Worried about keeping my ducks safe from minc or weasel?!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by cjduckmommy, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. cjduckmommy

    cjduckmommy New Egg

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    Last June I lost two of my Welsh harlequin ducks out of six I had raised they were ok for around 3mos then one night they were attacked. I was EXTREMELY upset.... but because I was a beginner I really had no clue. So, we put the remaining four in an old hen house. We stapled what holes we could see with chicken wire, but what we couldn’t see was near the back. A line about 3 inches tall went across the entire back of the house. A Tarp was tucked in so we couldn’t see light coming through. About a month after putting them in there they were of course attacked again. 2 were dead when I found them and 1 drake and 1 hen were still alive, All I could think was to keep the remaining two alive.. Unfortunately one complete side of the drakes head was missing and his neck was broke I couldn’t believe that he was still living. I cleaned his wounds to make him comfortable (I had to hold up his head because he couldn’t) the hen luckily was okay. We took both to the vet because some part of me was still hoping I could save my drake (Skeeter) We had to put Skeeter down....:'( (Maisie) the hen, we put on antibiotics and I nursed her back to health and her new home was a shelter in the garage, only to have her fly away while she was free- ranging to the pond. I was heartbroken.

    >>>>>Recently I have purchased more Welsh harlequin eggs because I really enjoyed mine from before. <<<<< However I am terrified on how to keep them safe. I cannot put them back into the garage..My plan is to secure a pen in the barn with a little house for them to sleep in at night... I will use 1 inch by 1inch wiring and I don’t know if a mink or Weasel could get through that? Because we are pretty sure that’s what got our birds because they all had neck wounds, also they weren’t taken... Another question is ELECTRIC FENCING??? I'm looking into electric fencing but it’s a little pricey... Does anyone know of cheap electric fencing (I have a small area 9 ft by 8 feet)??????? ANY IDEAS FOR KEEPING THEM SAFE??? With winter coming on I was also wondering about putting a heat lamp into the house with them, will this cause a fire? Or is it even necessary? The duck house is 2' by 3' roughly???? I'm just really nervous and don’t want anything to happen to these ducks!! Thank you so much
    -Caitlyn
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  2. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    I use 1/4 inch hardware cloth. I believe a mink can get into a one inch opening. Chicken wire is not predator proof, no matter the size opening.
     
  3. Turkeyrangler

    Turkeyrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hardware clothe, hardware clothe and more hardware clothe. 1/2 inch or smaller, they can get through everything else. It isn't cheap, but it works very well.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Ditto on the hardware cloth. I have it over every opening in their nighttime area. I also run two strands of equine electric tape around their nighttime shelter. The fence charger was about $90, the battery about $40 (it could be plugged into house current but it's too far to the house). You might be able to connect with another animal owner who has a small amount of electric fence wire they can give you.

    If you just have a couple of ducks, you may want to keep them in a relatively warm nighttime area. You could set up a pen inside the garage with half inch or smaller hardware cloth. I have ten ducks and they can huddle to keep themselves warm in their double-walled, insulated plywood shelter with a plexiglass ceiling and polycarbonate roof to let in natural light. This time of year I put extra amounts of dry straw on top of the base of deep litter to help them stay cozy. I still have a duckie storm shelter in the basement in case of really wicked cold or storms.
     
  5. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    I'd also like to add my 2cents here. Installing the hardware cloth with washers and screws is preferred over using a staple gun. You could use the poultry staples if they're large enough and get hammered in correctly. I'll never use them again because I ended up with tendonitis in the right arm because of over hammering [​IMG] but the washers/screws work great and can be removed easily enough if necessary.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I agree with sianara, that poultry staples alone may not be as secure as using washers and screws. I use a combination - washers and screws at corners and two-foot intervals, with poultry fence staples at four inches.

    And I also sustained some repetetive stress injuries building their large daypen. I would do it again. Someday I may [​IMG]
     
  7. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    A warning about poultry staples. They will come loose if you have a climate with lots of temperature changes. We have lots of freezing and warming with temperature swings of up to 50 degrees in one day. After 5 years the staples are loose and start to fall out. Only screws and washers work up here.
     
  8. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Quote:Good point to be made. I've used both sizes of poultry staples the thinner smaller ones and the huge honkers. AS of 7 years later most of them are still intact but I also used PT wood so I don't know if that has any bearing on the situation or not. As I mentioned, I prefer screws and washers, definitely more expensive but I don't like having to "re-do" something and pulling out any of these staples is difficult!
     
  9. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    You may just buy the screws for the corrugated fiberglass roofing or metal roofing. They have a nice large flange with a rubber gasket in it. Holds everything nice and tight in place and the gasket will expand and contract with the climate. Plus they are faster to install, because you don't have to fiddle with the darn washer that always falls onto the ground when you don't want it to. I don't mind the little extra cost, because it saves on work time. Plus they install very fast with a drill. Way faster then a hammer and less painful to the arms.
     
  10. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    Im glad i live in the south, all of our pins are made of 1 inch chicken wire, and i have never had a coyote,racoon,opposum,ever get into any of my pins,even before i electrified them, my wire does go down into the ground one foot, and two foot out, but if yall say minks and weasels can get thru that wire,they are bad boys.
     

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