Duck feet and soil compaction

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by TracyLovesDucks, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. TracyLovesDucks

    TracyLovesDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had my 8 runner ducks for 9 months now. Their yard started out lush and grassy, but now it's mostly bare dirt that's rather compacted. I'd like to get back to that cushy lushness, if it's even possible (I've always heard that duck poop won't sour soil, but maybe that's not the case, dunno?). It would be nice for the lawn to feed them and also keep their feet healthy (worried about the currently hard soil hurting them).

    Do you have any tips and tricks to keep the ground soft and plant friendly?
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I do not, my yard where my flock spends most of their time is hard and compacted and void of any thing green, to get grass to grow for my geese I have to fence off sections and give it time to grow the grass then i can only let the flock have access for a little while daily or the chickens scratch it up and the water fowl flatten it all out, I now have 3 section fenced so I can rotate where they eat and forage. I think if a person has pleanty of pasture where they can rotate their flock then you might see lushness again, Most of us don't have that luxury.
     
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    In the Day Pen, where there is a great deal of time spent, I have a compost-mulch base, and the nearby sugar maple roots LOVE IT!

    I just toss in a little chopped straw, a few leaves, occasionally turn it with a cultivator. It attracts worms and absorbs water and lets it infiltrate the soil. Smells fine. the ducks forage in it.

    For reference, it's 160 square feet, with thirteen 4 pound ducks.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  4. TracyLovesDucks

    TracyLovesDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Miss Lydia, I've seen people using that method for chickens, too. Closing off an area to regrow, and then controlling access to it. It's something I've also been considering. Does your flock ever have any feet problems spending most of their time on the compacted soil? That's what I worry about most for my ducks.

    Edit - Oh, I was also wondering if your chickens help to keep the soil scratched up and any softer? My soil is practically turning to concrete, so even a layer of loose soil would help!

    Amiga, is your Day Pen covered? That sounds like a nice system you have going; and that it's working for thirteen ducks says a lot. Today I am going to aerate the duck yard... we have some snow coming our way and I want the water to be absorbed when the snow melts rather than puddling on the surface and exacerbating the problem. I'm also hoping it will help the trees to grow strong next spring. In the future, I'd like to bring in more organic materials like you've done. Have you ever used pine shavings? I thought they would add good ground cover, but my pen is completely open to the elements so I don't know how it would pan out.

    (P.S. off topic, but I just noticed the addition to your signature line, your latest project! How very cool :) I'd like to purchase Carmella, Where Is Your Quack, but I'm unfamiliar with Amazon Createspace... will I receive it as an eBook file, or will a hardcopy be shipped to me?)
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Tracey I have had 3 hens[chickens] with bumble foot and I am pretty sure they did this from jumping onto the fence gate and down on the other side on to the rocks and rocks we have living in the mountains, none of my water fowl have had any foot problems and hopefully they won't. I have Amiga book ordered off Amazon it's worth buying.
     
  6. TracyLovesDucks

    TracyLovesDucks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Crazy chickens :)

    Bumblefoot is still a mystery to me... which is fine I just don't want to encounter it.

    Is Amiga's book a hardcopy or electronic?
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    It's in book form, go to Amazon and type it in it will come right up.
     

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