“How can I keep my ducks from predators” is the most common question asked by duck parents.
The tips I’ll be sharing with you will ensure you don’t ever have to worry about predators coming near your adorable ducks.
Safe ducks live happy and produce healthier eggs.
There is no one sure way to keeping your ducks from predators but these 10 tips I’ll be giving you will ensure your ducks live to their old age while feeling safe and secure.
In case you live in an environment where foxes and raccoons are prominent and you are tired of losing your precious ducks to them, you can keep your pets in a fenced yard.
1. Use A high fence
This ensures that foxes, raccoons, stray dogs and other predators can’t find their way into your yard.
These predators can jump over low fences so you want to make sure your fence is pretty high and made of sturdy materials like metal wire that cannot be easily chewed.
2. Make Sure You Keep them locked up.
I know it’s a bit tempting to leave your ducks roaming in the yard since they enjoy it so much but it is dangerous for them at night.
To better protect your ducks from predators, keep them locked up in a well built cage overnight.
Even with the high fence and secure yard, their coop is the safest shelter at night.
In case you are wondering, “what if I never let them out of their coop, will that ensure their safety?”
Well, yes and no. Keeping your ducks inside their coop will probably keep them safe for a while, but ducks, especially adult ducks need their exercises.
Ducks grow fast so they need to be let out to run and forage.
It keeps them healthy and ensures they live to their old age without disease.
Keeping ducks enclosed in their coop all day cannot also ensure absolute safety. You have to first ensure it is built to keep predators away.
3. Use a well built coop.
Ducks are not only in danger from foxes, dogs and four footed beasts.
There are rodents and snakes that can also cause harm to your lovely ducks.
A well built coop has smaller holes in which snakes can’t go through.
It also has a lid or lock in which dogs or other animals cannot easily unlatch.
4. Inspect their coop regularly.
Building a safe coop for your ducks is important as it can keep them protected from predators but you also have to inspect it for damages and gaps regularly.
If you live in an environment where predators like skunks and stray dogs are many, chances are they will often try to get inside your ducks’ coop.
Pulling the wires apart every night or causing a dent somewhere every night will in time weaken the coop and give them access to your “sitting ducks”.
So always ensure that you inspect their coop and fix the damages that might have been caused by predators.
5. Keep them with large animals.
Keeping your ducks together with large animals scare predators away.
Predators are opportunists so they like to be quiet and steal their preys away quietly.
The don’t like fights or confrontations.
When they notice your ducks are kept with larger animals like turkeys and goats, the stay away.
Australian shepherds are known to keep predators away from ducks and even shepherd them to safety.
If you have a big run or yard and you can afford it, then you may consider this tip.
6. Heavy or well secured coop.
Large predators like bears, wolves or a very determined dog can overturn coops.
When buying a coop for your ducks, you want to make sure they are heavy or well staked to the ground.
This keeps your ducks safe and protects them from predators.
How can I protect my ducks from ravens, crows, hawks and other flying predators?
While fences and secure coops can keep predators like foxes, raccoons and stray dogs away, they can’t protect your ducks while they are in the run or foraging in the yard.
These flying predators sweep and dive into the run and carry off the unsuspecting and harmless ducks to eat them.
When they are unable to carry them because of size, they tear them apart and eat them on the spot.
These few tips can put an end to this misery however if you take note.
7. Use a covered run.
My neighbor Alice kept losing her precious ducks to hawks and ravens until she got the idea to cover their run.
It’s been quiet since then.
If it’s possible and you can afford it, covering your run is the best way to ensure hawks and crows can’t get to your ducks to harm them or steal their eggs.
You want to make sure it’s a covering that is well ventilated however.
You don’t want to suffocate your pets while protecting them.
8. Use Scarecrows.
If you can go through the trouble, you can use scarecrows to scare off ravens off your ducks.
Put scarecrows in strategic places in their run and ravens will mistake it to be human presence.
It also scare away hawks.
This method has been proven to work but it consumes energy because you have to move the scarecrows.
Scarecrows stay there for a long time and these intelligent predators will soon realize it’s just a decoy.
9. Keep your ducks with black chickens.
Funny right? Well, for reasons best known to them, hawks hate crows.
They don’t go along at all.
Seeing black chickens amongst ducks keeps hawks away as they think they might be crows.
This tip has worked for me for a long time.
So if getting their run covered is too expensive for you and using scarecrows is too much trouble, then you can consider getting chickens, especially black ones.
Chickens and ducks live well together so you don’t need to fret over this.
10. Supervise them.
This is the most secure way of protecting ducks from predators.
Whenever you want to let your ducks out of their coop to run around and play, ensure you or someone else is around to monitor things.
You can easily scare hawks away and ensure they are safe from harm and predators.
Ducks are lovely pets and easy to care for.
They are however not built to attack or defend themselves so it is up to you to make sure they are safe and well protected.
Wild ducks live 3-5 years but a domesticated duck that is well protected and cared for can live up to 10 years.
The tips above could help your ducks live that long if you make use of them. Happy rearing.