My Ducks Were Stolen By a Raccoon?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Swiftblack, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Swiftblack

    Swiftblack Out Of The Brooder

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    A few months ago a raccoon managed to take both of my ducks at separate times even though we had built a pen for them with posts and plastic mesh. (our yard was fenced in completely as well so we thought they were safe for the most part) I had ducklings before but they were killed by my dog who was let outside while i was asleep by an unknowing family member, so i was upset and frustrated and decided that i would stop getting ducks, as i obviously didn't have what it took to care for them at the time. I still miss them, so I've decided to try again and see if i could invest in proper housing that would be predator safe.

    What would be a good enclosure that i could let the ducks roam around the yard during the day but they could get into safety when they needed to, and if i were out late and i wasn't able to put them in their coop right away after dark they'd still be moderately safe?
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    So far, I have not found a compromise between letting the ducks have the whole yard and keeping them safe from predators, especially after dark.

    Whenever I find myself fretting that they are not "free enough," I review. Are they healthy? Content? Do we make time frequently to hang out together in the yard, where I can keep an eye on things and protect them to the best of my ability?

    When I cannot be on site, they are in a secure Day Pen. It protects them from the kinds of things that drop by during the day - hawks, cats, dogs (wild and domestic). It has fence top, bottom and sides. 2"x3" woven wire with 1" chicken wire on top. That will not keep raccoons from being able to reach in and grab for them. But those are a concern at night. It will keep foxes away - foxes will come out during the daylight hours here. Not just rabid foxes. Ours like to come out in the late afternoon while it's still light.

    Before dark, I take them into the Night Pen. No predator I know of around here can get in there. And I can hear them - so if anything scares them, I can get to them right away. The night pen is roomy, in case of big storms and long cold days. I visit them there, and give treats, read, sing, and entertain them.

    If I cannot be here to get them in at sundown, I either make arrangements to have a friend (who has been trained) do so, or I make sure they have plenty of fresh bedding (which I do all the time anyway, just in case I have to skip a day), food, and water. And they stay in the Night Pen. The Night Pen has two windows. One is standard 2 x 3 ft, the other is a 9 ft wide window. Lots of natural light. There is good ventilation.

    They may get a little bored. But I ask myself - is being a little bored such a bad thing? Nope. They are safe, and healthy, and content.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. needlessjunk

    needlessjunk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My set up is a bit different since I'm in the suburbs. We have very few predators during the day. Usually its a squirrel and my dogs chase them out. Cats are not too keen on coming in my yard because all of my neighbors have dogs that are out almost all day. We have hawks but mostly it is just grackles. We have lots of cover in my yard, 15ft trampoline, lots of trees and a decent covered patio. They most hang out on the patio and peck my back door till I come out and give them treats. I know there are risks to them being able to free range them all day and I feel like I have done almost everything in my power to protect them. At dusk they go into a nicely predator proofed house. All opening are covered with hardware cloth that is screwed in with washers and most of it is sandwiched between wood. There has been one time I was not home before night fall and I was so scared but they went in their house and went to sleep when I checked on them. Usually I put them up if I know we won't be home in time. The problem I see with not securing them at nighttime is that if they can go into their house so can whatever it is that wants to eat them. Your only real option it to keep them secure if you will not be home in time to put them up. As for family letting the dogs out they make little screw type locks that you can put on a sliding glass door track to keep people from opening it up. I used them to keep my kids from accidentally letting the dogs out when the ducks were new. Now they are get along and it isn't an issue.
     
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  4. Orca5094

    Orca5094 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When I'm not physically out with them, my ducks have a secured yard they are out in during the day. It is fully enclosed with chicken wire (including on top so no aerial predators can get in). I have stronger wire along the bottom that curves out from the pen along the ground to discourage any diggers from getting in. Then around the outside of the pen I also have an electric fence. Nothing is getting my babies! ;) At night they are locked inside their 100% secured duck house.

    Of course here in Sweden we don't have raccoons to worry about. Those buggars can pretty much get into anything, you have to be really careful. They climb over fences and can drop down from trees that hang over pens as well (used to live in the US so I know the extent of their evil abilities). And plastic or mesh fences they will naturally just chew through or rip open very easily. So yeah, I would suggest a hard wire pen that is enclosed on top (and an electric fence attached to the outside as well if you can) to keep your ducks safe from the raccoons, foxes, etc.
     
    1 person likes this.

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