We have been living a good duck egg life for the past year.
9-13 eggs every morning without a hitch.
Actually when it was super cold this past February, negative 30 or so for almost two weeks, they almost all stopped laying for a few days and then ones that did lay, well their eggs were frozen solid by the time I got to them. That was a brutal two weeks for sure.
This spring, the ducks enjoyed a yummy full pasture of new meadow grasses, worms and bugs. They were happily exploring and running from one end of the pasture to another will wild spring joy like almost all animals do after a hard winter.
And then we started to notice eggs with pecked holes in them. Eggs that were crushed, eggs missing.
We literally built Fort Duckworth to withstand any predator, no skunk or raccoon or hawk could get in there and do this. So what was going on? Cannibalistic behavior? They never did it before so why now? But I just really couldn’t believe that.
So I decided to spend an entire morning in the orchard and veggie garden, doing chores and extra weeding to see if I could spot anything unusual. It seemed to happen between 7-10am.
There were crows, magpies, sharp shinned hawks, maybe, possibly, it was one of those?
And then there they were, doves, Mourning Doves. They walked through the little duck door like they were reporting for duty, and then more lined up on the roof. Six total on the roof and four inside Fort Duckworth.
I went in and shut the door to try and trap them and truly identify them, and this was the photo I snapped super quickly.
Freaking Mourning Doves.
We lost 42 eggs in one week because of these doves.
So another addition to Fort Duckworth, A flight net enclosed yard and a smaller duck door to the pasture. It is awesome so far, and the only other thing I am going to add are hanging CD’s to keep the other song birds away.
Truly, Fort Duckworth was the nicest structure on the property and now it really is the BEST structure on the property!