No matter how diligent you are, it still seems to happen from time to time, nature inevitably wins and one or more of your beloved unsuspecting ducks gets snatched up by a predator. It is truly a heartbreaking experience for anyone who has experienced it!
We all try our darndest to have a safe coop with predator protection from the sides, ground, and air, but unfortunately things do happen... Here are some tidbits of information we came up with to hopefully aid in helping you secure your coop as best you can from those pesky intruders who want to feast on your birds.
Tip #1: Use wire mesh that is very small in diameter on your duck coops. Half inch (or smaller) wire works best on the exterior of your coop. Remember, predators like bobcats can make themselves very small and can get into a coop with just a few inches of room. Allow no gaps in the wiring. Also remember, raccoons have opposing thumbs. It has been very common to see a raccoon reach through large hole fencing and grab a duck by the neck. The rest is history.
Tip #2: A fully boxed-in wooden enclosure is best for ducks for nighttime security. Many of our customers have enclosed sheds or rooms for large flocks. Smaller flocks can be sheltered in dog houses or bunny hutches turned into a duck coop for nighttime protection. During the day, waterfowl can be outside in an enclosed area but at night, four-walled protection is best.
Tip #3: Remember predators come from all directions. It is easy to forget that predators like rats will burrow underground to get to your birds. A below ground barricade is important. This might mean running the length of your coop with underground wire to keep intruders out. Likewise, don’t forget about hawks who will bring on an aerial assault. Covering your enclosure from the top down with wire or netting might be a requirement if you live in an area where hawks are prevalent.
Tip #4: Other owners take protection to the next level if they have a reoccurring predator who continually feasts on their flock at night. Solar powered nocturnal predator control lights are a real thing. They are known to deter night animals by engineered flashing lights that recreate the fear of being watched and therefore repel nighttime predators. There are many variations of these lights on the market today. When placed on the outside of duck coops, the motion of these lights can deter animals such as bobcats, skunks, possums, raccoons, and mountain lions.
Tip #5: Still having problems and you want to up the ante? Consider wolf urine as a possible solution! It has been said that wolf urine is effective in repelling coyotes, weasels, and bobcats. Spraying it on posts and fencing around your property at knee height replicates a wolf marking its territory. Just remember to reapply after it rains. This is surely worth a try. Crazy as it may seem, wolf urine can even be purchased on Amazon!