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Why am I losing ducks with my LGD on duty?

Discussion in 'Livestock Guardians' started by Angeliki Manouselis, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Mar 21, 2019
    Angeliki Manouselis

    Angeliki Manouselis Ridin' The Range

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    I brought my trained LGD "Indie" home a month ago, she is almost 2 years old. She is an absolute sweetheart, she is great with the goats, chickens, ducks, plays with my farm dog in the evenings and at some points during the day, who is also her age, she is protective, she barked a lot at night when she first got here, and I was happy with that, I hadn't lost any birds... until this week! I've lost 5 ducks in the past 10 days, so I locked the rest of the ducks up, I don't know what is getting in the pasture but I am guessing it might be a raccoon, possibly a bobcat because I haven't seen any signs of struggle, just completely missing birds... :( Just for some more background info, I only have 1 acre, but my dads land is next to mine and he has 6 acres, but we have been keeping our fence that divides our property closed so that Indie stays near the goats and birds at night.
    I haven't heard her barking much at night, and she won't stay in the pasture where all the animals are, but she knows how to get in and out (I put a bungee cord on the gate so she can go in and out until I figure out how to keep her in there at night, as she is a great digger and very persistent about not being locked up) Indie had a litter of puppies at her previous home, and they were 10 weeks old when I went to pick her up. She is still not spayed but I plan on getting it done very soon. My question is would the possibility of her about to be in heat affect how she is not doing her job? Do dogs get tired and lethargic like we do as women? Lol I just don't know. I just checked on her and she is just laying out in the yard looking like she's asleep, (it's 1am) and my truck is in between her and the pasture, she it's not like she is even paying attention to where the animals are. Does she not have a drive to protect her new stock because she isn't bonded with them yet? I don't know what to do. Should I get guinnea fowl to have an alarm system? Lol. I just bought motion sensor solar lights to put out in the pasture tomorrow too...
     
  2. Mar 21, 2019
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    Are you losing the ducks at night or during the day? Is is possible that it is an owl or hawk?
     
  3. Mar 21, 2019
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    So sorry for your losses....:hugs....what breed of duck and how old were they?.....it could be that Indie is overwhelmed by the amount of predators.....what kind of fencing do ya have?....and where were the ducks staying when they were nabbed?.....when any female animal goes into her estrus cycle the drive is nature and it is in their dna to reproduce, so anything else is ignored......there are several predators that could be the culprit....depending on size....and don't discount humans either.
     
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  4. Mar 21, 2019
    Angeliki Manouselis

    Angeliki Manouselis Ridin' The Range

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    I am not entirely sure if it could be a hawk or owl... I have a HUGE tree that everyone hides under when any hawks come around, the roosters alert. I am pretty sure it's happening at night.
     
  5. Mar 21, 2019
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    I am surprised that the LGD doesn't bark if it is a ground predator, but an owl might be another story. Another possibility is that it is something big and she knows that she is outmatched. But a large animal should show some sign of messing with your fence. I have a coyote or fox taking chickens (no dog in that pen) during the day but I can see where they dig under the fence and I can see some feathers where they make the first grab. If you see no evidence at all it would make me think even more that it is a bird of prey. Maybe get a game cam. It is so heartbreaking to lose our animals.
     
  6. Mar 21, 2019
    Angeliki Manouselis

    Angeliki Manouselis Ridin' The Range

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    They were mixed breed ducks, I lost 2 full grown Cayuga and a Pekin, then it's offspring that were 2 months old. They are all free range and will not go in at night. I also had one of my huge BLRW roosters attacked by something at night then the next day he died in the coop. I didn't have any issues with predators since I trapped a bobcat 2 years ago. Maybe another bobcat moved in or maybe it's the awful raccoons that I see down the street, whatever it is, Indie isn't scaring it off. I don't know how many predators, I am putting cameras up soon though. I don't live near woods really but I am near the railroad tracks that are wooded... But anyway I'm sure the ducks make a huge loud fuss when they're being murdered, I just don't understand why she isn't going over there and doing her job. So weird. Here is some photos of the fencing,,, It's a corner of my property so half of it is 6ft privacy fence, the other half is 6ft livestock post fence.
    fence1.jpg
    fence2.PNG
    fence3.PNG
     
  7. Mar 21, 2019
    Angeliki Manouselis

    Angeliki Manouselis Ridin' The Range

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    That is what I thought, it's so odd that there are no signs of struggle... There's no way it's that large of an animal, no bear, or wolves where I live, and I've never seen a Florida panther as long as i've lived here... Gotta be a pesky raccoon climbing the fence, I just don't know how it can be so stealthy or quick about it if it's gotta scale a 6ft fence with a duck in it's mouth. So maybe it's a bobcat, it could scale the fence easily. I'm getting cameras put in soon and they have really good night vision too!
     
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  8. Mar 21, 2019
    Angeliki Manouselis

    Angeliki Manouselis Ridin' The Range

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    Oh by the way, I went outside again to see what Indie was doing and I had to say hey! and point out a rabbit hopping around about 50ft from her. Seriously? Lol what is going on with her? I know a rabbit isn't a predator, but she noticed it after I pointed it out then she chased it haha but didn't bark!
     
  9. Mar 21, 2019
    babsbag

    babsbag Herd Master

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    Ducks are pretty good size too; I would think that a racoon would have a hard time carrying it in its mouth and climbing a fence. That is just strange that she isn't chasing things off. Could she be depressed from leaving her home and her pups? I know that you are only on an acre but these dogs really do better in pairs.
     
  10. Mar 21, 2019
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    I would ask the breeder how she was trained and for what?...if it is that sized duck, I doubt that a large GHO could fly off with one....ducks can see at night, but chickens can't....they are blind without light....I had ducks and put them in at night, because of possums and coons, but there would be evidence left with either of those....I still wouldn't count out humans.....we gave our ducks to a lady before we moved and after she had them for about 3mnths, they started missing and she couldn't figure out why or what....then, the culprit was caught....it was a human and he had taken every duck except 1....it was 12 ducks that we gave her....came to find out that there was bad blood between their families and the guy did it cause the lady liked the ducks so much and he wanted her pay for turning him in to the law for something else he did....so, I think ya are wise to get some game cameras set up so ya will know just what ya are up against....:)
     
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