Lost a duckling last night. Working on another layer of protection...

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by iamcuriositycat, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    At least it was a male--I was going to have to either eat him or give him away in another week or two anyway. But unfortunately, it was the one my 5-year-old had named for another duckling we had lost out of the last batch. Sigh.

    Oh well. Anyway, it was almost certainly a raccoon--grabbed the poor duckling right through the chain link and ate its head off. I knew this was an accident waiting to happen, but I've been lazy and not wanting to bother with the extra wire & electric fence I had in mind. This was just the impetus I needed to get one step ahead of the predators.

    So this morning I put up 1/4" wire mesh around the bottom two feet of the pen--it's not done yet because I ran out of wire & zip ties, but I'll be going to the hardware store for more this afternoon. Then I'm going to work on a strand or two of electric wire, at six inches and maybe again at three feet, to deter predators from probing the fence for weaknesses.

    Anyone else feel like they're constantly dancing one step ahead of the predators, and sometimes falling behind a step or two?
     
  2. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    I KNOW I am. I keep telling myself I'm going to buy the electronetting from preimier, but still haven't done it. Thank you for the reminder.
     
  3. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    42
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    YES!

    A skunk has been prowling outside of our yard lately. Their pen is pretty safe, but they will be out all night Friday and Saturday since we will be out of town!
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    445
    1
    111
    Jul 19, 2009
    Quote:Buy and train an LGD puppy whose sole purpose is to deter predators. It seems that half the time and money I spend on my ducks is going to their defense.
     
  5. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,103
    40
    231
    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    Quote:Buy and train an LGD puppy whose sole purpose is to deter predators. It seems that half the time and money I spend on my ducks is going to their defense.

    Or simply build a predator proof shelter for your birds and put them in every night.
    End of problem.
     
  6. Rare Feathers Farm

    Rare Feathers Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Buy and train an LGD puppy whose sole purpose is to deter predators. It seems that half the time and money I spend on my ducks is going to their defense.

    Or simply build a predator proof shelter for your birds and put them in every night.
    End of problem.

    OR put the birds in a VERY safe pen/coop, locked up at night with TWO LGD's, LOL
     
  7. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    445
    1
    111
    Jul 19, 2009
    Quote:Or simply build a predator proof shelter for your birds and put them in every night.
    End of problem.

    OR put the birds in a VERY safe pen/coop, locked up at night with TWO LGD's, LOL

    LOL. More and more money spent on defense. Without the dog or electric poultry fencing I wouldn't feel comfortable with all the predators running around. The predators are pretty brazen during the day.
     
  8. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,103
    40
    231
    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    My biggest threat during the day is hawks but they seem to prefer bantam chickens so I don't keep them anymore. It seems odd with all the goslings and ducklings I have running around that I haven't lost any so far (knock on wood) to hawks.
    If I'm going to be gone all day I pen mine up since once and awhile we get stray dogs that come snooping around.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2009
  9. Le Canard de Barbarie

    Le Canard de Barbarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    445
    1
    111
    Jul 19, 2009
    Quote:Getting my ducks to go into their pen is like herding cats.
     
  10. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,703
    43
    228
    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks, guys! Yeah, I've heard the LGD's are great... but I think my husband would rebel if I told him I needed yet ANOTHER animal to protect the animals he already thinks are too much... [​IMG]

    The trouble with "building a predator-proof pen... end of problem" scenario is that each time I make changes, I think it *is* predator proof (okay, this time I knew the chain link was asking for trouble without another layer of protection...). But we have so many different types of predators around here that it seems they're always finding a weak chink in the defenses. As it is, I check the fences weekly to make sure I'm not missing something. (And the fence, by the way, has wire over the top, under the bottom, and NOW also has 1/2" hardware mesh around the bottom two feet).

    Anyway, I only have very occasional losses, and I'm willing to live with them. But I'm always working to keep ahead--each time something finds a weakness, I try to fix it so the predator doesn't keep coming back for more. It just seems like every time I think I've got the set-up downright invincible, something comes along and proves me wrong.

    I'm hopeful that the electric fencing, once I have it set up, will prove an effective deterrent to predators even *trying* the fence--and that way, *if* there is a weakness that I miss, the predators won't find it either. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by