Your duck pen....

afwifey

Chirping
May 12, 2018
45
68
64
South Carolina
I left the ducks out for the first time last night even though the pen isn’t quite finished. The wire is all up and the house is put together. I have locks on the gate but we plan to add a pitched tarp (just temporary plastic cover right now) to the house side, I have a bigger pool, and I’m going to add more wire outside the doors of the house for more protection at night. What are your thoughts and suggestions for my set-up? Thanks!
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afwifey

Chirping
May 12, 2018
45
68
64
South Carolina
Well, they are in the house locked up at night. I am adding much tighter wire as a second layer to what is there now on the doors of the house. They are inside the pen (5ft) which is inside our chain link fence (5ft). We do have possums here and I’ve seen a small fox in our neighborhood before but our dogs usually alert before anything gets into our fence. Should I have a top over the whole pen?
 

afwifey

Chirping
May 12, 2018
45
68
64
South Carolina
What predators would you potentially have?
We have possums and cats in the neighborhood. I’ve seen one small fox but never in my yard as my dogs alert and run off most anything. Then pen is outside our master bathroom window which I’ve left open to hear if they alert us. The pen is well tucked into our yard which is 100% fenced in 5ft chain link.
 

afwifey

Chirping
May 12, 2018
45
68
64
South Carolina
How are going to keep predators from climbing over your fence? I would never leave them outside over night they really are sitting ducks. Raccoons opossums mink weasel foxes coyote even dogs can break through or climb over fencing and that isn't even talking about owls that can fly in.
Sorry, replied above but didn’t tag you.
 

davez

In the Brooder
May 19, 2018
2
7
14
Just don't be late getting them into the house at night. We had our pair of ducks attacked by an owl shortly before official sunset time. One was eaten completely, the other survived with two puncture wounds, one on his back the other on his belly. Else put a top on the pen.

Additionally, consider how desperate your local predators might be. During the summer, my ducks, who can fly, are allowed to free range my 6ft privacy fenced backyard. In the winter, they are not allowed outside. The Redtail hawks in my area are not too brave, but I'm sure they would get more bold.when they are starving to death in winter. I also have an American Bulldog who wanders the yard to provide additional I.
 
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gilbert2

Songster
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
298
505
222
Southern Colorado
Sorry to be blunt, but if you want your babies to survive, you better make SURE that the top of the enclosure is fenced off. Personally, I feel that the top is more vulnerable than the sides, since any flying predators (owls, mostly) can drop right down. Even terrestrial predators (foxes, coyotes, raccoons, etc) often climb or jump onto the tops of enclosures. I have seen this with my own eyes.
If you love your flock, as I know you do, please take this comment seriously.
 

afwifey

Chirping
May 12, 2018
45
68
64
South Carolina
Just don't be late getting them into the house at night. We had our pair of ducks attacked by an owl shortly before official sunset time. One was eaten completely, the other survived with two puncture wounds, one on his back the other on his belly. Else put a top on the pen.

Additionally, consider how desperate your local predators might be. During the summer, my ducks, who can fly, are allowed to free range my 6ft privacy fenced backyard. In the winter, they are not allowed outside. The Redtail hawks in my area are not too brave, but I'm sure they would get more bold.when they are starving to death in winter. I also have an American Bulldog who wanders the yard to provide additional I.
I put them in myself before sunset and they have good cover from the house and the 15ft+ bushes/trees on the other side of the pen but we do have owls. I will need to brainstorm a more permanent roof! Thank you!
 
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