Fending off predation

It’s always difficult to discover a missing animal in the herd or flock. For our birds, free range comes with higher risk of potential predation. Leafhopper continues to allow free range for now, even though for the first time in five months, we lost a bird. It is still not clear how the duck disappeared, but our conclusion is land or air predator. The farm dog was in alarm for two days in a row with aggressive barking and posturing in the morning and evening hours. Even with her warnings our household of three was unable to intercept the attack and drake went missing. His mate was calling with impassioned pleas to no avail.
Since this incident the farm has been on watch, ministering the birds to see if more lives are lost. The dog is out day and night now as darkness comes sooner and colder nights usher in hungrier bellies who become braver. We do have electric poultry netting, but wish to avoid corralling the flock if possible. So far there has not been another incident, but my intension is to put out a live trap in hopes of intercepting the culprit next time.

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