Grass/cover crop and ducks.

Weeg

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Is there any way to keep grass or cover prop alive in a duck run? I am definitely planning on doing grazing frames as well, but what about the whole run? Is there a certain hardy seed I can plant that might survive a duck, eating and walking on it? I was thinking cover crop instead, since it may be hardier then a normal grass seed? Any ideas? Without the option of a covered run, I would love to have plants as a solution to soak up water, so the run isn't so muddy! I just need the grass to survive. I think if I start with sod, so that the grass is already established in the sod rolls, then plant the cover crop seed on top, then it will make it easier to grow since the seeds wont just be eaten or trampled, but can be hidden by the sod? Thanks for any suggestions!
 

416bigbore

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I am not sure what would make a good cover crop that they wouldn't destroy in a short amount of time.

Over grazing is the bigger issue if you don't have enough room for them all, so the vegetation has time to recover.

I do a lot of broadcasting with cheap bird seed and other whole grains like wheat and oats to all the bare spots of ground and that seems to take quickly. I still try to rotate them around the yard to free graze so it will give the native grasses and other seeds time to take before I let them into it again.

Without a covered run, not really sure what would be the best for battling the muddy issue, we have the same problem. :(

Best of luck and please keep us posted. :)
 

KaleIAm

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I just buy regular grass seed. My aviary isn't covered, just enclosed with hardware cloth. Even with it being 30x30ft for 3 ducks they do make bare patches after a few months. Then when it has been raining like crazy it can get muddy in certain low bare spots.

But that's why I have their aviary separated into two sections. When one gets sparse I can reseed and regrow one side while they are in the other side. It works great, but I think you need a lot of space per duck.
 

Weeg

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Thanks, I could build them a tractor for rotations, but then they wouldn't have access to there pond which is in the main run. Mud is a though one, even with mulch, in the rainy season, it will get muddy anyway. I was also hoping that gras would male the run softer not there feet.

I was thing that maybe with grading frames, if I could put sod down, and get the grass tall and thriving, then maybe as one spot got bare or worked, I would just move the grading frame there, plant more seed, let it grow, and rotate the frames around like that to hopefully keep some grass going.
 

KaleIAm

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Thanks, I could build them a tractor for rotations, but then they wouldn't have access to there pond which is in the main run. Mud is a though one, even with mulch, in the rainy season, it will get muddy anyway. I was also hoping that gras would male the run softer not there feet.

I was thing that maybe with grading frames, if I could put sod down, and get the grass tall and thriving, then maybe as one spot got bare or worked, I would just move the grading frame there, plant more seed, let it grow, and rotate the frames around like that to hopefully keep some grass going.
oh, rotating the frames, gotcha. That might work. I don't know a lot about growing grass, but I think it doesn't grow well in the cold or in the hot. At least, very young grass doesn't. I try to time my duck yard rotation so I can reseed in the spring and early fall.

I think a tractor might be way easier, if you could predator proof it. You could give them a little tub inside a tractor, yeah?
 

Xouie

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Thanks, I could build them a tractor for rotations, but then they wouldn't have access to there pond which is in the main run. Mud is a though one, even with mulch, in the rainy season, it will get muddy anyway. I was also hoping that gras would male the run softer not there feet.

I was thing that maybe with grading frames, if I could put sod down, and get the grass tall and thriving, then maybe as one spot got bare or worked, I would just move the grading frame there, plant more seed, let it grow, and rotate the frames around like that to hopefully keep some grass going.
There was someone on a while back who warned about the plastic netting in sod (which I didn’t even know about). It can get wrapped around a bird’s neck.
 

Weeg

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I think a tractor might be way easier, if you could predator proof it. You could give them a little tub inside a tractor, yeah?
I was thinking that as well. We are building a chicken tractor for our next batch of hens in the Spring, so if we could make a tractor that was just for rotations, and helping the grass grow back that would work. Jsut put a tub of water it there. The problem is, with 8 ducks, you need at least a 20 by 10 tractor, which is do able, but pretty big.
 

Weeg

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There was someone on a while back who warned about the plastic netting in sod (which I didn’t even know about). It can get wrapped around a bird’s neck.
I saw that post too. the chicness picked the grass down to the plastic netting, (which they didn't know was even in the sod), and got there neck wrapped up in it, and strangled themselves. I will defiantly be careful with that.
 

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