I don't how to say this but to just say it....all of my Ducks are gone.
I went out yesterday around 9:00am to do my duck chores and it was unusually quiet for such a cold morning. My duck have been "sleeping" in during the cold so I was surprised to find their house empty. But , they are hardy creatures and I have been noticing signs of the end of their molt and a bit more liveliness. So I went around to the duck yard, all was quiet and undisturbed. I started to listen for them, they sometimes travel into the woods along the stream if there is open water. I was looking in that direction when I saw a body. It was Pokey, the only duck that I named, because she was always left behind and trying to catch up. She wasn't long dead, there were no signs of any other ducks.
I have to admit that I haven't been locking them up at night.
All around the Duck house there was very little sign of struggle or attack. I think the ducks must have been outside. There were very few feathers, just poor Pokey's body. I picked her up so I could take her far from the house and leave her in the woods. I zig-zagged through the woods looking for any signs of struggle or just maybe a duck hiding in some brush. This icey snow is not conducive to leaving track trails. I found no more signs. I admit I started to cry a bit. The Ducks were more than wonderful egg laying bug eating machines for me. They were a source of daily joy. The nearly 5 years that they were with us I never minded any of the chores...I even like cleaning the duck house. They are just such pleasant smile producing creatures I was always happy to care for them.
Anyways, my guess as to what happened was 6 coyotes must of came. The ducks must have been outside when they were attacked and then carried away. It must have been morning based on Pokey's condition. So even if I had locked the ducks in it could have happened. It is a rough winter and many creatures must be struggling. I do not begrudge the coyotes that saw an opportunity for an easy meal. I am grateful that the ducks were 5 years old. They have been slowing down with egg production. I had been thinking of refreshing the herd but, had not intended to cull my old girls...well because they were my old girls. I just got the Murray McMurray Catalog this week. I was devising a plan to experiment with introducing the new ducks to the old....guess I will have to wait another 5 years to give that idea a go.
Day before yesterday I posted this Rumi quote along with this photo on my Facebook
Do Not look Back My Friend
No One Knows How The Worlds Ever Began.
Do Not Fear The Future , Nothing Lasts Forever.
If You Dwell In The Past Or Future
You Will Miss The Moment. ~Rumi
I am grateful for all my duckie moments. But I did leave the light on in the duck house just in case last night. Today I cleaned things up. Guess the wild turkeys will enjoy the open bag of duck food. Below are a few links to earlier blogposts about my good ducks.