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Ducks and Hawks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kangasox, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. Kangasox

    Kangasox Songster

    Feb 27, 2015
    We are about to embark on the duck journey , and are wondering about real life duck/hawk danger. Storey's guide says it's possible for hawks to eat ducks; how common is it? We hope to have Anconas, Magpies, and Khaki Campbells, depending on hatching success. We also have a pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks that live on our property that we see frequently,so I'm wondering if free-ranging is going to work.

  2. buff goose guy

    buff goose guy Songster

    Feb 9, 2014
    Mississippi Y'all
    yeah id get rid of the hawks, while not the most frequent predator, the hawk will kill and eat a duck without even carrying it off, from experience it is saddening to walk outside and see a hawk standing over one of your babies wrecked bodies.
  3. bmmkh

    bmmkh In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2015
    What I have read about red shouldered hawks is that they rarely eat things larger than a pigeon. They would definitely be a problem with your ducklings.
  4. Kangasox

    Kangasox Songster

    Feb 27, 2015
    Good to know. I don't plan to have them roam for a few months, at least until they are full size.
  5. Richb353

    Richb353 Chirping

    In my two years of duck hobby, I have yet to lose any of my flock to flying predators (coyote, raccoon, bobcat are a different sad story but I digress).
    First, I don't let the birds free range until they are full size. When I did let the little fuzz butts roam, it was under my direct supervision.
    Second, the flock has a place to run & hide if they need to. There is nothing to stop a hawk from walking into the Quack Shack after one of the ducks, but I think it is not in their nature.
    The ducks help their own cause as well, when they feel like an afternoon siesta, they will take their naps near or under something rather than out in the open.
    Finally, I put my flock away at dusk which takes the owl out of the equation. Only rarely do I see owl, but when I do they are relatively large.

    1 person likes this.
  6. donkeydew2farms

    donkeydew2farms Songster

    Apr 12, 2014
    I also have a pair of red tail hawks that a live in my field in the tall trees.They been there for years,so far it hasn't been a problem but makes me worry when I see them flying over. I know they see the ducks. my ducks run for the trees and when they sleep they are always in the shade against something like a tree or there pen. mine are locked up at night the owls are more of a problem.We can't get rid of the wild life and killing raptors are illegal so I just pray when I go home they are all there.[​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  7. Amykins

    Amykins Crowing

    May 11, 2013
    There's a bald eagle nesting in a tree not 20 yards away from my back porch, now THERE'S a stressful scenario!

  8. Kangasox

    Kangasox Songster

    Feb 27, 2015
    Thanks for all the input. @donkeydew, that's pretty much the same scenario we have here. we have lots of trees and bushes for cover. I guess I'll wait til they're big, keep an eye on them, and hope for the best. Hard to reconcile in the "real world" ducks would sometimes fall prey to predators. I guess that's the risk with making them pets and caring about them.
  9. G gallus

    G gallus Hatching

    Jun 13, 2014
    Attempting to kill all the wildlife in the area is riddled with ethical and ecological problems (get rid of the predators and you'll have a lot of pests, for one), and is a lot like trying to stop all the rain because one night you left your cellar door open and it flooded. Work with nature, not against it: get a livestock guardian dog, like a Great Pyrenees, to watch your flock when you're not home. We live on Cayuga Lake with all manner of raptors, including bald eagles, great horned owls, and at least 2 red tailed hawks living in the walnut grove in our backyard, and we haven't lost a single bird since we got our Pyrenees. Before that we had lost a few chickens to foxes and every time it happened it was a mistake on my part (not closing the coop before it got dark, citing the coop next to brush that a predator could use for cover, etc). Wild animals don't get the concept of property, and there is no malice on their part, they just go for the easiest meal available. The river carves its path through troughs and valleys, it doesn't attempt to go up the hills or mountains: whatever conserves the most energy wins in the natural world. So the answer is to just make it harder for them. If it's easier to find and kill wild game they will. :)
    2 people like this.
  10. Kangasox

    Kangasox Songster

    Feb 27, 2015
    I adore wildlife and have a special fondness for raptors (weird, I know), so I would never try to kill or remove them, or anything, really. Except mice in my house. Gross. But I also grew up with Newfoundlands, and remembering the drool, smell, hair, and matting of fur, I'm not likely to head back down that path either :). Even if they stay outside. We'll just keep them locked up tight at night, and see how free-ranging goes when they reach full size. And where you live sounds SO very lovely. Thanks!

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