ducks in a small yard

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by eco2pia, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. eco2pia

    eco2pia Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2010
    Hello, I am delurking after reading for months. I have chickens, the gateway poultry, and now want ducks. I think.

    I live in a suburban neighborhood on about .14ac. My fenced backyard is my "farmland". I have about 2500 square feet, a generous 2/3 of that is vegetable garden, shed, and compost heap. I have a two-level chicken coop housing 6 hens with a 6x8 footprint. I could spare a similar amount of space for a predator proof duck pen, BUT....

    The whole reason I want ducks is SLUGS! I am in rainy western Washington state. So I want these hypothetical ducks out patroling most of the time, especially in rainy weather and early morning. I imagine 2 wing-clipped bantam ducks (Black east indies/mini appleyards) would be...possible...in my small space. I am prepared to temporarily fence them out of freshly planted garden seedlings, but if they can't wander around, eating slugs, than I have no reason for them anymore.

    My main problem is, what about the stinky mud hole factor? I want to get rid of one pest not add another. As I am in town, I would get two drakes(quieter) and the chickens, who do free-range a few hours each day, would be in when the ducks were out, so that there would be no inter-species harrassment.

    So hypothetically the pen would be nighttime only, but I need to also have a way to leave them penned on days when we are gone and can't supervise, or when the chickens are out, or when we are on vacation....And I CANNOT subject my husband or the neighbors to a stinky mucky mess. How, oh how, can this be accomplished??

    I am considering some version of this pen, but with an exterior pop door and a ramp leading to slug-land: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=3494356

    Thoughts
    ? Concerns? Encouragement? "Oh heck no! Run away!"?
     
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    [​IMG]

    I have 4 ducks and they smell almost all the time, because they poop a lot. BUT.... I change the pool water daily and rake the pen daily, too. That helps a lot, but they still dabble in everything, creating mudholes as they go.

    About the garden, I have not had much luck there. Many years ago I had a beautiful "knot" garden, planted with herbs. They ate it all. We started referring to them as prestuffed.
     
  3. conroy

    conroy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Besides being messy some females can be quite loud....I would make sure your neighbors are ok with it first... I live on .52 acres and most of my neighbors LOVE them but there is a family 2 houses down that isn't craZy about the sound...I know there are breeds that are more quiet than others... I really didn't have a choice as my ducks were a rescue...
     
  4. eco2pia

    eco2pia Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2010
    Well, that sounds....discouraging. Bummer. I know about the loud females, but I had hoped with drakes, supervision, and careful management I might be able to keep them in a raised pen and let them free range AROUND the garden--like a duck moat....think a fence within a fence? Then the slugs would have to cross duck territiory to get to the goodies...
     
  5. JoJo 95

    JoJo 95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    get two female muscovies. Their quiet, eat less plants, and are sweeter and calmer. Howeveer they are larger than bantams and would require a house at least 8 square feet for 2 ducks
     
  6. eco2pia

    eco2pia Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2010
    I considered Muscovies, but quiet isn't really the problem, stink is. And mud.

    I was thinking little duck=little feet+less weight+less poop=less stink.

    One neighbor on the block breeds pomeranian dogs, nothing can be louder than that. I don't particularly enjoy incessant noise, but normal sounds of normal animals going about their normal business will be tolerated here.
     
  7. JoJo 95

    JoJo 95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My uncle has muscovies in a pretty small pen, about 50 square feet and their is very little stench. So with you letting them free range, there probably wouldnt be an odor issue
     
  8. HottentotTeal

    HottentotTeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You can always just spread diatomaceus earth on the ground. That is good for killing insects.
     
  9. eco2pia

    eco2pia Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2010
    There are more slugs in my yard than in people in Seattle.

    If you don't live in northwestern Washington, You. Can. Not. Understand.

    I have lived in western Oregon, and northern California, nothing prepared me for the onslaught. I can't make it stop raining, I can't make the sun come out. Copper doesn't work, Sluggo just takes the edge off, if I lay out beer for them they just call their buddies. They eat things I thought of as slug proof in other climates, they would cross broken glass and razor blades to get to my vegetables, I slice them, salt them, skewer them, crush them, there is no end to the madness. My world runs with silvery slime trails. I need allies!

    Oook-ay, that was a little dramatic. But seriously, if I am going to be taking this many gastropodic lives, I ought to at least have something to feed them to...It makes the massacre seem more...purposeful. I want some thing to WANT to seek and destroy--ducks I was hoping. Are you trying to tell me ducks don't like slugs as well as advertised, much like chickens?
     
  10. Senna95

    Senna95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where in Oregon do you live? I'm in SW Washington (Just north of Vancouver). I've got some extra Indian Runner drakes I'd be willing to "lend" you. If they work out, and you like them you can keep them. If not, I'll take them back.
     

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