Hi, I've been keeping chickens for almost a year. We've got 7 that I picked up at a couple days old last June. We love them - they're laying and doing great but the other day while at Tractor Supply they had ducklings (we stopped to look at chicks but the selection was horrid), and they're CUTE. My 3 year old went bananas but I told her no since I didn't know where we'd put them. We were at the store to pick up t-posts so I could fence in the garden to keep my chickens out. Well, it just so happens I read that keeping ducks in your garden is an excellent idea for pest control, which brings me to my questions.
How much predator proofing do ducks require? Same as chickens? My chickens have a 16x16 fully enclosed run (roof as well) that I leave open to their coop so they can come and go as they please at bedtime and at dawn. I will have no such protection for the garden - just a 4' welded wire fence to (hopefully) keep the chickens out, and keep the dog from trampling things. I'm looking at Welsh Harlequins due to their reputation as docile birds that can possibly be held, and their excellent foraging skills. I believe they are also relatively ground-bound so the 4 ft fence would suffice. But what on earth do you do for predator protection? A small doghouse-like coop with a locking front door?
Also, there is a several acre pond across the street from me. If I let the ducks out of the garden to free-range, it's likely they'll see the pond. What's the likelihood they'll up and disappear on me for "greener pastures"?