Saturday, August 30, 2008

No Ducks on the Pond Tonight

Hal and I managed to capture the 7 mallard ducks and put them in the garage tonight. Tomorrow we'll take them to his parent's farm for an unknown amount of time. I've lost 3 ducks this week, two muscovies earlier this week and one mallard drake last night. Seems to be happening every 3 days. I took the dinghy into the pond today and found the little drake's body. His body was still whole, bobbing in the water but his neck was laying on the bank, eaten down to the bones and his head was gone. There were feathers plastered up the side of the bank.

We bought a couple of spring traps yesterday thinking we were after raccoon, but having found the body in that state, it points to a mink. Those are nasty little critters who wander far and wide and come back over and over till the food supply is gone. They are hard to catch. It's possible I may not be able to keep my ducks. Not unless I can stop this mink. If I can't get it I'll have to lock the ducks up every night.

It's generally impossible to get the mallard ducks off the pond once dusk hits. So we spent all afternoon catching them with a net, one at a time, waiting for them to come back to the garage after they ran away in a panic. Can't do that every day. Nor do I want to pen them up 24 hours a day. What's the point of having a pond if I can't let the ducks swim in it?

If I do have to get rid of the mallard ducks I hope I can keep the muscovies as they aren't as pond oriented. We took the raft off the pond today so they can't sleep on it. Apparently, a mink can easily grab a duck from the raft, dragging it into the water and drowning it. I know that's where the 3 girls were sleeping the night one of them vanished. Better if the muscovies don't have the chance to sleep there anymore. Tonight the two remaining muscovies are sleeping on the deck railing only 12 feet from the bedroom door. That's at least 40-50 feet from the pond. But I still can't risk keeping them unless I can lock them up at night, too.

I've had better weeks.

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