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Garden Ducks - Page 3

post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cayugaducklady View Post
 

I have four Cayuga hens. They're friendly

 

We have raised beds and grow veggies in greenhouse containers. My ducks didn't have access to my container grown plants but I did feed them the harvestables we didn't want to eat.

 

They have consumed slugs and caterpillars and grasshoppers and beetle grubs in the raised beds and from around the fruit trees.  If hadn't been for the ducks I think we would have lost some trees due to the heavy caterpillar burden  late spring/early summer.

 

They also single handedly eliminated the dandelion population ,the thistle population and made a dent in the wild chicory population in the yard. They've almost completely  removed the hostas that we don't want, too.

 

Duck poo/pond water is awesome for watering plants.  I use a self priming hand pump to drain 70 gallons every two weeks or when i think its too stinky.

 

They will drill holes but mine only do it in moist/saturated areas.  They will fluff the top layer of soil/ leaf litter/mulch.

 

In some areas of the yard, I used duck trampling to knock down the taller native grasses instead of mowing.  One "trampling" would keep the grass down for weeks.

 

I use about a 3 foot high dog play kennel to confine my girls when i need them to be in one place while i do chores.  That's tall enough fort hem to stretch neck and wings under a bird netting.  I don't leave them in this if I'm not out there though. One of our neighbors forgets to put their invisible dog fence collar on their dogs occasionally and they come into our yard.  

 

I think the ducks are more efficient composters than any mechanical compost system.  They get all of our produce leftovers. I do steam anything that isn't a leafy green.  In fact, one of the reasons i wanted ducks is for their soil improvement capabilities.  Due to some insanely stupid decisions the previous homeowners made we have virtually no topsoil in any of the spots we'd like to use as gardens.

 

My ducks learned to use a dog ramp ( its designed purpose was to help  big dogs get inside trucks and cars)  to go up to their pond in about 15 minutes one day.  It's one of their favorite places in their permanent pen.  It fits all four of them. They sun on it and on warm (above 40 degree nights) they'll sleep on it  (and leave behind massive amounts of poop).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cayugaducklady View Post
 

I have four Cayuga hens. They're friendly

 

We have raised beds and grow veggies in greenhouse containers. My ducks didn't have access to my container grown plants but I did feed them the harvestables we didn't want to eat.

 

They have consumed slugs and caterpillars and grasshoppers and beetle grubs in the raised beds and from around the fruit trees.  If hadn't been for the ducks I think we would have lost some trees due to the heavy caterpillar burden  late spring/early summer.

 

They also single handedly eliminated the dandelion population ,the thistle population and made a dent in the wild chicory population in the yard. They've almost completely  removed the hostas that we don't want, too.

 

Duck poo/pond water is awesome for watering plants.  I use a self priming hand pump to drain 70 gallons every two weeks or when i think its too stinky.

 

They will drill holes but mine only do it in moist/saturated areas.  They will fluff the top layer of soil/ leaf litter/mulch.

 

In some areas of the yard, I used duck trampling to knock down the taller native grasses instead of mowing.  One "trampling" would keep the grass down for weeks.

 

I use about a 3 foot high dog play kennel to confine my girls when i need them to be in one place while i do chores.  That's tall enough fort hem to stretch neck and wings under a bird netting.  I don't leave them in this if I'm not out there though. One of our neighbors forgets to put their invisible dog fence collar on their dogs occasionally and they come into our yard.  

 

I think the ducks are more efficient composters than any mechanical compost system.  They get all of our produce leftovers. I do steam anything that isn't a leafy green.  In fact, one of the reasons i wanted ducks is for their soil improvement capabilities.  Due to some insanely stupid decisions the previous homeowners made we have virtually no topsoil in any of the spots we'd like to use as gardens.

 

My ducks learned to use a dog ramp ( its designed purpose was to help  big dogs get inside trucks and cars)  to go up to their pond in about 15 minutes one day.  It's one of their favorite places in their permanent pen.  It fits all four of them. They sun on it and on warm (above 40 degree nights) they'll sleep on it  (and leave behind massive amounts of poop).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cayugaducklady View Post
 

Duck is one of my favorite poultry meats.   We eat it a few times a month slow roasted  with veggies , braised over cabbage & veggies or seared duck breasts.   Duck breasts make a fabulous quick  work night supper. We prefer it to chicken because the local free range duck tastes less gamey than the local free range chicken.

 

Duck fat makes awesome!!! fried potatoes, steak fries, french fries.

 

My ducks are for pets/eggs only though. I would not be capable of processing them for meat.

 

I'm still debating on the duck meat and eggs. My mom has just informed me that they had meat ducks when she was growing up and it was "deeeelicious". I guess I will just have to give it a try. I know I have had duck eggs, omelet I believe. Not to bad, if I can trust mt 10 year old taste buds LOL yeah, it's been a while. Is there anyway you can buy topsoil, in your area? We have a "dirt plant" about an hour away, its expensive, but they are going to bring two loads of fertilizer/compost/healthy dirt stuff to my property, once it has been cleared off. My sibling left it a dump zone, when I evicted her. I don't know whats in that soil, so I will be removing about 3 feet of dirt in my garden area and putting my purchased dirt in.

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." - Audrey Hepburn
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"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." - Audrey Hepburn
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post #22 of 26

We can buy topsoil  by the truckload but it is prohibitively expensive. A dump truck load of fill dirt for our current duck area was plus compaction and leveling was around $3000 and most of the cost was buying the fill dirt.

 

So we'll just recycle duck straw/leaf litter bedding/compost from our bin and the other duck contributions :)  

 

I had great luck with green manure cover crops in the duck area. The ducks love to forage in it and it adds organic matter to the soil when I chop & drop it.

post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 

Yes it is very expensive. I'm still looking for alternate healthy soil. If I can get some cheaper I will definitely be going that route. $3000 for dirt is very excessive, and I'd rather spend it animals and the veggies LOL Are Cayuga ducks normally easy to find? I looked on Mcmurray hatcheries and they are sold out. Is that common?

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." - Audrey Hepburn
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"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." - Audrey Hepburn
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post #24 of 26


I have Anconas and mostly have a container garden which did quite well. I also planted Dahlias that loved the duck water. I compost my straw bedding. Occasionally I put my straw in leaf bags and it gets picked up by the town.
I'm planning my garden for next year making adjustments from my lessons learned. Definitely a work in progress. The bugs and grub eating is a big plus but it's the water that's so important.
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkwing4 View Post



I have Anconas and mostly have a container garden which did quite well. I also planted Dahlias that loved the duck water. I compost my straw bedding. Occasionally I put my straw in leaf bags and it gets picked up by the town.
I'm planning my garden for next year making adjustments from my lessons learned. Definitely a work in progress. The bugs and grub eating is a big plus but it's the water that's so important.

They are beautiful! I like the patterns!

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." - Audrey Hepburn
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"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." - Audrey Hepburn
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post #26 of 26

This year for litter I'm using leaves from our yard and the neighbors.  They lent me their sucker, which chops and bags the leaves.  I'm storing up lawn bags of leaves in my shed for topping off their litter during the winter time.  In the spring I'll clean it out and fill up a raised bed with the bio-active goodness!

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