I need help with making the duck's area 'prettier'.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Moochie, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. Moochie

    Moochie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    North Edwards
    Problems with my ducks little fenced in area :
    Laying season means their pond my mom and I spent two months digging and preparing doesn't get filled. So instead they get a kiddie pool. Not bad, change it everyday and they get cleaned, plus no broken eggs in water anymore. But... The ducks ate all the grass and plants in there. Nothing is growing in there except a few trees. They even stripped the pine shrubs clean. [​IMG] Or atleast I think it's pine.. It's non-toxic so whatever. But the needles haven't grown back since they stripped it clean back in late November. The grass hasn't grown back either. I tried growing this Canadian grass that's supposed to start growing in 5 days and they ate it as soon as the grass started growing, along with the seeds/roots. But because nothing grows another problem has arised-
    Poor drainage and stinky muddy pools wherever water is. So the kiddie pool has poop-mud around it. Their waterer has poop-mud around it and in it. [​IMG] I can't stand it anymore! I love my ducks very much but I can't seem to get their place good looking at all! I wanna go out there and have a feeling like I'm at a lovely park or at some nice place in the woods. But all I see is poop-mud and hardened cement like dirt. It was so pretty there when I first put the ducks in. Lovely green grass, non-toxic shrubs, a pretty pond, and a few small trees. But because they ate everything it turned to yucky. I don't want to show neighbors yucky, I want to show neighbors pretty! I'm rather embarrassed of the place and I miss my pretty duck area.. I want it back..
    It does slightly confuse me that there's poor drainage. The rest of the backyard drinks up any water and doesn't have stagnant pools of poop-mud. Is there something from the duck's poop that's making the ground like this?

    So please, I'm begging you folks with pretty duck ponds and aviaries, how do you do it? What is your secret? Any tips for me? If I used a rotor tiller would it fix anything or make things worse?

    And if it's important, I live in the high deserts of Cali. I get bi-polar weather from time to time. From spending time at a ranch here which also have ducks I didn't think the duck portion of the yard would get messy. They have bamboo growing there and I've heard that bamboo is a fast growing plant. Mom and I tried bamboo with our ducks - They destroyed it/ate it. My mom is frustrated with the ducks eating/destroying everything she tries (she's a garden lover) but I don't want to give up. It doesn't even have to be plants. Something to atleast make the ground appealing and to rid of the poop-mud.
  2. Apyl

    Apyl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2012
    Necedah, Wi
    Sorry I'm no help I free range all day. But that has got to be frustrating. Can you put hay/straw down to soak up the muddy mess and maybe put some grass seed under the hay.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Deep breath.


    When plants are becoming established and sometimes even afterward, they need some kind of protection around them. I use hardware cloth or chicken wire, in some areas I use ornamental 2 foot high metal wire fence.

    There are kiwi and grapes growing in the main duck area. Around their swim pan I have smooth pea gravel, which I sometimes cover with oak leaves in the heat of summer to reduce odor, which is never very strong.

    Ducks can really pat down soil. And the organic matter in their poop does form a kind of binder, which can cause water to pond. Long ago people allowed livestock to run in a newly dug pond area so their manure would help seal the pond.

    Anyway. Think of setting up a few tall planters and getting some nasturtiums started in them. They are beautiful flowers, and edible, and cascade downward. The ducks have not bothered my Spirea latifolia, for some reason. They have nibbled at the kiwi leaves, so there is a hardware cloth cylinder around the bottom of that.

    I found some dark green coated chicken wire, which is very subtle. You might consider that. One of the garden areas they spend much time in is pretty well covered in straw mulch. They noodle around in that quite a bit, and that is fine, since I fence off the rest of that area in March, when things start coming up (they like to eat the bee balm, comfrey, asparagus, nettle, and .... wait a minute . ... they don't seem to bother the day lilies much at all. So that might be a thought. But remember, until the day lilies are established, they need to have some kind of fence around them. Once they are taller, about head height, you could try taking down the fence.

    Some little bit of slope under the swim water will help take the splash away from the area. You could have it drain into a compost area, or like me, drain it into a raised garden bed on the other side of a fence.

    There are grape vines growing in a raised bed in the duck pen, and that works out just fine. But these are four year old grapes, well established. They grow onto a trellis. The ducks nibble the lower leaves, which is just fine. Most of the leaves are above their reach and the grapes look great.

    Hope there is something in here to help.

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