Raising chickens or ducks can be a really rewarding experience. Unfortunately, though, chickens and ducks — especially when they are chicks and ducks, respectively — are extremely vulnerable to vicious predators such as wild cats and foxes. As such, it is imperative that you construct an enclosure to prevent them being exposed to the outside world. Mesh fencing or other forms of wire fencing are ideal, as they prevent animals like ducks and chickens from escaping, while, at the same time, preventing their larger predators from breaching the perimeter.
Wire fencing should be sturdy and run at least 20 to 30 cm underground; this makes it much harder for predators to dig a tunnel underneath. If you want to be extra secure, experts recommend burying the wire at least 30 to 45 cm under the Earth’s surface, if not more. Additionally, laying some kind of tile barrier instead will prevent foxes (or dogs) from attempting to dig at all. In a domestic setting, it is possible to go years without an attack, which is why some people in these kinds of environments are more willing to give them free reign of a fenced backyard.
As a side note, ducks and chickens are known to sometimes drown some of their young. While this is probably just an evolutionary trait to only keep the strongest of the young and preserve food, this can obviously be traumatic, especially if children witness such an occurrence. Unless you rig up some kind of automated water system that negates the risk of drowning, there really isn’t much that can be done about such an act. Foxes are mostly nocturnal, although they are known (especially in suburban areas) to hunt for food during the day; therefore, even mature ducks should ideally be penned at night when they are sleeping and most vulnerable.
In any case, no matter what animals you wish to contain, mesh fencing is a great way to protect — not imprison — your pets. Raising animals without protection leaves them exposed and vulnerable; and, especially for young animals, a lack of cover or fencing is practically a death sentence. Using wire fencing gives your pets the security they need to live long and fulfilling lives. Ideally, let your chickens and ducks roam your backyard with a watchful eye. Ducks are especially great for hunting snails and insects, which can help to cut down on an overabundance of annoying insects in a sustainable and natural way.