Overly Complicated

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by ChikaD, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. ChikaD

    ChikaD Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Southern New Mexico
    I've been overthinking again.

    I have been toying with adding a splash pond to the chickens' enclosure to keep a couple ducks for eggs and special occasions. However, I recently learned the hard way that ducks are filthy. I mean, FILTHY. Now, you can read those words and think "yes, yes, I've heard that they can be", but you have no idea.

    I have a 100-gal fish tank buried in the garden. Until this week, there were a dozen goldfish living placidly in that water. The tank is filtered by an aquaponic herb garden. Aquaponics are practically stupid-proof: the fish squirt into the water, the bacteria convert that to food for the plants, and the plants clean and oxygenate the water for the fish. This system has survived my toddler dumping entire large cans of fish flakes into the tank- multiple times (yes, I've tried to hide the flakes from her, but she's a good climber). It's so efficient, my toddler can turn the water opaque with fish food and the system will be clear again within 24 hours.

    When I water the plants, I dunk the watering can in this little tank to fill it quickly with nitrogen-rich water. There's a float in the tank to automagically refill the tank with fresh (well) water, and in this way several gallons are changed out on a regular basis. This little system has been running just fine for over a year.

    Last week, I let three adorable little ducklings play in that garden while I cleaned out their enclosure. In just one day, they fouled the water badly enough to kill my fish. The whole balance went haywire- the water clouded and started to stink within hours, The next day, the fish were gasping at the surface. I tried to bail out a portion with a 5-gallon bucket and refill with fresher water, but I couldn't save it. :/

    Okay. No ducks in the fish ponds.

    BUT...

    I live in the desert. I can't have ducks just splashing all that precious water all over the place, and I definitely can't dump several gallons a day to clean it out.

    SO...

    I want this duck pool to be part of an enclosed system that filters and recycles the water. I don't know how "hot" duck poop is, i.e., how many square feet of growbed are required per duck to keep up. Anyone out there have something like this? How much growbed per gallon do you have? How many ducks per gallon?
     
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Duck poop is way too hot. It will burn your plants.
     
  3. ChikaD

    ChikaD Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Southern New Mexico
    I've heard that duck manure is too hot, but I've also read about ducks being used in permaculture gardens for pest control and fertilization. One blog claimed they had been using ducks for years and pouring the duck water directly into the garden. I've been using the duck water with some of my plants- so far, the only burn I see is where a little spring of mint got "mulched" by duck poo and bedding. Inches away, the other green things are staying nice and green. Seems to be fine when it soaks up from the roots, as long as it doesn't sit against the green parts directly.
     
  4. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Oh, I thought you were using rocks or hydroton clay pellets. If you are using regular soil then just keep it off of the green foliage and you should be fine. I would try to dilute it as much as possible. Also you might want to keep a close I an ph levels.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  5. Krazyquilts

    Krazyquilts Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    I don't know about duck poop being too hot to apply directly to plants. I've heard that it isn't as hot as chicken poop because duck poop has such a high water content.

    Last summer, my ducks absolutely owned my raised-bed veggie gardens last year and pooped all over everything. The only stuff that died was the stuff that they ate to the ground. :th (R.I.P., my poor autumn sedum!) We also dumped their poopy pool water on our garden beds, about 9 gallons a day, with nothing "burning" from too-hot duck poop, there's probably a greater risk of the garden drowning from being watered so much! :lau

    Since I'd rather the garden produce get eaten by us instead of the ducks, we plan to fence them out of the garden this year with chicken wire and I was actually feeling a little sad about losing all that "free fertilizer" for the garden. Though eating poo-free thyme will be worth it!
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
  6. Waddlein

    Waddlein Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 26, 2017
    Olympia, Washington
    Duck poops hot?! really
     
  7. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I would be careful and conservative about duck-poop-water. Duck poop is very high in nitrogen, so I would dilute it down to 2 parts normal water 1 part duck-poop-water. It would be great for any legume crop, although I'd be reserved about using it on potatoes. I wouldn't use duck poop water as you get closer to harvest time. You want the plants to put nutrients towards getting fruit and flower, instead of making foliage.
     
  8. cheezenkwackers

    cheezenkwackers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Memphis, TN
    I emptied my duck poo water pools into my garden everyday last summer. We had bumper crops of tomatoes, squash, and sweet potatoes. The peppers were doing well too until the ducks discovered they like to eat peppers.
     
  9. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    :thumbsup
     
  10. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Feb 15, 2017
    Texas
    Original poster said
    "I want this duck pool to be part of an enclosed system that filters and recycles the water.  I don't know how "hot" duck poop is, i.e., how many square feet of growbed are required per duck to keep up.  Anyone out there have something like this?  How much growbed per gallon do you have?  How many ducks per gallon?"

    He is talking about a aquaponics system the nutrients would be poured directly on the roots of the plants no soil.
     

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