Electric Fencing, Compost , and ducks


9 Years
Feb 27, 2015
We are building the duck barn near the garden and the compost pile. Which could be a good or bad idea! The ducks will be up in the coop at night and have a fenced yard, but we also plan to let them free-range at some point. Questions I have:

The garden is surrounded by a solar powered electric fence. Will the ducks zap themselves if they are free ranging and head that way? I see people with electrified fencing on coops, but wasn't sure on specifics.

The compost bin is open, I am sure the ducks will find and love it, but things I might ordinarily compost may be duck no-nos (onions, avocado). Will too much access to compost and decomposing stuff hurt them?
I keep the duck no-no compost in a tumbler bin - the mulchy stuff I allow them access to. In fact, the latter is Carmella's favorite place on Earth, I think.

When I allowed the ducks near an electric fence, one of them did get a little zap once. Worried me for a few minutes, but she was fine and continues to be so.

Free ranging has its drawbacks - primarily, that the flock is more vulnerable. I take the ducks for walks around the place, and even that increases risk a bit, though I am ready to shield and defend them. Hawks are perhaps the biggest risk, and only once did a hawk swoop in for a close look, then change his or her mind about it.
Thanks! I am hoping their size (Cayuga and Ancona) will deter hawks during free-ranging when we get to that point. I'm so overprotective they may never get let out!
In general, with electric fencing, you want them to get to zapped right away, while you are there to make sure they just get a little zap and move away, rather than sticking their heads through and freaking out. The idea is that the get zapped briefly and remember to avoid the fence, which, in my experience, works quite well. What you don't want is an animal who is willing to stick its head through the fencing, because they can panic and get trapped when that happens.
And just so you know, I've zapped myself a few times, and it is a very memorable, but not long lasting, sensation....

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