316
17,051
816
Dallas, Georgia
No footprints, no head, during the day = hawk.
So sorry, believe me, I know exactly how you feel. My Daisy got killed last week in the same manner you are describing. If I had not come along when I did he would have been headless too. I wonder why that is?

Anyway, I ordered some predator tape yesterday. Miss Lydia recommended it and she knows her stuff. Plus I'm working on net over the whole run.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,342
8,405
656
Stillwater, OK
My ducks have safe housing at night but roam the fenced in yard during the day. Last week, my only drake was found headless but his body otherwise intact with some feathers scattered around the body. The females were found untouched but terrified, hiding under bushes across the yard.
What would remove the head but not eat the body? No footprints found, no other signs. Gate locked and no entry point found. Any ideas?
So sorry that you lost your duck! I recently posted here about our mallard killed by a red-tailed hawk. Only her neck and upper back were eaten. It looks like hawks are fond of ducks... Our ducks are now confined to a run with a cover while we rework our plans for them.
 

Chickenluv22

In the Brooder
Nov 30, 2018
21
18
44
USA
I'm thinking raccoon, they leave very little evidence behind (forced entry wise.) Missing heads and feathers scattered around are a common thing they do.
 

DuckyDonna

Crossing the Road
Aug 26, 2018
5,316
17,051
816
Dallas, Georgia
I'm thinking raccoon, they leave very little evidence behind (forced entry wise.) Missing heads and feathers scattered around are a common thing they do.
During the day though? I worry myself to death about hawks but not foxes, coyotes, or racoons. My ducks are fenced in and are locked up at dusk and when I set the lock on the pen I feel they are 100% safe. We have tons of all those predators in our area as we are very rural but they are more noctural and sure don't show up in the middle of the afternoon. That hawk I walked up on that had killed my Daisy was eating his neck at 3:00 in the afternoon. I saw it and had I been a bit later I believe his little head would have been gone.
 

Magnolia Ducks

Free Ranging
Jan 24, 2018
4,611
14,583
572
Magnolia, TX
Yes during the day. Don't believe that predator s are nocturnal. I lost most of my ducks around noon to coyote and bobcat. Saw some of them happen, almost got my hands on the bobcat stupid me. Never lost one at night.
 

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