Ducks in the garden!!!

chicken farmer

Songster
7 Years
Feb 7, 2012
1,505
84
184
Southern,Ohio
Does anyone have ducks in there garden?? I have heard how they will eat all the weeds/slugs/snails/bugs/they'll be fertilizing it for you/and of course nice big duck eggs. I haven't raised ducks at all just chickens(poultry wize)and I'm wanting to put a pair in my garden,I tilled the soil today and I'm buying seeds tomorrow and I'm gonna buy some chicken wire and green metal post about 5 feet high and go around the garden and fence some yard in it as well for the ducks. You don't want chickens in your garden cause they will scratch up the dirt and make holes and ducks will just dig around with there beaks. And I would trust ducks in my garden more than chickens cause ducks shouldnt mess with your plants. And I'm gonna build them a box/house in there and I'm gonna get a pair probably white pekin. I don't know why you wouldn't have ducks in your garden cause they will weed it for you,eat the slugs/snails/bugs,they will fertilize it,you get nice duck eggs to eat,and they are beautiful walking around the garden. They pretty much do all the garden work for you and all you got to really do it water it(if you want to)and harvest the plants when they are ready
............I've wanted ducks forever and there gonna be a big help(I have a mallard duck egg in my incubator my friend said she found at the park on the sidewalk and it's fertile) But anyway I'm gonna get white pekin duck pair and they will be a nice helper on our homestead........thanks for reading and if you have ducks in the garden or have any tips on raising ducks please post pictures/advice/stories or what ever/......thanks
 

chicken farmer

Songster
7 Years
Feb 7, 2012
1,505
84
184
Southern,Ohio
Here's a little sketch I made of what it will look like(I'm wanting to get a small water hole dug than fence that in too for the ducks) And sorry about the small picture
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,207
2,649
531
Southern New England
What I have found is that I need an area for the ducks - I have thirteen - nine runners and four buffs.

There are types of gardens and times of the year that need the ducks excluded. Here are some examples.

I let the ducks run all around the tea garden mid to late summer, fall, winter and very early spring. Then for later spring to mid summer, they need to be off the tea garden or they will eat the tender plants coming up - asparagus, lemon balm, bee balm, comfrey, etc. Once those have grown up to about a foot tall, then the ducks can come back in some.

In the garlic garden, I let them in just a time or two, once the garlic is over a foot tall. They accidentally step on the plants, pushing them over. So they don't go back in until after garlic harvest, and until the garlic starts to come up in the spring.

They can wander around the blueberries all they want - if they nab a few low hanging berries that is fine with me.

I have the lower parts of the kiwi vine wrapped with metal hardware cloth, as they love to eat kiwi leaves. They don't mess around the raspberries much, but I mostly keep them out because the risk of foot problems (bumblefoot) from stepping on thorns is not worth it.

Raised beds with lettuce and tender leafy things get a low fence to keep the ducks out. They love eating lettuce and cabbage. They don't seem real interested in carrot tops, though.

I keep them away from the rhubarb - too much oxalic acid.

So that's it, mostly. They have their own area they can do what they want, I let them walk through some areas, hang out in others sometimes. I walk them around the perimeters of gardens.

The slug population here, that once was quite impressive, has dropped maybe 80 to 90% since the ducks arrived. We have to go looking for slugs, and we do find some in the wooded area and around the mulch piles. But we have to look.

They eat weeds that I toss to them - especially chickweed, they like dandelion, too. And smartweed. They like eating Japanese beetles and their grubs, like to eat squash bugs. Don't eat red beetles. Maybe that's just my flock.

Mine also like crocus flowers.

Their day pen base is chopped straw and combined with their poop makes an excellent compost. I have made a duck poop tea for the gardens - the plants really seem to love it!
 
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chicken farmer

Songster
7 Years
Feb 7, 2012
1,505
84
184
Southern,Ohio
Thanks for your information,that's the one thing I forgot about is keeping them off while the plants germ(start to come up) and wait till they grow a little bit. I will have to section off the garden and an area beside it of grass as the duck pen!!
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
10 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,207
2,649
531
Southern New England
Sure. I am so happy I decided to get ducks. The reason I got them was slugs. And while they are more work than a container of Sluggo, they are so much fun! I just have had to learn what they like to do, and work with that. I keep several lengths of temporary fence around, with some U posts and other garden stakes, to exclude the ducks.

Their eggs are great, their fertilizer is wonderful, their personalities are incredible. I have heard that Pekins are really sweet. From what I read, a pair of females would probably give you the least trouble. Drakes - well, they can be a handful, and the recommended drake to duck ratio is 1 to 3 (up to 6 females per drake).
 

chicken farmer

Songster
7 Years
Feb 7, 2012
1,505
84
184
Southern,Ohio
Alright thanks,I might try a trio of pekins than and yes I think they will be really fun.....and what do you do for a pond/pool?
 

mariehanson

In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 2, 2013
44
7
24
Northern England, UK


My silly ducks go quackers at the sight of a spade, garden fork or trowel. That means I will be digging in the soil and they will get worms. They get under my feet and become such a nuisance trying to get into holes before I've even lifted the soil. They think if I have buried flower bulbs then it is a game for them to find them and dig them up. It is quite funny but gardening is now twice as long with them following me around. They have adapted to the lawn mower and will help pick up and eat any bits of grass round the edges that the mower can't reach. You will have so much fun having ducks in the garden, I spend hours watching them and they are so inquisitive. No bugs, worms or snails in my garden at the moment thanks to them.
I am lucky to have a pond in my garden but if you do not want to build one then a large cement mixing tray from hardware stores work perfectly well. I dug mind into the ground to make it easier for them to get in and out.
Enjoy!
 

chicken farmer

Songster
7 Years
Feb 7, 2012
1,505
84
184
Southern,Ohio
Thanks a lot mariehanson,I'm gonna buy some ducklings soon and the fence,posts,seeds,and everything else soon than I can enjoy the ducks in the garden and know they are happy and are doing me a big favor....I'm thinking about getting a small waterhole dug beside the garden and than fencing that in with the garden and yard
 
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