How to Protect Free-Range/Pastured Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Shellscom, Aug 18, 2014.

  1. Shellscom

    Shellscom In the Brooder

    Aug 18, 2014
    First off I'm new to this website, so let me know if I'm doing anything wrong.

    I was wondering on how to protect my ducks, because I'm worried about them bring eaten by predators like raccoons, foxes, dogs, hawks, etc. I've tried looking on the Internet, but couldn't find much of help for my coop. I would also like to know how to protect both, their free-range time and time in their coop/run. I want to know how to protect them 24/7 from anything that puts them in harms way. Thank you for spending your time helping me!


    Jun 10, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    Lock them up EVERY night. Make sure their coop is sturdy and does not have openings big enough for things to get in. It still needs to be ventilated but put fencing over venting, that's what we did. There run needs to b secure. Fencing buried in the ground, and make hard for things to clime over. Make sure the holes are to small for preds to reach in. I set up fake owles and hawks to deter them. They need to be moved so the birds think they are real. Also put up things in the run for them to hide under. I use a kid jungle gym and a bunny hutch. I hope this helps.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  3. Shellscom

    Shellscom In the Brooder

    Aug 18, 2014
    Yes of course it helps! Now how do I protect them during the day when they are free-ranging or swimming in a small pool? Our neighbors on both sides have dogs, and I'm worried about other predators. I'll probably keep a constant eye on them, but sometimes I'll be too busy to do such. Thanks for your suggestions!
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    A good sturdy fence for one thing, we decided to spends more money and put up a no climb horse fence because we have blk bears who were tearing down the welded wire fence we had before. Then we ran a run of barb wire all around the top. No electric here and everyone is locked up tight at night. Only time mine can be out side of their half acre fenced in area is if we're outside with them. We have lots of preds and they do come around in the day time. For flying preds we put up streamers of the predator tape we did lose a bantam hen to a hawk last fall. so far with the streamers no more losses. hardware cloth is our best firend to keep out anything as small as a mink. they can get through 1" holes so half inch harware cloth over all windows and ventilation openings, and around at least 2'high around your pen over the fencing you use, but don't use poultry fencing to protect your ducks raccoons and other preds can tear right through it, it is only good for keeping your ducks in nothing out. if you have to pen your flock up I'd put some kind of heaving netting over top and very secure to keep out flyers and climbers.When i let my flock outside of their fence I take a book along and sit and read, helps me relax and i am there to keep an eye on them all, then when i'm ready to come back inside i have some whole corn and mealworms in a plastic coffee can (I walk inside the fence start shaking the can and whistle they all come running for treats and i close the gate. Welcome to BYC.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  5. Richb353

    Richb353 Chirping

    Most of my losses have been due to coyote, bobcat and once a raccoon. I've set snares and traps, but have only caught a turtle, possum, and one of my own ducks. I have not lost any ducks to airborne predators yet.

    The biggest safety precaution I take is to put the ducks in a secure pen after dark and let them out in the morning. I believe the airborne predators prefer ducklings, so I only let them out under my supervision, otherwise they stay in their enclosed pen until they are nearly full sized.

    I built my pen out of chain link fencing material, surrounded it in 1/2 inch mesh and Ondura roof panels. I roll some landscaping timbers along the sides to deter digging. I have not lost any ducks since I built it.

  6. Shellscom

    Shellscom In the Brooder

    Aug 18, 2014
    Would you suggest reinforced chicken wire? I read up that predators can still get in. I may also try elevating it. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. I do want to avoid using fencing, except for limiting their free range space to our yard.
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Chicken wire will keep your flock in but not preds out. Go with a good welded wire with a small openings as you can get. my flock free ranges over half an acre fenced. but chicken wire is not good fencing.
  8. farm316

    farm316 Songster

    Jul 28, 2014
    You want too at least get hardware cloth, that allows nothing in accept small bugs,
  9. Sfraker

    Sfraker Songster

    Feb 17, 2014
    Western NC
  10. donkeydew2farms

    donkeydew2farms Songster

    Apr 12, 2014
    that is a great article I need to up grade my coop.

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