Duck run

Fluffy_Feathers

Songster
Jul 6, 2017
360
402
186
Missouri
So we are thinking to make a run without a top to it, so it is just open. I thought maybe hawks would get to them, but they need an open space where they can swoop down, get their prey, and swoop back up. The run would be too small to do that. Are there any problems about having an open run? Are we wrong about the hawks?
 

CarleeAnn

Crowing
Apr 29, 2017
949
1,496
251
Louisiana
I had my ducks in an area similar to yours- so small a hawk could not swoop in and so I felt they were safe. I didn’t lose a duck, but one time I went out at night after the ducks were put up and a giant opposum was walking around on the fence line and I saw him again eating duck food scraps on the ground!!! Now I am much more at ease with a top on.
 

cheezenkwackers

Crowing
5 Years
Aug 28, 2016
1,474
2,478
312
Memphis, TN
So we are thinking to make a run without a top to it, so it is just open. I thought maybe hawks would get to them, but they need an open space where they can swoop down, get their prey, and swoop back up. The run would be too small to do that. Are there any problems about having an open run? Are we wrong about the hawks?
I am not so sure about the swooping space thing. I recently found the feathery remains of a sparrow, who I suspect had been eating my duck food, who was clearly killed and eaten in my garden in a space about three feet wide. That said, mine are loose in my fenced yard during the day but I have lots of shrubs and bushes to sleep and hide under.
I am not sure where you are located but there are two kinds of hawks common in my area, Coopers and Red-tailed. Coopers hunt birds and fly around a corner quickly to surprise their prey. The sparrow in my garden probably met a Cooper’s hawk. Most full grown ducks are too big for Coopers but people on this sight have had their Khaki Campbell and smaller ducks killed by them. They usually only eat the duck’s neck and leave the rest.
The Red-tailed hawk hunts by sitting on a perch (tree or fence) and waiting for movement. They then rush in. They are the infamous chicken hawks and can kill an adult duck. I have only had one fly over my yard and the purple martins drove it off so I feel pretty safe when they are around.
Not a hawk, but don’t forget Great Horned owls. One, often flies over my yard as the sun is setting, so I make sure everyone is locked in a covered run by dusk.
I hope all this helps you decide whether to cover your run or not.
 

quackingdom

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 10, 2015
637
518
252
I'm not entirely sure it would prevent hawk attacks, because I've seen hawks catch animals and they don't always do it in one swoop. Sometimes they come to a full stop on the ground, then fly straight up again.

But if the run is small, maybe you could string cables across the top and tie something shiny like old CDs along it to discourage hawks from coming close.

Other types of predators could still be a problem though. It would probably be a good idea to cover it.
 

llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
3,017
4,806
356
Illinois
I have Hawks flying around all the time. I could never do anything not covered. I'm getting an extended play yard for mine and it will be used when I'm home. A large burd(eagle or owl) tried taking my 12 week old golden retriever one time. Very scary.
 

Soon2BChixMom

Herding ducks and Wrangling chickens
Jan 8, 2017
9,131
19,844
842
I have Hawks flying around all the time. I could never do anything not covered. I'm getting an extended play yard for mine and it will be used when I'm home. A large burd(eagle or owl) tried taking my 12 week old golden retriever one time. Very scary.
Oh. Wow.
 

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