*NEED TO BUILD AN IMPENETRABLE DUCK FORTRESS!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ColleenRyan, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. ColleenRyan

    ColleenRyan Songster

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    Hi everyone! This week I hatched 6 ducklings that came from the eggs of my beloved babies that got taken too soon by predators. I am determined to build them the most safe pen / hutch imaginable for when the time comes for them to move outside. I was thinking of even buying a small sized shed to use as their hutch (since there's 6 of them) so they'll have more room to move about. My current plan is to also buy fencing with a roof (not sure what that's called but I've seen some listed as dog runs?) and I want to enclose everything- the hutch and an outdoor area for them. Big enough to walk around and have their little kiddie pool in there. I plan on digging around the perimeter and placing the wire into the ground so that predators can't dig into their safe place either but also so they'll still get to walk on grass because they absolutely love the grass! The only time I would let them free roam my yard is when I will be outside with my four doggies (they all love the ducks and are under 20 lbs, would never hurt them).

    I heard that purchasing one of those fake owl statues might help deter predators, putting CDs on a string and hanging them from the wiring apparently scares away predators and possibly adding a motion censored light to my backyard. I live in the suburbs and my yard isn't huge but we still get typical predators and after what happened to my other babies I will go above and beyond to build anything.

    I was wondering if anyone has had any luck making a secure area for your ducks that has proven to be predator proof. I wouldn't be able to stand losing more babies to predators. Any and all advice is welcome and so needed. My dad is a carpenter so I have all the tools necessary to build anything that would help to keep them safe.

    Please please share your tips and tricks! Thank you so much!
     
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  2. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    What kind of predators do you have? that makes a difference in your Construction.
     
  3. ColleenRyan

    ColleenRyan Songster

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    I’m pretty sure it’s the typical ones for NJ- raccoons, opossums, foxes, owls, hawks.. no snakes or anything small like that but definitely things that would dig or could fly into the hutch. I definitely want to add extra security for digging and a roof for owl purposes. Whatever caged in area will also be reinforced with an extra layer of wire because I feel like I can’t be too safe!!
     
  4. sirrobyn0

    sirrobyn0 Songster

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    Yes, I have ducks, and I have geese that live together. We have predators like crazy here. Mainly raccoons, coyotes, bobcats and cougars. My enclosure is NOT roofed over. They have a building, and the enclosure near the building has a net over it, to keep the ravens from coming in and stealing eggs. Chain link, like the dog enclosures you were talking about is great. It's good and strong for sure. I've added electric fence on the outside as well. One wire near the ground to discourage digging under and another one near the top to stop climbing over an in. Is it impenetrable, probably not, but I don't really think any fence truly is but it has worked well for me and I strongly suggest you consider adding an electric fence on the outside of whatever you go with.
     
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  5. JDN

    JDN Songster

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    Ducks require less shelter than Chickens. I'd do as you suggest, a dog run, basically 10x6 chain link panels, and cover the top and either put a hot wire around the bottom and top or an apron of welded wire. Put the shelter away from the chain link. I wouldn't hassle with digging the apron in, lay it flat on the ground and put it in with sod staples and the grass will grow through and you can easily mow over it, and anyway its a foot on the outside of the fence.
     
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  6. llombardo

    llombardo Songster

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    A friend of mine built a duck house and it's solid. There is a net over the run, hardware cloth all the way around the run and 2 feet out

    The hardware cloth us now in place on the top openings.

    image.jpg
     
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  7. ColleenRyan

    ColleenRyan Songster

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    WOW that's an amazing idea. Where could I find one and are they pretty pricey? I also have dogs that will be outside so would it shock them too?
     
  8. ColleenRyan

    ColleenRyan Songster

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    I'm so new to this I'm sorry if these are silly questions but what is "hot wire" and what is "welded wire" and what do you mean by apron (so sorry for all the silly questions!!!) I've heard the term apron used a lot i thought it might be an extra later of fencing around the cage in addition to the cage. And I'd lay the apron flat on the ground around (1 ft) and under the cage as well? thanks so much for helping me out I'm trying to learn as much as i can!
     
  9. ColleenRyan

    ColleenRyan Songster

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    WOW that is so beautiful!!! How much do you think supplies to make one like that would run me? I'm just a vocal teacher and I know little about cost of wood and such haha. I bet if I showed my dad that though he could replicate it if I got the supplies (he's the handy man). this may sound like a silly question but what is "hardware cloth" because I'm envisioning a sturdy towel :lol:
     
  10. shawluvsbirds

    shawluvsbirds "FAKE EILLEEN"

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    20180503_181036.jpg 20180503_180937.jpg 20180503_180955.jpg here is my duck "palace" as it has been deemed. . lol. I feel like it is as secure as it possibly can be. Back house part is concreted. Run has a predator apron about a foot out all the way around. All hardware cloth. . and we actually have gone ahead and finished roofing the entire run to help with shade.
    My hubby is a contractor and can get materials free or cheaper than retail price, and we done all the work ourselves.
    I know it's is a little over the top for some. . but it may give you some ideas. :)
    I wouldn't really recommend chain link to be honest unless your going to cover the bottom half with hardware cloth. A lot of times a raccoon or fox can kill them right through the fencing. :(
    Adding hot wire may help with that. . but there is always that chance.
     

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