He called back several minutes later to confirm. One dead duck under the car, dog tracks all over the place. The fence broken down again so the ducks were out and the goose was still in the barn. The duck was mangled. Our precious Leonardo, one of our very first ducks that came to us on October 1.
My heart broke. Did my dog do this? How could this be? He has been so good about leaving the livestock alone. Was it because the kids let him out unattended for his morning potty break? What happened? I was told the cats seemed to have dragged the duck under the car because they were under there munching on it. No way our big beast of a dog could have gotten under the car.
The bunny chores got done, and the family came out to my parents' house for Christmas Eve dinner. We opened some gifts, enjoyed a meal, played with their new dog, and headed home.
We were greeted with more carnage. Another duck, headless in the yard. My heart sank. It was Tweak. Leonardo's brother. And Moose had been in the house the entire time. The kids tracked the foot prints to a den behind the garage. We suspect a raccoon. The dog prints all over this morning were probably Moose following the raccoon scent or chasing it off.
Tonight the remaining seven ducks, Josh the goose, Phil and Big Red the roosters, and Bert and Ernie the guineas are locked in the bunny barn. We closed the garage door and retired the fence panel. If the raccoon or whatever it is can tip the fencing, it's no longer safe to use it.
The chicken coop will be locked up as well. From here on out, if we can't be home at dusk to make sure all of the animals are put away right away, we will have to lock them up before we leave.
I'm also going to buy a live trap for a raccoon as soon as our budget permits. I consider it a top priority.
This evening we found Luna investigating the duck carcass, and after several minutes of frantic searching the kids were able to find Gypsy too. Thankfully both were alive and well. Tonight they are sleeping in the entry way/porch.
Tonight it's supposed to get down to -16 (less than -30 with wind chill factored in). Tomorrow the high is expected to be -9, with tomorrow night dipping to -21. The next few days is going to be brutal. We probably will not see above freezing temperatures again until March or April now.
In better news, today we sold four rabbits. I had hoped to spend that money on rabbit food for January, but perhaps that will be used to buy a live trap instead.