Hawks for Ancona freerange

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by seussiii, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. seussiii

    seussiii Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2017
    Just ordered my first crew of Anconas. Did my research and they seemed to have everything I was looking for...good egg production, size for meat, foraging, etc.

    For those of you with larger ducks, like the Anconas, do you have a lot of issues with hawks? I'm building a house and run but would like to let them out during the day to roam around the property. Do hawks tend to leave ducks alone once they get into the 6+ pound range?

    Trying to get a good idea just in case I need to limit their range area to under cover or trees....maybe even setup nets if necessary.
     
  2. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello, @seussiii , and [​IMG]!

    Hawks are always a problem, I think. In my family, as soon as a shadow crossed the lawn, we'd all be up and yelling like cavemen to get to the ducks lol. Once, we were about five feet away from them. We were happy, they were happy - and a hawk swooped down out of nowhere! He almost nabbed one of them, but the ducks split up (There were two of them) and that confused him. Try to plan against hawks and birds of prey in general - they probably couldn't carry a 6+ pound duck, but they could hurt it. I had Cayuga ducks, by the way, I think they and Anconas are in the same weight range.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I just lost a game bantam hen yesterday most likely from a hawk. It's heart breaking to lose one but I can't pen my flock up they free range inside a half acre fenced property but hawks are fast and stealth. They're Locked up at night.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  4. dotknott

    dotknott Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    We have hawks by the boat load and a pair of bard owls that have nested in the swamp for the past three years. Our birds are always on the lookout and sometimes run from planes, but we haven't lost any to avian predators yet. The coop is near a big maple that affords some cover of the yard until they can get to the shrubs, and there's a stand of pines that provides a bit of cover in the winter at the stream.
     
  5. seussiii

    seussiii Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok thanks for the replies! Still interested in anyone else's experiences. I guess I'll have to test the waters a bit once they get larger.

    Was mostly curious because I saw this bit from the Ancona description

    "They make excellent pond or yard ducks since they tend to stay close to home, do not fly under normal conditions and are large enough so that they are less likely to be preyed upon by winged predators. Typically they have moderately calm temperaments and make fine pets." (Holderread, 2001)
     
  6. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have to agree with the previous posters - even large ducks aren't safe from hawks. A hawk, likely a Cooper's hawk, which is pretty small, killed my favorite Muscovy duck last year. She's the only duck that the hawks have taken to date, but she was a full-grown adult. [​IMG]

    I don't think the hawks are as interested in Muscovy drakes because they're huge and pretty wild, but I've no doubt that the Cooper's or Red-Tailed hawks where I live would attack my Pekin/Runner mixes or the Runner duck. Fortunately, they stay together and that seems to deter the hawks to some extent - the duck that was killed was by herself. My Muscovies will also alert to a hawk and essentially "point" to where it is (sometimes even, unwisely IMO, heading toward it as a group) and the hawks don't seem to like it.

    I choose to free range during daylight hours and accept the attendant risks, but it's a bitter pill to swallow when a hawk kills a laying hen or a duck. I think they're opportunists and prefer easy prey, like inattentive young chickens, based on my chicken losses vs. duck losses.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. seussiii

    seussiii Out Of The Brooder

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    Perfect! Thank you for the info. The coop/run will be a bit in the open but has brush and many oak trees around the perimeter of the yard. Hopefully that cover will help when needed and they stick together.
     
  8. QuackSpeak

    QuackSpeak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hopefully! We let our ducks free range only when we were home, so if we saw a shadow crossing the lawn, or heard quacking (Leave a window or screen door open), we would run out very fast, to ward off the hawk. A lot of the time, the ducks were just quacking for treats [​IMG], but still.
     

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