Ducks for insect control?

dianneS

Songster
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
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South Central PA
I am looking for a good breed of duck for insect control. I have a pond, will they mostly stay in that area? I would prefer a non-flighted breed as well. I have a coop that they could be locked in at night. Can you really train them to go inside before sunset?

I have tried chickens and guinea fowl and neither is working for me free-range anymore. I had chickens for nine years, but had to lock them up this year due to a new neighbor planting a vegetable garden right on the property line. The guineas are leaving the neighbors garden alone so far, but they do go over in that direction and I don't want my birds to get blamed for any plant damage.

Would ducks be a better option? Can I keep them fenced in my pastures with my livestock without fear of them escaping? I do have geese right now, they never get out of the pasture fence, but they don't eat bugs!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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I love my muscovy ducks. They patrol the yard day and night eating bugs. They don't need constant water like other species but will definitely use it. They are somewhat able to fly, mostly glide, but you can clip wings to keep them grounded. They also are prolific, and will hatch big clutches if allowed. They don't quack like other breeds so they are more quiet.
 

dianneS

Songster
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
843
60
221
South Central PA
Muscovy can fly......Oops.....Might not be the breed for you?...Plus they roost like a Chicken.....
Yes, I did read that they can fly, I'm not sure if flying is such a bad thing, if I raise them in the pasture with the pond, will they want to stray very far?

They roost like a chicken!! I had no idea! That might be a good thing if there are predators around! I had some khaki campbell's last year, but a fox got all of them. We were between livestock guardian dogs at the time. We have a new dog now and no fox problems anymore.

I find that the waterfowl is much easier to contain and keep close to home. I've only had geese and the Khaki Campbells though.

We spent a lot of time and money fixing our pond for our geese and they don't really appreciate it all that much! They go for a dip now and then, but they're not obsessed with the water the way ducks are... One more reason I would like to try ducks again.
 

dianneS

Songster
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
843
60
221
South Central PA
I have a few friends with Muscovies, they really love them. I'm finding I prefer waterfowl to chickens and guineas.

Do I need to have a house for muscovies?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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My muscovy roost in my chicken shed, some way up in the rafters, which is a big pole building. They prefer a more open setting. They are good at avoiding predators, and are very smart birds.
 

jofanx

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Oct 30, 2015
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Love my muscovies too. I keep their wings clipped and they live in a coop at night, which they return to on their own. We had a BAD infestation of gypsy moths last year and then this spring I thought it was going to be the same thing... but at the first sign of caterpillars they were wiped out by my foraging flock.

I watched them chase down flies and chomp down on... honeybees. So that's been a bit of a downside in that they aren't picky about which bugs they eat. Bright side is, no slugs or snails.

They're quiet, and honestly I find that they're calm in comparison to chickens which I desperately need in my life. Their poop also doesn't smell as bad to me.

They MIGHT eat your neighbors garden though unless you keep them penned up. Mine gets into my huge patch of alpine strawberries.

One thing is you might want to give them feed at night--I don't feed them during the day because then they get lazy on the pest control. I give them each about a cup of feed before bed.
 

dianneS

Songster
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
843
60
221
South Central PA
They MIGHT eat your neighbors garden though unless you keep them penned up. Mine gets into my huge patch of alpine strawberries.
I had Khaki campbell ducks before, and I kept them in the pasture with the geese and other livestock (about 7 acres) I never had any problems with them getting out of the fence. I didn't have a pond back then, but now I do. Do you think Muscovies would stay in a fence in that situation?
 

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