Monday, May 9, 2011

Dead Ducks

Several years ago when my friend moved to Oklahoma she gave us her ducks.  I threw a little hen scratch or cob out each day for them.  They didn't know that they could fly so they didn't.  Last year one of the ducks made a nest in the corner of the barn.  She hatched several ducklings, of which three grew to adulthood.  One of them ended up disappearing.  I don't know if it flew away or if it was attacked by something.  We never found any remains or piles of feathers, so I figure it flew away.

This year two of the ducks made nests.  One made it in the same spot as last year but then abandoned that nest and built another near the hay.  The other duck made a nest under the persimmon tree, next to the far end of the chicken coop. 

The ducklings hatched in the barn Saturday.  I saw the mother outside with the cute little ducklings following along behind her.  The other duck's eggs haven't hatched yet.  Sunday evening son's family was over and I brought him out to the barn with his two little boys to see the baby ducks.  What we saw was really sad.  Spread over about a twenty foot area were five little dead ducklings.  It seems that mother duck was trying to get them back to the nest but wasn't successful.  Something attacked the babies.   They weren't eaten, just dead. 

We are assuming it was Army daughter's yip-yip dogs.  Our large dog has no interest in the ducks, chickens, chicks, cats, or such.  Now squirrels, bunnies, and moles are a different story.  She's chase them down and kill them.  But she will eat them after she kills them.  When we had the baby chicks on the patio in the cage the yip-yips tried to get into the cage to get the chicks.  They'd even stand on top of the cage.  I don't know why this would be any different.  I can't be mad at the yip-yips.  They are bred to kill mice and rats.  Not eat them, kill them.  Of course they are going to go after little ducks or chicks. 

For the next couple days the yip-yips are going to be in one of the dog kennels.  Once the ducklings are hatched we are going to take them from mom and raise them just like we do the chicks.  Mother duck won't be too happy about it but they'll be alive.  I may try to move the duck nest into the new chicken coop.  The baby chicks are in there, separated from the older hens.  There's plenty of room and plenty of green cover still.  That way mom and ducklings can stay together.  I've raised ducklings and chicks before.  It works.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about the ducklings. We have a similar thing going on with our chihuahua and the new chicks/turkey pullets. The German shepherd doesn't care, the rat dog terrier the same. The bigger Akita is interested, but scared of us humans. The chihuahua may not be long for our family. Especially if we can find a good adoptive family.