Hello! I'm new to the forum and will soon be new to ducks. I live on a shared acre w/our landlady, and was fortunate enough to inherit a lovely organic garden and greenhouse that I've been voraciously bringing back to life and planting in this spring. I plan on getting 2 ducklings this spring to raise as pets (we're vegan, so we won't even want eggs) and as pest patrol in the garden. Slugs and bugs are a huge issue, and I've done a lot of research on ducks as great assistance in keeping pests at bay. My question is this: The garden is entirely fenced, with wire fencing in squares, like this- (hopefully that's visible enough, they're about 4 inches per side of the square) We will have a secure coop in the garden for the ducks at night, but will allow them to free range in the space during the day, veggie plants well protected until they're big enough. I've noticed small footprints in some of my beds this week, and that could either be a cat or raccoon. Should I be worried about letting the ducks free range during the day, in terms of predators? The garden doesn't have an enclosure over the top of it, so raccoons could easily climb the fence if they wanted to. I don't want to get into this endeavor blindly, and I can't afford to cover the entire garden or even build an aviary of sorts to have the ducks in. ALSO, has anyone had any experience with this hatchery? http://www.metzerfarms.com/index.cfm?CustID=53268 I feel so bad having ducklings shipped, but I have a real ethical concern with buying babies from a place where the mamas are in cages all day doing nothing but producing, and apparently these birds are indoors, but in a large, well ventilated space. I'm afraid if I buy them from my local feed store, they will be coming from birds in poor conditions.