Saturday morning we get up around 9/10ish and as I’m coming downstairs I’m greeted by” our ducks are dead, I need a towel quickly we might be able to save the last one”. I’m confused as to what happened so I run and grab a couple of towels and head out back. My husband hands me Pickles ,who looks as if she has been laying in dirty water for hours. All I see are two dead ducks floating in the water upside down. “WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?” I can’t wrap my head around what possibly could have gone wrong as I am in shock as I hold Pickles in my arms and wrap her in two towels to try and warm her up. Wait I only saw two ducks in the water and I’m holding Pickles, so where is Spots? My oldest son and Husband look everywhere in the yard for Spots and no luck finding the poor baby at all.
I can’t tell you how devastating it is to go to bed knowing that you have 4 ducks and then wake up and you now only have one more. It was a traumatizing day not only for us but for Pickles as she had to witness her siblings die. She could no longer be a happy duck and waddle around in the backyard freely as before. In her mind the backyard was a reminder of what happened to her and how she almost died with the rest of the ducks. I don’t have a clue as to what animal came into our backyard and attacked my sweet ducks as we have only seen squirrels in the backyard. I have never seen a racoon in the area or a opossum either.
I held on to Pickles for as long as I could and once she warmed up we took her upstairs to get a warm bath and to kind of wash the mud and dirt off of her, but she couldn’t stand being in the water. She wanted out, she wasn’t hurt she wanted nothing to do with water. As the day went on we began to go out back to look around for paw prints or any clues as to what it was that attacked my babies in the early morning. We found only our dogs paw prints and he was inside with us, because he is not an outside dog. Shortly after looking around my son comes inside and says that he found Spots, but Spots no longer had a head and he was missing a wing. Well that solves at least one question about what happened. A predator of ducks came into our back yard grabbed Spots and had an early breakfast snack.
Pickles was very much traumatized and could barley be outside by herself or away from us. She became an inside duck for a few days until we rehomed her to a nearby farm with other ducks and animals who roam around the cute little area freely. I don’t think that we will be getting another farm animal anytime soon. As losing animals is just very hard to deal with no matter how they go. You become so attached to the animals that you raise even if they are animals that you have on your property for your food.
The next time we decide to have farm animals, they will be in their own little secured homes and predator proof. I can’t help but feel like the ducks dying was all my fault even though I know that sometimes no matter what you do to protect your animals from the predators, those predators will find a way to get their meal that day.
So I hope that maybe this helps someone who is thinking about getting farm animals, think and plan better than we did on our first time having farm animals. We know better now and when you know better you do better.
Here is a really good site on duck predators and how to prevent them from killing your ducks. Might as well add chickens in there as well, because they might have the same enemy.
Well, thank you for coming along with us on our journey into homesteading and all of the wins and loses that we will go through. Also follow us along on our YouTube at The Petersen Homestead.
Have a wonderful day