Ducks and ducklings are so cute that many people have started keeping them as pets. You might be interested in raising some ducks in your backyard because you find them to be so appealing.
It’s certainly true that ducks can be a lot of fun. You can take care of ducks and they can wind up being very good pets overall.
However, you’re going to need to put in some effort if you wish to keep them safe. If you have other pets in your house, then they might wind up becoming a problem for the ducks.
For example, many people have cats, and you probably already know that cats will eat some birds. Will cats kill ducks if you aren’t careful?
Read on to learn about what you need to know about cats and ducks. This should help you to keep things safe when you have cats and still want to raise ducks.
Cats Will Kill Ducks
Cats will indeed kill ducks if they have the opportunity to do so. If you have a cat, then you’re going to want to be very careful when it’s near ducks.
A cat might not choose to attack ducks when the ducks are larger. Typically, adult ducks are going to be larger than cats, and this means that the ducks should be able to hold their own.
Some cats will think better of attacking larger ducks, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen. There have been cases where cats have attacked adult ducks and killed them.
There have also been people who have reported seeing aggressive ducks get the better of cats. So the two animals could very well fight if they live close to each other.
You’re more likely to have problems with ducklings, though. Young ducks are going to be very susceptible to getting killed by cats.
Cats will see the little ducklings as an easy meal. They can easily pounce on ducklings and kill them.
You certainly don’t want this to happen, and that’s why it’s so important to protect ducklings from threats. Little ducks can’t defend themselves too well against predatory animals such as cats.
Sometimes Ducks and Cats Will Get Along
One good piece of news is that there have been times when ducks and cats have been able to get along. When a pet owner takes the time to properly introduce two animals, it’ll be more likely that no problems will occur.
If you give a cat time to be properly introduced to a duck, then it might see the duck as a normal addition to the household. It will not see the duck as a threat or as food, and everything will be fine.
You’ll need to take care to introduce the animals to each other in safe ways, though. Keep an eye on the cat to see how it reacts to the duck.
Since ducks are usually raised in flocks, this can be somewhat difficult. You’re more than likely going to have a lot of ducks and just one or two cats on your property.
Also, you don’t just have to worry about your own pet cats. You have to consider the potential threats posed by neighborhood cats and stray cats in the area.
What About Dogs?
Dogs can also be a concern when you’re trying to take care of ducks. Ducks are prey animals and dogs might choose to attack them.
Even if you have a very well-behaved dog, it’s possible that your ducks will be afraid of your dogs. The ducks could have a negative reaction to the dogs and this could lead to some type of conflict.
As with cats, it might be possible to properly introduce your dog to the ducks. If your dog is well trained, then it’ll likely avoid barking at the ducks and it won’t scare them.
Even so, it’s best to be wary of duck and dog interactions. It could wind up turning into a situation where a duck’s life is in danger very quickly.
You’re also going to need to be careful to protect your ducks from roaming dogs. Many areas have stray dogs and sometimes your neighbor’s dogs will get loose too.
Keep Your Cats and Dogs Indoors
Keeping your cats and dogs indoors will be a good option. There isn’t a good reason to let a cat roam outside.
Cats are an invasive species that shouldn’t be allowed to roam and kill local animals. They’re just pets that need to be properly taken care of.
If your cat isn’t trained to use a litter box, then you can do that now. It shouldn’t be all that difficult, and you won’t feel the need to keep letting your cat go outside.
Dogs will need to go outside sometimes to handle their business, so to speak. They also need to get exercise, and this means that it’ll be good to have an area where your dogs can run.
You can protect your ducks by keeping the dogs in their own area while they’re outdoors. Simply have a fenced-in section of the yard that is for the dogs and put it somewhere that is away from the ducks.
Protecting Ducks From Predators
Of course, your own pets aren’t the only animals that could be dangerous and prey on the ducks. There are predators lurking out there that might see your ducks and ducklings as snacks.
Protecting ducks is about giving them a secure area in the yard where predators can’t get to them. You’ll want to install a perimeter fence that is approximately six feet tall.
The fence should be buried deeply enough that a dog or some other predatory animal won’t be able to dig underneath it. You could also protect the ducks by burying a few feet of hardware cloth on the outside of the fence to keep animals out.
Small predators such as neighborhood cats could be a threat if you aren’t careful. Block gaps in the fence and plug holes to try to keep smaller threats at bay.
It’s also imperative to build the ducks a very sturdy coop that they can hide in. The coop should be something that the predators won’t be able to access in any way.
Placing wire mesh around the exterior of the coop helps to keep it safe. Specifically, it does a great job of keeping snakes from getting to your ducks.
Burying some wire mesh underneath the coop is likely a good idea as well. You want the coop to have a safety latch that won’t be able to be opened by sneaky raccoons, too.
Keep an eye on your ducks and put them in the coop before it becomes too dark outside. Ideally, you should lock the ducks up in the coop thirty minutes before dusk.
Having a larger flock is actually going to help to protect the ducks as well. There’s strength in numbers, and predatory animals will have a harder time killing a duck if it’s in a large group.
Even flying predators such as hawks will see groups of ducks as a greater challenge. It might think twice about messing with your flock.
Generally, it’s never a good idea to have only one or two ducks. Go with a larger flock to keep things as safe as possible.
Cats can kill ducks, but they’re more likely to kill ducklings. Ducks are often bigger than cats and ducks will fight back if attacked by a cat.
Ducklings aren’t going to have as much fight in them, though. A duckling could easily be killed by a cat that’s looking for a meal.
Likewise, dogs will sometimes bother ducks, and a dog might also try to eat a duck. You can train your dogs to leave your ducks alone, and it might even be possible for the dog to guard the ducks in some circumstances.
It’d be safer and easier to just keep the dogs and cats away from the ducks. You won’t have as many problems this way.
Keep the dogs in their own part of the yard when they need to be outside. Litter train your cat so that it doesn’t need to go outside at all.
You’re still going to need to protect your ducks from predatory animals. There are stray cats and dogs to worry about as well.
Installing a perimeter fence and ensuring that your ducks have a sturdy coop will be important. If you don’t take the time to protect the ducks, then they’re going to get picked off by predators over time.
It can be a lot of work to keep the ducks safe, but it’s worthwhile. If you’re going to be keeping ducks in your yard, then you have to do things right or the ducks simply won’t stay alive.
Hopefully, all of this information will help you out. It should allow you to make good choices so that you can protect the ducks.
You have to be especially vigilant about protecting ducklings, but adult ducks need your protection too. Just take the information above and use it fully so that you can keep enjoying having ducks in your life.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house. Growing up, I had pet dogs, cats, deer, sugar gliders, chinchillas, a bird, chickens, fish, and a goat.