Ducks in the Garden?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Christine Robins, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. Christine Robins

    Christine Robins New Egg

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    Nov 25, 2008
    Corvallis, OR
    Here in western Oregon, slugs are THE major garden problem in the cooler months. I've been spending an hour every night hand-picking them.

    I'm getting two Ancona drakes, about a yr. old, from my neighbor to help with this.

    I plan to use a converted chicken coop for night quarters. Since slugs are out and active at night, should I leave my birds out until after dark? Or let them out before dawn? Should they be supervised when it's dark?

    We have a large lot--over an acre of open land. The whole border of the lot is fenced, but the garden itself doesn't have its own fence. It's quite a distance from the coop. How do I encourage them to visit the garden frequently? Or will they just make up their own minds about this?

    Should I cover up the lettuce and other greens to prevent them from eating the plants or pooping on them?

    Christine
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    Good questions. One of the reasons I want to get ducks is because I have slugs. While the slugs are more visible after dark, I think the ducks know where to find them hiding under the leaves [​IMG]
     
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I think we must rise up and be rid of this pernicious predator. Just this morning Holstein the cat showed up with a banana slug at his throat. I don't know how many thousands of layena pellets and kitty kibbles have died in my yard alone to satisfy these horrors. I find them invading the house, and chasing the spiders out. Where's my torch? Where's my pitchfork? Where's the salt shaker? I feel their 100 eyes on me all the time.

    I think I need me a duck! [​IMG]
     
  4. trulyviolet

    trulyviolet Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 5, 2008
    i let my ducks work the garden in the fall/winter
    and early spring

    i stay with them so they are pretty good about not eatting stuff they aren't supposed to

    (however there was that unfortunate brussels sprout incident.......it wasn't pretty)

    my duck pen, which is now just a day pen due to predation,
    is inside my garden
    convient to toss the slugs into them
    during 'the season'

    but right now i let them just work the garden
    there really isn't much there but garlic and some cole crops
    so they are having a blast every day working it all over

    they are finding a LOT of baby slugs

    we find them during the day here in pennsylvania, when it's damp

    they aren't banana slugs like you all have
    but i would imagine that between a salt shaker and a couple ducks
    you should have them under control


    vi
     
  5. Faithnthyme

    Faithnthyme New Egg

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Central Ohio
    My Khaki's do a remarkable job finding the slugs during the day. I let them free range in the yard/garden during the daylight hours and then put them in their pen as dusk falls. From about 9:00/10:00 pm till after 8:00 am they are in their night run which is a combination of inside/outside and covered in hardware cloth - too many raccoons, coyotes,foxes and owls around. During the open air growing season I have to fence off some tender young things to keep them out - they love strawberries, baby lettuce, tomatoes, etc

    Watch the way the drakes root around with their bills, the slugs don't stand much of a chance. If you leave them out at night, you are at risk for coming out to no ducks. Good luck & enjoy!
     

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