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protecting ducks from predators & still allowing them outside time? - Page 2

post #11 of 15

Where I am there are lots of foxes, but basically no other predator apart from your average neighbour's dog that can hang around and thinks that everything that moves is something to get aggresive at. Foxes are very very very annoying because they are very cunning so when i let my ducks and chickens out I stay with them and sometimes have my dog with me.
When I let them out i help catch grass hoppers (our pests and the birds fave meal) and feed it to the ducks and chooks so they stay close to me. Also I give them their scraps when its time to come back in so they look forward to that and dont linger out of their pen.
So maybe keeping friendly birds and treats (like mentioned by someone else) is a good idea.
goood luck!!

post #12 of 15

  Who needs to jump when you can climb??A while ago I learned we have these fellows in New York State -Grey Foxes :Tree climbing is one of the most notable adaptations in the gray fox. Gray fox have been reported to den several yards above the ground. This is not only advantageous in escaping predators such as coyotes, it may also improve their ability to find food. By gripping the bole of the tree with their front paws, and as they push off with their hind feet, they will let go with their front and re-grip the bole of the tree higher up. Once they're up in the crown they tend to jump from branch to branch. Descent is backwards or if the tree is leaning they will run down the trunk of the tree.Due to their more aggressive behavior, Gray fox prefer to hunt thicker cover than the more timid red fox. ARRGG! DEATH FROM ABOVE!!

post #13 of 15

So we have a few bobcats, but Raccoons are our major predators.   What has worked for us has been locking them up at night.  I get them in at night by feeding them.  They will stand outside the barn and make a bunch of noise if I'm late feeding them or late letting them out in the morning.  If I were you I would improve your fences so they can't leave your property.  I had to do that back when we first got our ducks.   We were fenced in 100% with field fencing but as you well know the ducks will go right though that.  So in some places I just tacked up some red plastic construction fence.  No it won't keep the predators out, but it will keep the ducks in.  It might not be the best solution, but it was cheap and has served us well anyway.  After a few weeks of the ducks being fed regularly, and feeding them only inside their pen they will get use to it and come right in for you I believe.  At least that has been my experience.  Now that's not to say that I haven't ever lost a duck.  Before I was locking them up at night I had a real problem with predators getting them for sure.  Now, it's not an issue.  I knock on wood I can't think of any duck losses in the last year, though we did have two chickens in the last year.  One appears to have dropped dead in the hen house.  No signs of any kind of attack, so I took the guess of natural causes.  Another simply disappeared.  But that is WAY down from a few years ago when I was ready to give up the whole Chicken, Duck and Goose thing because I was sick of feeding the wild life. 


I know how devastating it can be to what your trying to do and also to you emotionally to have your animals constantly attacked, but you can make this better. 


Another bit of advise.  Most of the times when a duck is attacked there are some feathers or possibly blood where the attack occurred.  Obviously if they are roaming off your property into the woods you might not know where it happened at.  I have in the past been able to figure out what took one of my birds by looking at foot prints / tracks in the mud near the kill site.  But the bottom line, you got to get them in at night, and keep them from getting so far away that you can't keep track of them. 


Hope this has helped.



post #14 of 15
I move my ducks from their night pen to their day-forage area daily with the help of Emma.... Not only does she help move my ducks, she also keeps predators away.
post #15 of 15

What a good helper you have there! 

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