DuckMama9

Songster
Aug 8, 2019
62
253
107
Lubbock, Texas
I have five, four, and three week old ducklings and I finally got the duck house built in the section of the yard that I designated for the duckpen, but I need some landscap--I mean DUCKscaping advice! The duck-pen area was a part of the yard that hasn't been used for anything for a while and had been mulched over with cardboard topped with cedar mulch to keep weeds down. Now that I am using this area for the ducks I need ideas on what to plant in there for them to make shade, provide cover and hiding from predators, and possibly provide some snacks! Their house faces north and the south wall of the duck house is up against a shop, so there is mostly shade in the southwest corner of their pen, but mostly sun in the rest of it. It is all shaded by the pecan trees at west end of the backyard for the late afternoon to dusk. We live in the panhandle of Texas, I think in USDA zone 7a.

Also, is the cedar mulch a bad idea for the ducks? What type of ground cover would do well with the wet conditions that ducks make? I plan to put a small pool or pond in there too. I would like to make some kind of quackaponics system to help grow some of their own herbs and veggies but I have no experience with these types of systems, so any advice or tips to share would be appreciated!

DuckYard.JPG
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Sep 2, 2018
7,897
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Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
Your ducks are lucky to have such a beautiful space for them! I hope the cedar mulch is rotten good? - Fresh Cedar emits fumes that are toxic to birds, that's why cedar shavings are a non-no for brooders.
Regarding the Quackscaping: A huge Cactus with lots of pricks may have a chance against ducks! - Just kidding! That old myth that ducks are just eating the snails and insects from your vegetable garden… Forget it! And what they can't eat, they will trample!
At least that's what my ducks do. They even eat hairy zucchini plants whole.
What you can do is to create a bed with herbs and cover them with chicken wire or hardware cloth. Everything that grows through is theirs. That's how i share my Peppermint with my ducks. Sadly my younger drake figured out that he can jump the fence and has started to eradicate the peppermint plants…
 

DuckMama9

Songster
Aug 8, 2019
62
253
107
Lubbock, Texas
border collies right? I've got 2 also. Do they mind staying in that small area?

Ace and Georgia, siblings, are border collie mixes. The DNA tests say they also have Australian Shepard, labrador retriever, and golden retriever in them. The dogs do not stay in the duck pen area...they pretty much just follow me wherever I happen to be. And since I led the ducklings into the pen area to snap a quick pic, the dogs followed us there. The dogs have a tendency to want to photobomb all of my photos...something about the fact that I'm paying my attention to something else so they have to get in the way to get my attention...so I generally find it easier to direct them where they can sit/lay and stay so that I can snap the photo and get a decent picture of what I want. And then they get rewarded with praise or a treat for good behavior!
 

DuckMama9

Songster
Aug 8, 2019
62
253
107
Lubbock, Texas
Your ducks are lucky to have such a beautiful space for them! I hope the cedar mulch is rotten good? - Fresh Cedar emits fumes that are toxic to birds, that's why cedar shavings are a non-no for brooders.
Regarding the Quackscaping: A huge Cactus with lots of pricks may have a chance against ducks! - Just kidding! That old myth that ducks are just eating the snails and insects from your vegetable garden… Forget it! And what they can't eat, they will trample!
At least that's what my ducks do. They even eat hairy zucchini plants whole.
What you can do is to create a bed with herbs and cover them with chicken wire or hardware cloth. Everything that grows through is theirs. That's how i share my Peppermint with my ducks. Sadly my younger drake figured out that he can jump the fence and has started to eradicate the peppermint plants…


WannaBeHillBilly, Thanks for that helpful information! That gives me a good idea of how I will try to cover the planting beds so they don't destroy everything.
 
Sep 2, 2018
7,897
32,801
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Big Chimney, WV
My Coop
My Coop
WannaBeHillBilly, Thanks for that helpful information! That gives me a good idea of how I will try to cover the planting beds so they don't destroy everything.
What i forgot to mention: Used bedding and duck poop is an excellent fertilizer and soil enhancer! So in a way they do help with gardening. If you distribute some duck bedding around the trees in your garden in fall and let it rot there, the tress will experience a boost in growth and carry much more fruits in coming year. Also duck bedding tilled under in early spring will make your veggies brow much better. - Just don't show your ducks the way to the veggie garden…
 

DuckMama9

Songster
Aug 8, 2019
62
253
107
Lubbock, Texas
UPDATE: I considered what WannabeHillBilly and DuckyDonna both said. I started the morning with one idea in mind and after a few different trips to the hardware store & nursery, I ended up doing something completely different! Here it is...
DuckScape.JPG


First off this morning, I went and priced edging materials at the hardware store but decided that they are way to expensive and don't really provide a deep enough bed as I like to use. Furthermore, the metal posts used to stake poultry netting that I thought I might use to keep ducks out had a warning on it that it causes cancer! I remembered that I have a bunch of wood tree stump logs that I never got around to splitting for firewood and I decided that they would be ideal for many reasons: 1) provides a duck barrier and deep raised bed in one, 2) creates a micro-ecosystem for bugs and lizards, 3) the stumps provide seating, and 4) it's FREE! As an added bonus, I might some day be able to cultivate some edible mushrooms on the stumps as they decay slowly and naturally over time
DuckHouse.JPG

Also, I originally envisioned planting herbs and veggies for the ducks and the humans here, but ultimately decided to plant a variety of ornamental perennials and annuals that attract humming birds and butterflies, and were labeled "deer resistant", figuring that if deer leave it alone, then maybe the ducks will too. The benefit of transplants is that I get to enjoy the beauty of the landscape right now instead of waiting for seeds to sprout up and grow. At any rate, I am very pleased with how it all turned out.
 

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shawluvsbirds

🦆Lord luv a Duck!
5 Years
Apr 17, 2017
26,756
180,933
1,602
Missouri
UPDATE: I considered what WannabeHillBilly and DuckyDonna both said. I started the morning with one idea in mind and after a few different trips to the hardware store & nursery, I ended up doing something completely different! Here it is... View attachment 1880137

First off this morning, I went and priced edging materials at the hardware store but decided that they are way to expensive and don't really provide a deep enough bed as I like to use. Furthermore, the metal posts used to stake poultry netting that I thought I might use to keep ducks out had a warning on it that it causes cancer! I remembered that I have a bunch of wood tree stump logs that I never got around to splitting for firewood and I decided that they would be ideal for many reasons: 1) provides a duck barrier and deep raised bed in one, 2) creates a micro-ecosystem for bugs and lizards, 3) the stumps provide seating, and 4) it's FREE! As an added bonus, I might some day be able to cultivate some edible mushrooms on the stumps as they decay slowly and naturally over time
View attachment 1880136
Also, I originally envisioned planting herbs and veggies for the ducks and the humans here, but ultimately decided to plant a variety of ornamental perennials and annuals that attract humming birds and butterflies, and were labeled "deer resistant", figuring that if deer leave it alone, then maybe the ducks will too. The benefit of transplants is that I get to enjoy the beauty of the landscape right now instead of waiting for seeds to sprout up and grow. At any rate, I am very pleased with how it all turned out.
It's beautiful! :love
 

katiebrock

Songster
Apr 7, 2019
474
1,107
206
Milledgeville, Georgia
Ace and Georgia, siblings, are border collie mixes. The DNA tests say they also have Australian Shepard, labrador retriever, and golden retriever in them. The dogs do not stay in the duck pen area...they pretty much just follow me wherever I happen to be. And since I led the ducklings into the pen area to snap a quick pic, the dogs followed us there. The dogs have a tendency to want to photobomb all of my photos...something about the fact that I'm paying my attention to something else so they have to get in the way to get my attention...so I generally find it easier to direct them where they can sit/lay and stay so that I can snap the photo and get a decent picture of what I want. And then they get rewarded with praise or a treat for good behavior!
I have a Australian cattle dog, and I am actually getting another one today, relatives of the border collie. She is so good with the ducks! I am pretty sure the ducks jump on her more than she chases them!
 

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