Trying to set up a new duck home and need predator-proofing help

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by JenniferK, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. JenniferK

    JenniferK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are trying to give our not-so-little-anymore ducks as big a home as possible, without letting them free range in our yard all the time (the duck poop on the door mat gets old quickly). We have an area around some trees where we want to put a low fence and then looked into hot-wiring it to keep them safe, as I know we have had raccoons in our yard. When my husband looked into it, it turns out there are all kind of grounding guidelines and such that don't seem to mesh very well with our suburban setting and having buildings too close to where the pen would be. So what other options do we have besides making a small, predator-proof pen to lock them in at night? Will geese deter raccoons? I would get one if it would!
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I am in a suburb, but the houses aren't that close (several hundred feet apart).

    For winter, we walk them into the walk-out basement. No raccoons down there!

    Spring, summer and fall they have a 4'x8' double walled plywood house with a 4'x8' half-inch hardware cloth covered porch (sides, top and bottom). Both of those are surrounded with two strands of electric fence ribbon - one at 6" above ground, and another at about 18" above ground. That seems to have worked.

    I put signs on all approachable sides that say, Warning! Electric Fence! Since we are in a suburb. The neighborhood children have all been advised of this, and they know what it is and not to touch it.
     
  3. JenniferK

    JenniferK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds like a good set up. Sadly we have no basement, but I think they would sleep in the laundry room for the rest of their lives if I'd let them. I'm a little worried about how they're going to feel when it's time for them to sleep outside!
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    If they can spend more time where they are, until the weather starts to warm up, that would be what I would lean toward. It does take them time to fill out, feather in, and all that.

    Last spring, when it was time for my runners to move into their own little house, I began taking them outside during the day into their day pen. Then once the nighttime temps were up to around 40, I gave them treats in their new house - peas! That, I hope, helped them associate good stuff with their house.

    The night we had them out there for the first time, along came a wicked storm and knocked out the power. Yours truly went out there, flashlight and binky in tow, and spent a few hours with them in their 4'x8' house. When we all seemed to be settled down, I crept out the sliding door (2'x2' and down a ramp) and onto the sofa near the window near their place. Overprotective? Me??????

    Eventually, I was convinced that they were okay out there predator-wise, and began sleeping in my own bed again.

    It was when the night temperatures dropped to twenty several weeks ago that I saw that some of the ducks were not looking as well, were walking slowly, necks hunched back, feathers fluffed way out, and a couple of them were molting and shivering. What am I trying to prove by leaving them outside, for Pete's sake? We have the room in the basement (originally intended for ducks during hurricanes and high winds), so that is working out really well.

    I have figured out how to manage their water and bedding with minimal mess. Now I just need to adjust the height of their basement pen so the cats can use the basement again. They are a bit disgruntled right now, the cats are. But they'll adjust.
     
  5. Snipes

    Snipes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Let em! [​IMG] Just for beddy bys. Nothing can get them there unless you have a raccoon with a PHD and/or power tools.
     
  6. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A small doghouse like house (with a lockable door) inside a fence or 'kennel' isn't really a building is it?.... But coons will murder your ducks or geese in a heartbeat, just a matter of time. And they are smart. Need hot wire at bottom and top of fence.
     
  7. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    Im with mominoz you said grounding "guidelines" All I do for grounding my electric fence is a 4ft copper rod in the ground and it doesnt have to be copper if you want cheaper. I use a SS-725CS light duty fence energizer made by havahart I bought at ACE hardware. It will work for most applications, its easy as pie there are only 2 wires.(one to the copper rod in the ground) I have had little kids grab the hot wire (but they only do it once) this is the weakest,easiest and cheapest electric fence you can get and still discourage most animals. (the box is 25 dollars not counting the wire and insolators. In my opinion this is what everyone should use.(unless the creature is bigger than the biggest dog there is) if you have predator problems. BTW I too live in the suburbs with buildings and kids around sometimes, but there is also a swamp close by with all the raccoons and possums you would ever want and before the electric fence went up every once in awhile they did "takeout" at my ducks expense.
     

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