Predators to most watch out for

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by fearnowsh, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. fearnowsh

    fearnowsh Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2016
    Western Central Michigan
    So, as I am making plans and starting my building of the duck house, I am wondering what predators other duck owners have the most problems with. Just trying to get an idea for prioritizing the predator protection as our budget will only allow for us to get some protection set up this year.

    Predators I have seen in my area:
    Bald Eagles
    Neighbors' Dogs - one of which is a hunting dog
    Fox
    Raccoon
    Opossum

    I also know that coyotes are around, but I haven't seen any since moving into our house 1 year ago.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Maybe if you check in on your state thread you may get some more geo-specific details on typical predators but i would have thought that if you take into account the ones you have already mentioned, it should take care of most of the others.

    Good luck
    CT
     
  3. fearnowsh

    fearnowsh Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2016
    Western Central Michigan
    I will check out my state thread a bit more, but last time I tried I couldn't find much (but I'm still learning so I could have easily missed it!). I might not be understanding exactly what you mean by your post, but I am asking which predators are the biggest nuisance, not what the types of predators are. Every property is different, so I thought I would see what non-Michigan people have to say too. Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  4. PotatoWaffles

    PotatoWaffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hawks and owls are a big one. My in laws lost about ten chickens to an owl last summer over the course of a couple weeks. I imagine rats may also be a danger to ducklings especially. And cats. My town is overrun with stray cats. So far, I haven't had any problems with them, but I see them skulking around the backyard all the time. The 6ft chain link fence has kept them at bay...for now...

    Weirdly enough, the only animal that has ever managed to kill one of my ducks has been other ducks. Owners have to be vigilant about watching to make sure the flock chemistry is always positive. It doesn't often happen, but ducks are capable of killing other ducks. Last spring, my ducks ganged up on a six or seven week old duck, drowned her in the pool and tore all the feathers from her back. It was a gruesome discovery. And pretty disconcerting to see her gray feathers hanging in the mouths of my other ducks...

    Other less common predators I can think of include weasels, stoats, skunks and snakes (they go for ducklings and eggs), bears, and fishers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  5. CGilbert

    CGilbert Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Possible reason for not seeing coyotes is the neighbors dog. Canines are territorial, so a coyote won't go into a larger dogs area (generally). We don't have coyotes within probably about 200 yards of our house in all directions because of our lab. But we hear coyotes every night. I let my chickens free range during the summer and have never had any casualties.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Lookin4GoodLife

    Lookin4GoodLife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've read where chickens don't have to worry about cats too much once they're grown, but how about ducks? My neighbor has several cats and they're always in my yard which I don't mind. Will they bother full grown ducks? I'm not sure exactly what my configuration is going to be yet and I need to plan ahead if I've got to worry about the cats.
     
  7. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have quite a few to worry about. I think that your best bet is to build your coop/run to be as secure as possible instead of focusing on one particular predator. Based on your list you will want to make sure you design your setup to prevent things from digging in under, climbing over, and tearing through. Pick a material that is strong enough to withstand biting and with holes small enough that things can't reach through and grab. Don't bother using chicken wire, it's useless for keeping this out.

    To answer your question. I haven't had my ducks long but so far I haven't had any losses to predators. Honestly, the thing I worry about most is neighborhood dogs while they are free ranging.
     
  8. ravensgait

    ravensgait Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in NM , my daughter keeps a bunch of wild turkeys ,we also have ducks pheasants etc.. Our pens look like well the State Pen . We live out of town our biggest problem is Coyotes,we lose a bird or 3 every year to them as they are persistent ! They don't fear dogs as dogs are on their menu as well at times. If you live in town your biggest problems will be dogs and cats . If you have aerial predators you need to protect against them as well. Our Pens have netting over them to keep the birds in as well as to keep others out . Dogs Coyotes etc can dig and dig quickly .
    In short build as sturdy a pen as you can, while our problems with predators is worse than what most will deal with, our pens are 8' tall with netting on top,the sides are 1 inch chicken wire with 4' 1"X2"welded wire around the bottoms with 3 ' tall roofing panels at ground level and the wire 1 foot into the ground with stone around the bottoms of the pens . They are 8' tall because the breeds we keep all fly. If we added gun towers om the corners lolol. Once you lose an animal to predators then your problems really begin as they will know how easy to catch your birds in a pen are and how tasty they are !
     
  9. donkeydew2farms

    donkeydew2farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in SW KY my main predator is the Fox I lost some ducks and 2 chickens in the last year. every one has night pens but the foxes will hunt during the day and I free ranged my flock not any more. Also there are coyotes but my donkeys keep them away they stay near the barn at night. It is not a good feeling to lose some of your flock.
     
  10. fuzzy8

    fuzzy8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ravensgait can you post some pictures of your fenced in pen. I'm about to build mine out of 2x4 Frames. 20' x 16' and 5 foot high all enclosed with the basic 1" chicken wire. For 4 ducks. Hope it would work
     

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