Sunday, June 5, 2016

And Then There Was One


A crow swooped down this morning and took one of the two little Cayuga ducklings.  Mama Cayuga chased after the crow but, of course, it was futile.

I felt especially bad about this loss; I think because the duckling was so small and helpless.

26 comments:

Susan said...

Oh, shoot. Sometimes nature sucks lemons. Poor thing. Can you keep mama and baby confined without driving them crazy? I'm so sorry. It's been a really challenging time for you all. Hugs (many) to you.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Well, ya know, it's that struggle between raising livestock as naturally as you can to give them the best life you can . . . or chancing losing some to natural predators. How can the mamas teach the little ones the natural ways when they're penned in an unnatural surrounding? Kinda like caged egg laying hens. Don't wanna keep mama and the babies penned up until . . . when?. But sure do hate to lose them as happened this morning. Sigh.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This is sad!! I had no idea that crows do this? I am so sorry...

Sue said...

Me thinks Papa Pea needs to sit in a lawnchair with a beverage and a shotgun.
;)

Dawn McHugh said...

Oh thats a shame, when we first moved here our chicken that we brought with us had to learn the hard way about buzzards :-(

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

Oh, that's so sad, especially since there were only two to begin with. Circle of life and all that, but still, I feel sorry for the mama duck. -Jenn

Mark said...

Oh my!! I didn't realize a crow would do that! That is saddening and all the more, as you say, because it is so small and helpless.

I've always worried about hawks, falcons, owls, foxes, coyotes, feral cats, the neighbor's cats, wild dogs, the neighbor's dogs, raccoons, 'possums, weasels, and the road. I'd not realized that crows and buzzards (both carrion eaters) would go after a duckling or chick. We have a hen acting like she might go broody and if we she does I'll have to worry about that, too.

Vera said...

Sorry to hear that the little duckling has been taken, but I am not surprised. We have a lot of crows and magpies keeping an eye on us, and they quickly react if there is a chance of food around.

Mama Pea said...

OpEx - This is a first for us. Hawks have taken full-sized chickens before . . . which we knew could happen and were watchful for.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Believe me, the warning has gone out to all close-by crows!

Mama Pea said...

Dawn - Sure are a lot of predators out there, aren't there?

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - I've always thought about snapping turtles in our pond because they will take ducklings in a second . . . but we've never had any signs that we have the turtles. Thankfully.

Mama Pea said...

Mark - We have turkey vultures up here which are carrion eaters but I've only actually seen two of them in the 40+ years we've been here. We so want our fowl to be able to run free in their large fenced in pasture, but when things like this happen . . . :o(

Mama Pea said...

Vera - In the past (but not recently) I've had crows pull small plants right out of the garden (and then let them lie), but this is the first time for taking "food" in the form of livestock.

Michelle said...

This year was the first time I learned this about crows. I was with Rick on a call, and since the mosquitoes were bad I stayed in his truck. I heard a killdeer crying frantically, and looked around. She and a crow where out in the horse pasture, the killdeer desperately trying to lure away the crow while it systematically searched the ground, turning over turds, looking for tasty eggs or chicks. Once I realized what was going on, I couldn't watch; my heart broke for the killdeer family. I admire crows because they are so smart, but their predatory side is hard for me to bear....

Sandy said...

Mama Pea,
Oh no!!! Poor little thing, darn crow!!! I hate when that happens, even if it's part of life.

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - They say we shouldn't put human emotions on animals (birds), but sometimes you just can't help it. I, too, have admired crows for their intelligence, but witnessing this other side changes my feelings about them. :o(

Mama Pea said...

Sandy - No question we're responsible for any livestock we choose to raise and sometimes letting Nature take its course is the way to go . . . then again it's hard to see.

Laurie said...

Oh no, I hate that!

Kristina said...

Oh no. I'm about to toss my new hens outside the roost, so I hope Mr. Hawk is away. They have not left the coop, even though the door is open. I guess they need to learn they can go outside.

Tracy H said...

I'm sorry to hear of your losses, I too just lost a baby duckling to a predator. We are thinking racoon. They were in a complete enclosure and still he reached through the wire and was able to get one :( Sometimes I think it's just part of raising livestock. Deadstock. I hope you can try again and have success!

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - We feel frustrated and wish we had done things differently.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Isn't that always the way? You feel bad that birds have had to have been cooped up so long, and then when you give them "freedom" they act like they don't want it!

Mama Pea said...

Tracy H - Yes, we've had pine marten rip right through chicken wire and dig under wood. Now we put hardware cloth (a stiff wire) on the bottom, top and sides of pens.

DFW said...

Oh my gosh, so sorry to hear this. I knew about hawks snatching little ones but not crows. Although I noticed last week that there are some pretty big crows hanging around our property.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - We've tended to go with the darker colored chickens because the hawks don't seem to see them as well as light colored ones . . . which we've lost in the past to hawks. But these little black fuzz balls apparently didn't blend in well enough. For the crows anyway. :o(