Originally Posted by rhetor
We have a great setup at our property for some ducks! We're just finishing up the duck pond but are a bit worried about local hawks as I have spotted them from time to time. We were thinking adding a goose to the mix, as well as giving our Border Collie a good guard job, might work well.
Would a Pilgrim Goose and 3 female Cayuga/Swedes plus a drake be a good flock? I want to make sure everyone gets along. I know these birds are social animals, but I'm not sure if you can "mix and match" a goose with ducks!
I started out with a goose and a few ducks. My goose stayed bonded with the ducks her entire life, but when I got her a companion, it became apparent that they are totally different creatures. They feed differently, range differently and their social structure is more complex than ducks.
I'd be careful thinking your border collie will guard them, it may prefer herding them which can be stressful for the fowl.
We also found that geese don't really protect either. We had a bald eagle come down right into the flock to grab a duck. The geese all ran to the barn and just watched the eagle begin tearing the duck apart. They did however initially alert me to the problem, and I was able to save the duck. If I would have missed that initial alert, I wouldn't have known because they were silent afterwards.
The best thing we found for hawk/eagle protection were things ducks could get under that were close to the ground, close enough that the ducks could get under but not high enough that a raptor could swoop under. We used trailers and trucks, but anything wide, long and short enough should work.
I wish you the best!