What kills ducks like this?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by newchicksnducks, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Last night my daughter left her 2 ducks in the run for the first time, neglecting to put them in the hen house. I found them at 5:30 this morning under the henhouse, dead. They were not mutilated, just missing a few feathers around their necks, some of the meat showing at the neck also. No other damage to birds, both dead under the house. I know coons usually tear limbs, etc. There were no signs of digging under the fence we have buried around the run. The upper portion of the run is 2x3 welded wire. Any idea what could have gotten to the ducks?
  2. Boyd

    Boyd Recipient of The Biff Twang

    Mar 14, 2009
    could still be coon, possum, mink etc... set some traps and you'll know for sure.. Were they chewed on at all, or just dead of a broken neck?
  3. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Wow, so sorry for your losses. Smaller animals (coons, mink, etc) usually eat something off of the animal. Larger predators (dogs, fox, etc) will take the body but you said there was no sign of entrance. Strange...hope you figure it out for the future and again so sorry.
  4. BlackBart

    BlackBart Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    It is a horrible thing to see first thing in the morning.
    Do you live near a water source, stream, lake etc? if so, I would say a Mink.
    I inherited a poorly constructed Coop and a Mink got in one night and killed all but one poor terrified hen.
    Didn't eat any of the chickens, it was a blood bath.

    Mink can squeeze thru small openings and such, and climb too, so we have to make our hen houses almost airtight with super strong wire over the windows that open.
    I check the siding often to see if something has tried to chew thru.
  5. Weasel or Ferret. That is exactly the way they kill. They can get into very teeny, tiny spaces as well - that's why you're not seeing anything digging, etc. When I was a little girl my Grandma always had chickens, ducks and geese. One night a weasel killed several chickens in her coop. They were all placed in one corner...I feel sorry for your daughter...sending hugs.

    BTW - back then the weasel squeezed through a very slight crack in a window frame that was slightly bowed from age/moisture...it was a very little crack!
  6. Yeah, we've sort of decided the most likely culprit was a weasel or similar family member. No flesh was eaten, the poor birds were just killed and left under the hen house. We learned the hard way that 6' fences may keep ducks in, but don't keep predators out. Thankfully our hen house is pretty secure...we've checked numerous times and can't find any small openings that are unprotected by hardware cloth. We'll be sure to have to pop door closed well before dusk! Our little 9 week old EE hardly left the coop for the run yesterday. It was either the wet ground (2" of rain the day/night before) or they "knew" something had gone on outside the night before:(
  7. cschoer

    cschoer In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2012
    I had the same thing happen. I lost two hens and then this morning, another had a bloody head. Mine stay outside and I haven't had any trouble for 3 years. I just makes me sick. They are so vunerable. We are going to put them in a wire cage tonight and set some catch em alive traps. I will post again and let you know what we get.
  8. littleoak

    littleoak Chirping

    Sep 26, 2010
    Ashmore IL 61912
    It is probably a weasel. If you have a way to search under the hen house you might find it living there. I had one living under a small chicken house and had no idea how he came and went, but he did until I found him.
  9. ozarkchicks

    ozarkchicks Songster

    Mar 25, 2013
    like everyone else is saying it's probably a weasel or similar, sounds like what a weasel would do
  10. cschoer

    cschoer In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2012
    I am just sick about this and don't know how to handle it. The ducks so love being outside but will catch them tonight and see if we catch the culprit. I have never had any trouble like this before but now that whatever it is knows there dinner here, I'm sure it will be back. We have had skunks and coons, but of course have never seen a weasel, but I'm sure we must have them. I hope we catch it tonight.

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