Cattail Killers Needed!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by meatbeagle, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. meatbeagle

    meatbeagle New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2011
    Hi folks! I've searched the forums with little success - I have a pond about an acre or so large that has become so overgrown with cattails over the years that it's growing over into a bog. I'd love to open things back up a bit, and it was suggested to me that mallards might be the answer to my woes. I thought I'd check in with the experts! I'd like to find a RELATIVELY quiet breed of duck or goose that will tear the bejesus out of my cattails, that will be able to forage the majority of their food, and that will do well on their own, with little input from me. I was thinking I could put a little shelter out on a floating island for predator protection, rather than cooping them. Obviously, layers are not needed. So: Breed? Sex? Quantity? Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

    -Rick
     
  2. treldib

    treldib Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not sure what cattails are like, but our two ducks turned a brand new Iris plant I put into our pond into a bunch of little shreds and just left "stumps" about an inch tall in the pot within about 20 minutes. It was about 4 1/2 - 5 feet tall and the stalks (very tough and fiberous) were about an inch in daimeter. I was amazed. And they didn't even eat any of it...just destroyed it [​IMG]

    Soon enough, someone with more insight on this topic, will give a much better answer than I did [​IMG]


    By the way, [​IMG]


    ETA: It was a bog plant so just the pot was submerged. They have also shredded and eaten Water Lillies, Water Hyacinth, Water Lettuce, Azolla Fern, Duckweed, Hairgrass, and some other random bog plants I cannot think of at this moment.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011
  3. duckbrained

    duckbrained Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2011
    I have 4 buff orpingtons on a pond that is about an acre and was having a similar problem with cattails. They along with a resident muskrat that goes back and forth between my 2 ponds have obliterated the cattails. A shelter on a floating island is an excellent idea except during winter if it gets cold there. I shut mine up in a large cage inside my barn during the winters in Iowa. I only spend $10 for a 50 lb bag of cracked corn and give them half a butter tub a day. I give them some other treats here and there but you wouldnt have to do that. Maybe you'd be better off getting a muskrat......lol
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Here is an option you might not have thought of....

    What about a bachelor flock? Since you aren't looking for eggs or want them to reproduce (I assume), by adopting some drakes, you could get that pond cleared out and help out some boys that might otherwise get abandoned or worse.

    You could probably even get them for free.

    Just check your local craigslist or place your own ad saying you will give a good home to any unwanted drakes.

    It is easy to sell a hen. Getting rid of excess drakes....NOT easy!

    The ability to destroy plants doesn't seem to be breed specific, so anything with webbed feet and a bill should work [​IMG]
     
  5. duckbrained

    duckbrained Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2011
    In so-cal you don't know what winter is, so I think your plan is sound. Maybe feed them near or in the shelter for a while in the begining so they learn to use it and you'll be good to go. Really a lot of breeds would help your problem.
     
  6. critterranch

    critterranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i'm pretty sure cattails are protected. at least here in new york. you arent even allowed to pick them.
     
  7. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Protected????
     
  8. critterranch

    critterranch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    at least here in new york pussy willows are too. you arent allowed to sell them either here.
     
  9. duckbrained

    duckbrained Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2011
    In Iowa their isn't a pond or a soggy ditch that isnt full of them. Their is just to many people out east and the few that pick them pick all of them.
     
  10. pdsavage

    pdsavage Sussex Monarch

    Mar 27, 2008
    NW,Missouri
    Quote:Thats just weird...we have em everywhere here.....
     

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