Ducks or other waterfowl as pest control in cranberry bogs?? Need Help Brainstorming! :)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by m1chelle1, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. m1chelle1

    m1chelle1 Songster

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    Hello BYC Fam!

    This is a cross-post from my Permies account...

    Long story short, ive been looking to buy a (preferably) organic farm and have successfully found a fantastic affordable one, full of potential!
    Needless to say ive been doing my research on it and cant seem to find anything on ducks or other waterfowl in use in cranberry bogs specifically (as pest control). I know its a long shot to find someone on here who has experience with cranberry farms or cranberry bogs, as there really arent a lot in the US. This farm is certified organic and im trying to brainstorm out of the box ways to keep it that way, and to maybe use nature/natural elements to help my "potentially" future farm :)
    Im a big Joel Salitin fan and he uses pigs to stir compost and such; he likes that integration of natural livestock/ animals on the farm to essentially enrich the produce and help eachother thrive, that sort of thing. Thats pretty much what im looking for here. I read that pests are a huge deterrent for cranberry farms to go and stay organic, so that is the reasoning for me asking these questions.

    I know that some people say that ducks will "sometimes" only eat the pests and soft weeds and such, and would just like to see if this is the truth, or if they would in fact go after the raw cranberry crops, or the plants, or both. To be honest, im just not sure that raw cranberries would be something ducks would eat? I know geese and other waterfowl can also be good pest control so im open to any option. Think guinea fowl would work??
    I know chickens are not an option, this is my forte and i havent known a chicken yet that wouldnt wreak havoc on my garden at any given chance :) little buggers
    Just brainstorming here......feel free to brainstorm with me!

    thank you for the input! Wish me luck!!! :wee:wee

    Cheers!
    M:bun
     
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  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    I know they use Indian Runner ducks in orchards and rice paddies.
     
  3. WannaBeHillBilly

    WannaBeHillBilly Crossing the Road

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    It all depends on how sturdy and tasty for ducks those cranberry plants are. If they are tasty, forget it: The ducks will eat them whole, like they did with my pepper and tomato plants. If they aren't sturdy, the ducks will trample and uproot them in their effort to till over the whole cranberry bog in search for bugs and slugs.
    If cranberry plants have strong roots, stems with nasty hairs and leaves that taste awful, you can give it at try.
     
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  4. m1chelle1

    m1chelle1 Songster

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    thanks! yes, i was hearing that muscovoy do well, too. Im trying to narrow down a list of potential breeds of ducks to maybe "test" out, ones that will likely do well with the task at hand.....any other suggestions?
     
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  5. m1chelle1

    m1chelle1 Songster

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    right, right. that was my thought, too. If the plants are super fragile, forget about it
     
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  6. the cluck juggler

    the cluck juggler Incubator Addict

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    As much as I love muscovies, I'm not sure they would work well for this. The drakes especially are big and clumsy and they can be rather lazy, just chilling in the sun rather than eating bugs. You'd want a light breed that won't stomp down the berries and a one that's good at foraging and finding food themselves.
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life

    Evidently Runners are built for the job. They are used to eat bugs in rice patties and in grape orchards. Their is actually a video of them going out to a grape vineyard in SA look it up probably you tube
     
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  8. BreanneRN

    BreanneRN Songster

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    Well, I wouldn't worry so much about the ducks eating the cranberries as much as them messing up the growth and dumping too much fertilizer on them... Not too familiar with growing cranberries, but know they float on top of the water in "bogs"... Not sure how much current there might be in a cranberry bog... Or what kind of pests they actually have. At any rate, it is not the same situation as a rice paddy or grape vineyard. I would seriously do some homework before turning a bunch of ducks in there, especially on a permanent basis. No one wants salmonella in the cranberries.
     
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  9. bluemerle

    bluemerle Songster

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    The key with successful weeder/insect control waterfowl seems to be management. You can't throw a flock into a field and leave them all year: you have to rotate them daily, and keep an eye on them to make sure they're not doing more harm than good.

    As for cranberries specifically ... probably? I know organic strawberry farms use geese.
     
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  10. m1chelle1

    m1chelle1 Songster

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    i saw a video of runners in rice paddies. ill have to look the grape one up, thanks!
     
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