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What predator likely killed my duck?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by donnavee, Oct 16, 2012.

  1. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have chickens and ducks that free range in a semi-cleared out area of our woods during the day. We have fencing around the area to keep them from straying too far and there are several covered areas where they can go for shelter. At night everyone is locked up tight in their respective houses. Until yesterday, we have never lost a bird in 3 years.

    We left early yesterday morning for a day trip to visit DH's mom - after leaving the ducks & chicks out. We made a point of getting back before dark so we could make sure everyone was safely locked up for the night - but duck count came up one short - a grey call female. We did our best to search the woods but came up with nothing. This morning I did a more thorough search and found her carcass - completely stripped of all flesh except for the wing tips - but otherwise completely in tack. There were a few feathers around but not a lot. We don't know if a hawk or owl could have gotten her during the day or if she stayed outside and something else got her during the night. I would have thought a flying predator would have taken her but she was completely eaten on the ground. She was a bit big for a call, but still not more that 3 lbs.

    Any thoughts on what would have done this?
     
  2. flockoffour

    flockoffour Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A racoon mabey?
     
  3. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sort of ruled out racoon since I had heard they normally just eat the organs. Nothing was left on the duck but it's feet, beak and wing tips yet it was all in one piece.
     
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    It could have been anything. Or multiple meals for different animals. There are a lot of predators who love a free chicken dinner.

    I've had crows kill 3 pound birds. They open the abdomen, pull out the intestines then eat the breast. They would finish the whole thing and leave bones if they had enough time. (Crows caught in the act, I am not making false accusations). But there are lots of different predators who can strip the bones.
     
  5. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah as I think on it I realize that even my own chickens could have picked the bones after a predator killed the duck and took what it wanted. Since I have no idea when the attack happened we are monitoring the chicken/duck area very carefull and from now on, everyone goes into lock down if we are gone for the entire day. Didn't hear any crows or hawks today which is good. I actually didn't know crows killed grown birds.
     
  6. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

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    if the bones were left intact i'd say hawk. almost all other predators make cuts or break some bones. hawks can only pull bits and pieces off. if the bones have some "string" attached to the bones, that is definitely a hawk.
     
  7. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like hawk then - it did look like something had just "plucked" the meat & feathers from her bones. I always thought they would fly off with their meal,
     

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