Duck Pond Plant Suggestions

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. Hatching

    Feb 24, 2018
    I'm a new member of BYC, but I've been an avid reader for about a year now. My husband and I have a large flock at our family farm in the country, and a very small flock at our backyard "urban farm" in town. My husband is a permaculture farmer, and he has transformed our suburban home into a small-scale sustainable food forest. As soon as our city passed a law allowing backyard chickens and ducks, we jumped at the opportunity to get a small flock to add to our urban farm. They have brought us so much joy....even the cat loves the birds! Among our flock, we have a very handsome (and sometimes ornery) muscovy duck named Artie, who has charmed us to the point of naming our home, "Laughing Duck Farms". He hisses and laughs on cue when my husband talks to him. They have a beautiful friendship. I, on the other hand, do not have the same relationship. We think Artie has a crush on me, since he only flashes his mohawk for me and tries to mount my feet at every opportunity. I'm hoping this will lessen as he gets older - he's only about 8 months old.

    But enough about our silly laughing duck. I need help deciding what water plants I can grow in the duck pond. I'm looking for something that the birds won't completely consume that will thrive in duck pond water. We're in Northern California, zone 9A. There are a lot of local waterways and ponds, but I'm not sure if I should propagate from a local source or try to find something at Petco. Does anyone have any suggestions?
    casportpony and AllenK RGV like this.
  2. AllenK RGV

    AllenK RGV Chicken Addict

    Well I've always loved duckweeds on a ponds surface, plus they are edible by the ducks, but invasives and probably will become a permanant fixture in any calm water. They do tend to get thick but also remove waste nitrogen and phosphorus products from the water plus provide shade to the lower reaches of your pond minimizing algal blooms and evaporative losses of pond water.

    They are usually tiny little plants about the size of apple seeds but they grow fast and can be used to compost as well. I don't see too many downsides unless they are illegal to bring into your area and if they aren't there already they probably are.

    EDIT-- Welcome to BYC didn't see this was your first post. Happy to have you join us. :frow:welcome
 and casportpony like this.
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    Welcome to BYC!
 and AllenK RGV like this.
  4. X_and_Z

    X_and_Z Chirping

    Feb 16, 2018
    SF Bay Area
    My Coop
    I can't imagine any pond plants that would fit in a urban yard sized pond that would hold up to ducks. If you have a pond large enough to dedicate a duck free section (or separate, but connected, pond/filter area) you could put in any number of lovely plants (water lilies, lotus, parrot feather, water hyacinth, cat tails, etc.).

    My pond is ~9' x 14' x 3-5' deep (with additional plant ledges) and even keeping plants from being eaten by my (well fed) goldfish has been a challenge. Water lilies, mini cat tails, and parrot feather in a floating planter have survived, but even large quantities of water hyacinth, duckweed, azolla, have been decimated in a mater of days.
  5. Hatching

    Feb 24, 2018
    Thank you! We're starting the search for duckweed!
    AllenK RGV likes this.
  6. Squiggi

    Squiggi In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2018
    Our ducks would eat or up root anything growing in the pond. Their favorites are lillies and Iris. They prefer tender new shoots so if you can protect the pots until the plants are older they may make it. We put some hardware cloth type of wiring aound the pots. Let's water in and keeps duck bills out. They don't seem to bother various types of rushes much, horsetail,. They do eat young cattail. If you have a pond or water garden store that would be better than Petco. Wild sources can introduce bacteria and insects into your pond you may not want. Any aquatic plant will thrive in duck pond water and will help keep the pond cleaner.
    AllenK RGV likes this.
  7. Runner duck mom

    Runner duck mom Songster

    Nov 15, 2017
    Welcome! I have tried pond plants in the past before getting ducks. They looked so pretty for a week or so until our goldfish ate them all...who knew 3 tiny goldfish could destroy them so quickly! 4 years later we have 3 giant goldfish and have given up on all pond plants :( I'm sure our ducks would be just as happy to nibble at any plants as well.
    Keeping the plants separate from the ducks is a great idea and you would be able to scoop out some duckweed to give to them as a treat.
    As long as your pond gets plenty of sun (i think that's where we went wrong) duckweed and water hyacinth should multiply quickly.
    Good luck!
    AllenK RGV likes this.
  8. AllenK RGV

    AllenK RGV Chicken Addict

    I see duck weed in the wild here Texas in calm water without much surface agitation and in swampy tree covered to full sun environments. It has an explosive growth rate and that is why I suggest the mulch/compost idea. You could culture it first(in a kiddie pool with pond water) to get a good density of it before introduction to a duck pond and unless you have 100s of ducks in a small pond they will tire of it before it is gone in my opinion. That or always keep a culture going in a kiddie pool with a small pump to circulate pond water in(your reserve) and gravity to return water to the pond. You could always use a hardware cloth cover to keep the duckweed going until you know how resilient it is to ducks by this method.

    EDIT-- can you edit your location information so we all know you are in Cali 9A(Account->personal details->scroll down to location and fill it in-> then save at bottom of the page)?
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia John 3:16

    Parrot feather and duck weed might be a good idea but I don't think there is much ducks won't consume given time.

    Welcome to BYC!
    AllenK RGV likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: