Do Foxes Eat Ducks? (What To Do!)
When you think about what foxes eat, it’s easy to assume that they live primarily on small rodents such as mice, rats, and voles. After all, we hear so much about how these little creatures are the primary prey of red foxes throughout their range.
And as it turns out, many different types of foxes will happily dine on waterfowl such as ducks and geese, as well—as well as chickens and other domestic birds, when the opportunity presents itself.
If you think you might have foxes living in your area, you’ll need to take steps to protect your flock from these big predators. We’ll go over one way you can do this in a bit.
Will Foxes Attack Ducks?
Foxes will definitely attack wild ducks and geese if they can get at them. After all, these are among the most common types of prey for foxes in nearly every region where they live. However, foxes won’t bother chasing down ducks that are swimming on the surface or flying in the air because it’s just too difficult. Instead, their greatest success will come when waterfowl land to rest on the ground or when they’re trying to cross a river or stream.
Foxes also prefer to hunt in pairs because there’s strength (and safety) in numbers. This allows them to isolate a single duck from the rest of its flock by surrounding it and spooking it into flight with loud yaps and growls.
Once this happens, one fox will leap up and overtake its intended prey while another one keeps the rest of the flock at bay under a hail of noise!
If you have ducks in an area near foxes, there is always the chance that a duckling will get separated from its mother. If this happens, a fox might attack and eat it. If you have a place where foxes are prevalent, it’s a good idea to keep your ducks inside until they are old enough to fly. Once they are flying, foxes will have a much harder time getting to them.
How To Know If There Are Foxes Near You?
You can often track the presence of foxes in an area by looking at how many small rodents there are. Red and gray foxes are primarily rodent eaters, so if there are large numbers of mice and voles in an area, there is a good chance that foxes are living nearby.
Foxes will often kill far more rodents than they can actually eat. They store the extra rodents in places like hollow logs and other crevices to eat later. If you find a lot of extra rodents in an area, it could be a sign that foxes are living there.
How To Protect Your Ducks From Foxes?
There is no foolproof way to stop foxes from killing ducks on your farm. The best you can do is to take steps to make it as hard as possible for foxes to get to your ducks. Foxes are cunning and will find ways to penetrate whatever protections you put in place, but the more effort you put into preventing them from getting to your birds, the better your chances of success will be. Here are some things you can do:
1. Keep your ducklings indoors until they are old enough to fly. You can also keep them in a mesh pen inside the house until they are ready to go out on their own.
2. Once they are outside, watch them carefully and make sure that they always have access to shelter and fresh water.
3. Provide a secure area where they can escape from predators if necessary. A fox-proofed greenhouse is ideal, but any enclosed structure with a locking door will work as well (e.g., a portable garage). The most important thing is that it’s big enough for all of the ducks to huddle together inside and that the door is heavy enough to resist being opened by a fox or other predator if it tries to get in.
4. Keep their run clear of any hiding places for foxes (such as brush, tall grass, or thick bushes).
5. Install motion-detecting flood lights around your duck area if possible
6. Keep your ducks confined at night and close to the coop.
7. Always maintain a vigilant watch over them, especially during twilight hours, when predators are most likely to attack.
Make sure that all your ducklings are with their mothers as soon as they hatch. Foxes are more likely to kill ducklings that are alone than ducklings that are with their mothers. Make sure that your ducks have plenty of cover to hide in. An open environment will be more likely to attract foxes than a natural habitat that has plenty of cover.
Do Foxes Eat Ducks’ Eggs?
Foxes will try to eat any type of egg that they find, including those from ducks. Foxes can smell eggs from long distances and will dig them out of nests. They will even dig into nests in trees.
These nests are much harder to protect and you will have to keep an eye on them at all times.
What Do Foxes Eat?
Foxes will eat a very wide range of things depending on what is easiest to find.
They primarily eat small rodents like mice and voles, rabbits, frogs, and insects. But they have also been known to eat fish, reptiles, small birds, and even toddlers! Foxes have also been seen catching and eating larger animals like geese and young pigs and lambs.
What Animals Eat Ducks?
Many animals that eat small rodents also eat ducks, but foxes are not the only predators that feed on waterfowl. Here are a few that you may want to be aware of:
Weasels: Weasels are small predators that will kill and eat chickens, ducks, and other birds.
Owls: Owls are ferocious predators with a wide variety of diet, but if small poultry is an easy meal, they will take it.
Eagles: Eagles are natural predators of ducks and other birds and will happily attack them if given the opportunity. Because of their size, eagles usually won’t attack adult ducks, but they will happily kill and eat ducklings or very young birds.
Foxes will eat almost any small animal that they can catch, including many species of birds.
When you have ducks, it’s important to take steps to protect them from predators. Make sure that your ducks have plenty of cover to hide in, and keep them inside during the night.