Something got our ducks

rwng(IL-Z5)October 21, 2011

Earlier tonight, we lost four out of five ducks. Three had head wounds and one was pulled through a small opening (roughly 2" X 6") and eaten under a piece of tin roof. This happened shortly after getting dark. My first thought was coyotes or a fox but the lack of feathers and small space, makes me think weasel or mink. Any ideas on what to look for? I will get a couple live traps tomorrow, though I'm not sure what I'm trapping. Any help would be appreciated.

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Sounds like maybe a racoon or possom. OR maybe a fishercat if you have them where you are.

Are they free-range?

Yup, I'd set a couple traps & ensure the safety of the last duck.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 7:30PM
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Thanks for the reply. They were out during the day and put away when it got dark. (we just got home a little later Thursday) The small opening that they were pulled through, makes me think small. Yet the one that was completely gone makes me think bigger. My son told me he saw what looked like a Fisher when he was scouting the area a while back. After 3 nights of traps, I have nothing.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 1:53PM
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Put some kind of bait inside your a raw chicken breast.
A gal in Maine on another board has been having problems too. They have caught 2 coons. The description of what happened is very close to yours. If you start missing only one at a for hawks. She had that happening during the day also!...a golden hawk!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 8:56PM
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I just wanted to give an update / conclusion. My wife caught the perp red handed (a Mink) but it got away. It had got to our last duck by chewing / digging a hole through the wall of the chicken coop. (Which was plywood, insulation and panneling) To catch it, I baited the trap with what was left of the last duck and had him within 2 hours. I can't believe that little Mink went through a half dozen ducks in 3-4 days. My wife is scared away from starting over with new ducks. She says it's because we can't keep them safe.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 1:35PM
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Well I'm glad you know what it was, and Im sorry about your last duck.

A ferret can get through a 1x2 opening, being minks are relatives I suspect the same for them. Why not line your chicken coup with hardwirecloth? Top, bottom, sides. Those 1/2 x 1/2 holes nothing is going go get into, unless it's a bear or something.
Our coop door is a 2x4 wooden frame screwed together, with cross braces, and lined with hardwire cloth. It has withstood over 15 years and still going strong. The rest of the coop is concrete floor and walls, then built like a house. Nothing short of a bear is getting in there.


    Bookmark   November 10, 2011 at 6:01PM
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Thanks Brendasue, I also appreciate the tips on fortfication of the coop. I figured if it would chew through the plywood wall, what would stop 'em. We have some of that wire mesh so maybe I'll talk her into more ducks. We really enjoyed the eggs.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2011 at 1:26PM
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