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ducks,school, landscape fabric, Help

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hi I've written here before about our school permaculture gardening class getting ducks. I  teach the program. They want the ducks to be in a courtyard where they have heavy duty landscape fabric down with playground mulch over it. This is all going to be removed this weekend to allow gardening in this area. This is where I need some help. 
  I have chosen to get 2 drake call ducks for multiple reasons. ( noise level &size). We are constructing a duck pen yard . It will be a duckponics system I am including image below.  They will have an enclosed raised wire floor pen in the rear of the duck house/pool area(not shown). But I am going to have a small yard area in front where door ramp drops.
  Now here is the question should I leave the heavy landscape fabric in this duck yard area using a type of bedding? At least it won't become a mud hole.  Or remove it and attempt to plant grass there since they will only be spending 1/4 of their time at most in that area. Or do you have another suggestion?  Help please options on this topic welcome.

 

 

post #2 of 2

Very cool  school project.  I wish my Ag teachers/bio teachers would have done a project like this!

 

I would remove the  landscape cloth and go with a deep mulch or  loose bedding area.

 

 I have  garden beds that had landscape fabric in place when we bought our current house.  The ducks did investigate the pieces that they were able to pull up through the mulch.  I removed all of it last year to prevent harm to my ducks.

 

I'm not sure how it would work in permaculture system  but you might consider using a worm farm under the mulch/ loose bedding to  help consume the duck waste and provide a food source/ natural behavior/instinct  outlet.

 

Grass would be good, too, if you want some green space. I'd look for  forage type grasses that stand up to heavy livestock foot traffic.

 

I do not have call ducks so I cant speak to their ability to consume green forage.  My cayuga ducks do actually enjoy  grazing.

 

Their fat, flat feet do  flatten grass.  The areas they foraged on did not really need to be mowed that much last summer due to consumption & grass flattening.

 

 There may also be some nativegrasses  that would mesh well with your permaculture  plan.   My hens actually enjoyed being able to drest/digest under cover of tall native grasses like big blue stem/ little blue stem.   


Edited by cayugaducklady - 3/9/16 at 12:34pm
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