Indian Runners/Crested ones?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by rarebreedeggs4u, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. rarebreedeggs4u

    rarebreedeggs4u Songster

    Sep 27, 2009
    Morrow, AR
    We're thinking about adding some Indian Runner Ducks (possibly crested?) to our flock, mainly to live in the garden as pest and weed control. I have heard that they aren't destructive to garden plants and love garden bugs, grass & weeds. Is this a workable idea as long as they have a small swimming area and adequate shelter in the large garden? It's already chicken/turkey proofed. We don't keep ducks, just because of the water factor, but if I kept that in the low end of the garden, I think it would be OK. Any ideas or concerns you all would like to share?

  2. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    all of our old ducks were good in the garden, I think they just liked the cherry tomatoes. my muscovies never really bothered with any of it though, they were more interested in bugs in the grass. geese are terrible though, ours were anyway (Roman Tufted). They killed the cabbage, peppers & carrots.
  3. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Songster

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I put my khakis in the garden a once when Charlie and Lola, my weeder geese were in and regreted it. I keep their water source at an end that was all grass. First they rooted up all the grass around the pool and then they moved on to my veggie beds. Its fenced aginst my chickens and to keep the geese in and its not small at all but they did some damage.
  4. suburbanduckmom

    suburbanduckmom Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    Belmont, CA
    My muscovy doesn't bother the plants too much but she does eat up the bugs and weeds. But she also eats all the good earth worms and has uprooted some plants by chasing out the bugs in the dirt. The poop makes great compost. Of course I only have one so this could be unique to this bird but I have heard similar things about other scovys.

    Can't say the same thing about the pekin. She eats anything she can reach [​IMG]. I wouldn't recommend that for a garden.

    I don't have experience with runners but would love to have one.

    Don't underestimate the amount of mess they make with water.

  5. Ducks are a joy to garden with!! They love to be as close to me as they can while I work, especially if I get out the shovel because they know that's when they can get to all the yummy little critters that live underground. Mine have helped to almost eliminate all our slugs and cut drastically down on the grasshoppers, and probably other bugs that I may not have noticed.

    I don't let mine regularly free range in the vegetables until near the end of the growing season because they can trampel young plants and they love the salad greens. I have a two foot fence that keeps them out during most of the growing season, but you can let them in for supervised vists.
    The bedding from their house makes incredible mulch and compost.
    I have been pleased with what a good job they do keeping the backyard lawn cut. (Of course we don't have super high standards!) I do take out the trimmer a few times over the summer to make it look more polished around the edges.

    We keep their pool in an area that is a little higher than our vegetable garden so we can run the water through a hose from the pool into the garden, but you can also use that water for your grass or trees. It's good to keep the pool on a area of sand or gravel rather than grass which would be destroyed by ducky bills prodding in the mud. A little kiddie pool is just fine!
    Runners are one ot the best foragers, and good layers too. If you get a crested just be sure not to breed two crested together because you will definately have a high rate of birth defects.
    I think you are going to love having ducky garden helpers!!

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