Hi everyone! I could use some duck advice from those of you who are wiser than I.
I've been lurking for about a year now and I've been able to find a ton of useful information when it came to raising our ducks and over-wintering them, etc. I am so appreciative of this forum! Now I need some more help :)
Some background information, we're a childcare center in central Pennsylvania and we adopted three ducklings last spring. At that point we knew nothing about breed or gender, but we ended up with a sweet plump female Pekin, a male Black Swedish, and a male Mallard. Unfortunately due to temperament issues that, as a childcare center, we could not remedy or tolerate, our Mallard was adopted by a local family with their own flock.
Our Pekin and Black Swedish are thriving in a 15' x 15' fenced-in area with a 275-gallon pond we installed for them and a duck house (which they rarely use). The area is partially shaded due to a large tree in the corner. Our filter has a back-flush that drains into garden beds below- win!
Our problem, however, is an almost total lack of ground cover. The area was lacking in grass as it is, and what remained of any greenery was dug up to install the pond. I am aware the ducks are generally considered to pretty much be the vacuums of nature, so I'm fairly certain that if we attempt to seed new grass, the seeds won't last long enough to make any headway, nor would any newly sprouted grass.
We'd like to make the area more aesthetically pleasing, as well as more comfortable for the ducks, with grass and bushes, but we don't know how to go about this. So really, my questions are:
Is there a way to cover the area with grass in a way which the grass will succeed (at least when it comes to ducks)?
Are there any bushes/plants that we can install that will not harm the ducks (but will also survive them)? It's easy to find information on what is poisonous to them, but not what is harmless yet they won't eat. Maybe these plants don't exist, haha!
Do you have any general recommendations for us?
Please let me know if you need more information or have questions for me! We are still duck newbies and are just doing the best we can with our limited resources.