Ducks and Dogs

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by rosehillfarm, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. rosehillfarm

    rosehillfarm In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2010
    I am looking for input from others about dogs and ducks. We have a farm (cows, ducks, chickens, horses, goat etc) and the ducks are all free range around the barn and they get locked up at night. We also have our own personal dogs that are at the barn day in and day out. The dogs have never bothered the ducks and are never on the property without people.
    Today there were three ducks missing (no trace anywhere and no feathers anywhere) and I can't help but think that Mr.Fox came and took 3 of them.

    What can we do to make the ducks weary of the foxes (fly away from them!) but still have our dogs around with us? Is there a way to have dogs and ducks and not have the ducks get eaten by dog-looking creatures?!

  2. I foster dogs for the humane society and so bring home strange dogs repeatedly. They do only meet up with a fence between, but my livestock seem to "know" when a dog is new and they are wary. I cannot imagine this would not extend to wild animals as well especially since their odor would be different.

    But my ducks can tell when a dog is "new" and my chickens seem to know when a dog is "nice". My ducks are still young and don't seem as afraid of the dogs as the chickens overall, but I have very large muscovy for the most part. Hope my perspective helps.
  3. rosehillfarm

    rosehillfarm In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2010
    Do you keep your ducks in a fenced in yard with wings clipped? I have 2 mallards that I rescued and I love to see them fly every evening, but I think I am about to resort to clipping wings and putting up a large area for them just to keep them safe.
  4. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Songster

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    Is there any chance of perhaps training the dog to guard the ducks? I know it sounds easier than it is. Just a thought.
  5. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    You're probably not going to be able to train the ducks to be scared of foxes- they either will be or they won't be.

    What you do have control over is how your dogs are trained. I agree with Darlene, in that you may be able to train your dogs to guard your ducks.
  6. rosehillfarm

    rosehillfarm In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2010
    I would love to train my dog to guard the ducks, but my dog comes and goes with me and doesn't live at the barn, outside, with the ducks.
  7. chikky

    chikky Songster

    Jun 13, 2009
    Glenmont, Ohio
    I let the ducks out every evening when I'm home - if I'm not going to be outside with them, I leave the beagle mix outside to guard. He keeps all strange animals away but doesn't bother the ducks at all (nor do the cats). Otherwise, I pen my ducks up when I'm away - the pen has a wire top on it so I don't plan to clip their wings after this molt. The top keeps all the wildlife out of the pen, so everyone is safe at all times.

  8. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    I think they need to learn what "their pack" is, and I'm not sure that you can teach them. Our cat thought that she can just stand still for coyotes, like she does with the dogs. Didn't work out that well for her. A coyote took a bite out of her head. She needed surgery and part of her skull had to be removed because the bone was bend out from the the bite. She was lucky it was the part over her sinuses. She had temporary brain swelling and for a while we did not know if she would recover. She did recover and she did learn about strange dogs/coyotes. She now runs first. Our dogs are still her close cuddle friends. She sleeps and plays with them. Anything else is not part of the family and needs to be avoided. I think ducks will learn too, but the question is at what cost? Hopefully just a scare and not a close encounter.
  9. goosedragon

    goosedragon Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Fox (if it is indeed a fox) depend on speed usually with birds not confined. They will sneak up as close as possible and they rush in and grab a duck by the neck in full rush. Most of the time the prey had no ideal what hit him. Fox are used to birds that fly and that is the natural way for them to attack. I don't know howmany times I have seen fox hit the wire fence that they didn't even notice because they were concentrating on their prey. Some will get up and study and sniff the fence most rush to get back under cover. Sorry but fence or getting rid of the fox is the only answer. Most dogs are too slow to catch a fox. If you have seen movies of hunting with the hounds (on horseback) if the fox is actually caught it is mostly due to bad luck on the fox's part or him going to ground where the hounds can dig him out. Fox will often kill, stash the prey and go back for more if the hunting is good like it would be with a flock of ducks. This is also true when the fox is raising young and more food is needed. Sometimes they will bring the prey home alive for the kits to learn to kill on.
  10. Red Maple Farms

    Red Maple Farms Wish Granted

    Feb 25, 2010
    NE Wisconsin
    Quote:Buy a new dog. Pictured below is our Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog sitting by the duck house.


    Here she is up close and personal.


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