My plan this spring is to introduce 6 Welsh harlequin ducks into my 2 year old fruit tree orchard. It is heavily mulched with wood chips, is about 5,000 sf, and has a deer fence around it. My plan was to put a smaller electrified perimeter inside the deer fence and put their duck house inside of this. I would lock them up each night to keep the coons out. A few questions...
1) The wood mulch is 4-5 inches thick and has been down for a couple years. Any idea how much insect forage 6 ducks will get rooting around in this?
2) Good/bad idea to move my compost pile into the orchard (so they can eat the flies)?
3) What forages could I plant for the ducks to eat? I was thinking clover/comfrey...
4) Any duck-specific house/coop designs you would recommend?
5) I was considering a floorless mobile house/coop design that I moved around the orchard to encourage direct contact between the nitrogen-rich manure and the carbonaceous wood chips (with less cleanup). Any issue with letting them bed down right on the wood chips if I give them protection from the wind/snow? It does get below freezing consistently in the winter but I hear ducks are pretty hardy.
6) Any ways to encourage certain insects ducks particularly like to eat?