We lost the second and last little Cayuga duckling yesterday. To the same predator (or a relative) as the first one.
Yes, we've been trying to remedy the crow situation. No, our efforts haven't been adequate. Obviously.
We now realize if we are going to be successful in raising homestead- hatched waterfowl we will have to keep the mamas and offspring in a secure pen until they reach a certain size.
What will that size be? Several years ago our daughter had a crow take a half-grown chicken.
In the past we've raised hatched goslings with no trouble. Also chicks. Were the mama geese big enough to protect their young from the marauding crows? Why didn't we lose any of the tiny bantam chicks the bantam hen last hatched out and raised in the same pasture? Were the little Cayuga ducklings just too small? Too easy to pick up and carry away? Was the first-time Cayuga mama not experienced enough to protect her young?
Right now we're feeling quite the failures at adequately protecting our birds and being able to establish our own homestead breeding stock of ducks and geese.
Live and learn, as they say. We've been learning.
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