Can ducks be happy not free ranging?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by abudka, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. abudka

    abudka New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Jan 20, 2015
    We have lost two ducks in less than a week due to a hawk. We are down to one lonely duck, who will no longer be roaming free. The kennel is well protected, but our yard not so much. I had promised my son he could get more ducks in the spring, but I don't want to keep ducks cooped up all day while we are gone if they will be unhappy. Both hawk attacks occurred while we were home, but inside the house. Advice?
     
  2. tdd2

    tdd2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    222
    39
    98
    Mar 14, 2014
    SEPA, USA
    Our 5 ducks are kept in a secure, 6' x 8' predator proof pen any time we are not out with them. It is attached directly to their night barn, which has an additional 5'x 6' area for them.

    They seem completely happy!

    They have a 6 gallon indoor 'pool', food and waterers available at all times in the pen (no feed or water in the night barn).

    We never let our ducks free range unless one of us is out with them - ever.

    I've actually had hawks come at them while I was standing with them at my feet...domestic ducks are at the very bottom of the food chain, with no way to protect themselves - If you want to keep them safe, keep them protected.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  3. tdd2

    tdd2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    222
    39
    98
    Mar 14, 2014
    SEPA, USA
    ...they do get at least an hour or two of supervised/protected yard time daily.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

    23,015
    2,006
    491
    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    tdd2 and I have very similar management, and my flock is quite happy. You can see for yourself.

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  5. Mrs.H

    Mrs.H Chillin' With My Peeps

    630
    29
    153
    Mar 22, 2010
    Mine don't free range. I have a couple chain link dog kennels put together for them to make one large area. They have a pool/water area, their house in there, an area for shade etc. Plenty of room to run around!
     
  6. TSW99

    TSW99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    203
    1
    63
    Sep 7, 2014
    Tallahassee Fl
    They certainly love free ranging but are happy with out. I keep mine in a 40"X10" foot un covered run.
    Last year I lost a duck due to a hawk and since they have been in their run I have lost none because all the ducks stay close in the run and I think since all the ducks are near each other it makes the hawk feel out numbered and less likely to want to attack
    Hpe this helps
     
  7. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    7,556
    360
    311
    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I have some who are penned(my calls) but others who free range, keys are ensuring you have good space for the birds your keeping and an enriched environment.. (pools, foraging areas etc)

    For some free ranging is not an option, you just have to rethink your management, sorry for your loses.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  8. abudka

    abudka New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Jan 20, 2015
    We are going to add onto the current kennel this spring so they will have more space. The hawk sat in the tree all day staring at our last lonely little duck. No more free ranging.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by