moving ducks and goose to coyote country

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sore Thumb Suburbanite, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I'm a born and raised city girl and haven't had to deal with coyotes before when it comes to poultry. My dad just bought a great piece of country with a ton of wild rabbits and squirrels and therefore, coyotes, and we want to move my little flock of 1 goose and 3 ducks there this summer. If I can figure out how to keep these birds safe, I can grow my flock to include a gander and some more diverse ducks. We will be putting in an orchard down the road and this is one of the big reasons for ducks and geese ... weed control and squirrel patrol. My goose already charges any squirrels and I am pretty sure she killed an opossum earlier this year.

    I am really worried with all the coyotes around that my goose will get hurt and not be enough of a deterrent to the coyotes or that my ducks will be eaten...do I have to keep them caged 24/7 in a run, I know I 'll need a secure coop for nights... how does everyone else do it? Does anyone just have a dog to deter coyotes or what? And if you keep your ducks penned 24/7, how did you coyote proof the pen?
     
  2. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

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    Are there any neighbours you could ask?(how the predator risk/experience is) Honestly, it'll depend.. i live where wolves/coyote are, we hear them frequently, that said i have only ever seen an animal my property once and that is living here almost 20yrs.

    Whereas there are others less than 5mins away from me that have problems with them during the day, depends on a lot of things if your near where the packs roam and how wooded changes the impact too.

    It's always a risk to free range, no matter what is out there... even a typical dog can pose a massive threat. Plus hawks, coons, and depending on our location bear, mountain lions and so forth..

    If you choose penning, strong wire and sturdy support is key, are these birds going to have anyone there daily? Flock guardians ie; dogs are a good option, many here have them, i have no experience with them however. I just have pet dogs.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I'm in the ruburbs (formerly rural development) near hundreds of acres of state forest.

    We have coyotes, foxes, bears, bobcats, fishers, raccoons, hawks and on and on.

    I have nine runners and four buffs. When I am not with them, they are in a 10ft by 16 ft day pen with an attached 32sf covered porch. The porch is covered top bottom and sides with metal half inch hardware cloth. The rest of the pen is covered in 2in x 3in coated wire top and sides, coated chain link underneath (attached firmly at the edges of the pen), with 2ft of small diameter coated chicken wire around the perimeter to prevent grabbing through.

    When I am with them, they have a garden to romp in surrounded with 4ft high 2in x 3in heavy duty wire fence and netting across the top. We also go for walks in the woods, and the forest garden. The forest garden is also surrounded with the 4ft fence, but no netting. There is vegetation there for cover. By the way, a forest garden is a polyculture orchard, in a way. We have pear and apple trees, cherries, and plums, with cane berries, hazelnuts, elderberries, wild native herbs and shrubs, medicinal and culinary herbs and shrubs, nitrogen-fixing perennials, the whole array. The fence keeps deer out (deer have their choice of 60 to 70% of our little acre), too.

    I have some friends who have animals like ducks, chickens, turkeys, goats, sheep. I think all of them have lost some of their smaller animals - birds - to different predators. I am not bragging, and don't feel sure I will never lose anyone to a predator. However, so far so good.

    And

    The ducks are happy and healthy. They often prefer to be in the pen. I think they are aware when they are being watched by predators, and they seem to know the pen is the safe place.

    If I were to want my geese (if I had them) to work the orchard, I would fence the orchard, and thinking about it, were I to upgrade to such a size, I would have a livestock guard dog. I wouldn't mind one now, actually. But I'm not the only household member. Someday, I hope.

    I also hope something in this post is helpful.

    Enjoy!
     
  4. harriedhomemaker

    harriedhomemaker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see coyotes on my property regularly. We are in the middle of a severe drought, so their natural food supplies are low and they are desperate for food. I lost a chicken to one and some friends lost their ducks. They come out in broad daylight and are pretty bold.

    In my case, I have a very large run (over 1000 sq feet) that my chickens and ducks live in. The fence is made of strong welded wire mesh. They are only allowed out of their run with direct supervision. I also had to clip the chickens' wings because, despite the fact that my fence is 6 ft. tall, the chickens managed to fly out. That is how we lost our chicken to the coyote; she flew out, the coyote ran up, and it was all over in an instant. Their housing is very secure and they are all locked up at night.

    We are establishing an orchard on our property and once it gets established, I would like my ducks to be able to range in it. I plan on buying electric poultry fencing and using it to create secure paddocks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  5. harriedhomemaker

    harriedhomemaker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: Oh Amiga! That sounds lovely! We are attempting to use permaculture principles with our orchard, too.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    If you want to pm me and we can chat permaculture forest garden, feel free.[​IMG]
     
  7. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Open areas along wooded areas or tall plantings so that the birds have a buffer zone where they can see something coming. Tight fencing along the property perimeter is good too. We have coyotes here. I have seen them 3 times during the day, twice it came from the front of the house and once I saw it in the pasture (that was overgrown). Keeping areas cut down without places that they can hide in will help. Do check with the neighbors. Some coyotes are very bold, some very shy. Here they are shy and will leave at the first sign of a person but others have very bold coyotes. Consider getting a livestock guardian, though it will be about 2 years before it will be ready to work alone.

    I've lost chickens to coyotes when I was letting them in the pasture. It was overgrown so they were able to come in closer. They have not come to the coop (knock on wood)
     
  8. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The person who lives on the property has chickens in a fortified coop...the coyotes have gotten in to it once and decimated. Their flock... my dad has been out there 3 times to visit and check the property and 2 times has seen the coyotes just hanging out in the shade of the olive trees....so they're bold and definately on the property. That said there isn't much brush or low lying shrubbery around, its fire country so everything is kept pretty low. I think I'll need to build a pretty solid structure by the sound of the predator problem and a permanent one at that. I may let them out when I visit every other weekend and. Watch them within a couple yards...I cannot lose my goose or my runner...I love them to death.

    My dad swears he can get rid of the coyotes....but he'll have to get rid of their food sources too and I don't see that happening. Will I heed a top on a 6' tall enclosure gate? They already have a top on their 8' tall chicken coop...I don't know if that's for the chickens to stay in or the coyotes to stay out...
     
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I prefer a sturdy top. Raccoons climb, foxes and coyotes jump, hawks and owls swoop in from above. And they don't all seem to obey the rules in the books that say they always come at night, or never do such and such.

    And here, I have not ruled out a rogue two-legger.
     
  10. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    orange county
    Has anyone created any such fortified enclosures without spending a ton of $? I am getting chickens at my house since we are sending my ducks and goose to my dads property and I have to build a coop for them here as well as build a coop for the ducks and goose out there...I want it to be large and open but I don't see that happening on a budget especially if I have to fortify the bottom sides and work out a top.
     

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