Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Poor ducks



When we are away from home and return after dark, the ducks sometimes elect to spend the night on the pond. The next night, they're usually back in the pen, waiting for us to close the door. No harm done.

Recently though, after we came home late several nights in a row, the ducks refused to return to the pen at all. We tried herding them off the pond, but they were having none of that.

Duckie (1, 2) disappeared. If I'd laid bets on which duck might be picked off first, it certainly wouldn't have been Duckie, the flightiest one in the group.

Then Runt disappeared. Then Bluebill. Dagnabbit, we were going to be stuck with only male Runner ducks left, and wouldn't the female Muscovy just love that, come springtime? And why won't those dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks ducks come back to the safety of the pen at night?! You'd think they'd notice their comrades getting nabbed.

Then Runt reappeared. I don't know where she'd been... she didn't look injured. I am guessing that something chased her, and it took her a while to find her way home again. I held out hope for the other two girls for a few days, but it looks like they're not coming back.

I'm not sure what's getting them... coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, or turtles. Or something else our game camera hasn't caught here yet.

I'm going to try tempting them into the pen in the afternoon, with corn. But they have to be in the vicinity of the back yard to see it, and I can't have fed them too much in the morning, or it won't work. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

10 comments:

soap bubble set said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
soap bubble set said...

I said "I am a new fan of your blog and a big fan of your ducks. Best of luck this afternoon." Then I deleted the comment because of a typo! =D

Dani said...

I'm sorry about your duckies, I hope your able to get the others in this afternoon.

Gail said...

Poor duckies! So sorry they are having a difficult time~~gail

Floridacracker said...

Domestic ducks luck sucks.

Hope you salvage a few.

Pamela said...

It must be something in the water or from the sky.

countrypeapie said...

Sorry to hear of your missing ducks. My husband has decided to build a chicken tractor for our unruly birds. It's really quite amazing that more of ours haven't disappeared. Hope you are able to tempt yours back to the pen.

Pam Croom said...

Does the duck pen have a top? If not, then it is probably owls-the ducks would really be sitting ducks in the topless pen. Owls will go inside, so will opossums and raccoons go over the top, but you probably would have caught them on the critter cam.
Years ago I lost ducks to barred owls who would sweep into the pen.

Good luck with your ducks!

Cookie Jill said...

So glad you are back. I was beginning to get really worried. :-)

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Kwach said...

I feel your pain. Lately our seven ducks (down from the original ten) have been more stubborn about staying on the pond all night, and there's no budging them once the sun starts to go down. Sometimes I can lure them out of the pond with corn and then get between them and the water and herd them home, but this usually requires helpers. Generally, after a couple of nights on the pond, I'll find them in their duck house when I get home from work, waiting for their dinner. The oddest part of this new behavior is that they didn't do it in the summer when it was warm ... they're doing it now that ice is forming on the pond! I think maybe they think they're "guarding" their water ... lol. They were very upset the first morning they ran to the pond and it was frozen!