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Plants for Duck Pen?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by zchryjmsbnntt, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. zchryjmsbnntt

    zchryjmsbnntt Out Of The Brooder

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    Was just curious if anyone has any duck-safe plants that they keep in their pen? or is there a list anywhere of plants that are safe for a duck enclosure?

    I'm planning on getting some female pekin ducks here within the next two months. The pen I am building will be about 8' x 8', have their pool, and an attached house for them to sleep in. with all the extra room, i was thinking about putting in some plants that the ducks can either munch on entertain themselves with when they are locked up when we are at work or not home. was just curious if anyone out there has tried this or if this is just a silly idea to begin with? lol
     
  2. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    8'x8' isn't really extra room for ducks, not big ones like Pekins... how many are you getting? And I say this to mean that they will eat down anything green rather quickly in an 8x8 space...
     
  3. zchryjmsbnntt

    zchryjmsbnntt Out Of The Brooder

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    lol i thought as much but it never hurts to ask. it was just an idea that crossed my mind as i was browsing duck pens on pinterest lol.

    but i'm only planning on getting three. i put another post up about the size of my planned pen and someone suggested a 100 sq ft pen. someone else said i really only need about 10 sq ft of space in a run per bird. i thought 64 sq ft would be big enough for three? im new to this so im still learning lol.
     
  4. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Oh, I didn't mean it wasn't big enough, lol... but 'big enough' and keeping greenery in a duck pen is 2 different things... ducks love water... they love spreading water and making mud puddles... they must make puddles bigger... and so on, lol...

    I had 2 Rouen/mallards in a 15x15 pen, within 2 weeks it was bare ground... I free range mine now and it helps a lot...


    Here's a link that might help you... I can't remember if plants are listed in it, but there's lots of good info in it for ducks...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/242460/the-ultimate-list-of-duck-treats-and-supplements
     
  5. zchryjmsbnntt

    zchryjmsbnntt Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks for the link! thats one of the articles i have on my pinterest board actually lol.

    but yeah, like i said it was a silly thought that came to mind when i was browsing this evening. i plan on letting the ducks free range the yard when i am home. but for the times im not, they'll be in their pen.

    thanks for your tips and advice. being new to this, it's nice to get experienced opinions lol.
     
  6. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Middle Tennessee

    Not a silly thought at all! Shows you care about their welfare and well being, wanting to give them the best home you can... :)

    And you *might* be able to keep some greenery in ther if they free range often, but only time will tell, lol... that's our biggest challenge whether it is a duck pen or a chicken run, keeping something green and alive in it... :D

    You should hop onto The Duck Thread too... lots of great people, advice and info on it...
     
  7. Duck Drover

    Duck Drover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think if you plant something with a hardwood stem you can get it to survive some nibbling. My ducks will eat the leaves off our lilacs if they are low enough but once they get above a certain height they are fine. The ducks also eat the dropped leaves and fruit from fruit trees without killing off the trees, in fact they fertilize the soil so our trees are thriving.

    I want to plant wisteria between our chicken yard and duck yard that will provide shade (by growing it over a trellis) and from what I have read the flowers are edible when the blooms drop but the plant itself is on the toxic list. People report that their birds leave the leaves alone and I think that with a woody stem they won't be able to reach them until they fall.

    I have emerald gaity that is growing upright on a chain link fence and it works the same way. The ducks eat the lower leaves and dropped leaves but the woody stem keeps them growing up the fence and the plants are still able to provide privacy.

    We let the birds eat our lawn down because they keep it mowed nicely so we don't have to mow. As long as they have enough area they do not strip the vegetation. The grass grows thinner under our trees so they tend to strip the thin areas but as long as they have plenty of grassy areas they do us a favor by eating up the weeds. Because the grass is deeply rooted, while the weeds are not, the grass has a chance to root underground (although ducks will eat grass roots if it is sparse enough for them to get to the roots) and it will keep growing back from the roots.

    Our ducks nibble our comfrey plants but comfrey grows back from the roots so it is indestructable. It grows tall with thick stems so the ducks don't make much of a dent on it once it grows higher than their heads. The comfrey is not toxic, as far as I know, and ducks find the young leaves tasty.

    I think you can have plants that feed the ducks some greens without them destroying the vegetation completely. They seem to like fresh growth but leave older growth alone. I do fence my blueberry bushes away from the ducks because I planted a short variety so if I plant more bushes I will select taller growing ones.
     
  8. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    You are going to be in for a real shock when you get your ducks... you will not believe how messy they are... The pen will end up a sloppy slippy muddy mess.. and the pool will be black muddy water in a matter of minutes.

    No plant will survive in there, believe me.

    Not trying to put you off ducks.. I love them.

    You could put plastic grass matting in the pen.. which is easy to pull out and hose down... and looks nice.

    You could plant bushes, shrubs and herbs outside the pen to give shade.. and the ducks can pull leaves through the mesh to eat.

    You could also buy a couple of big plastic plants, trees in heavy tall pots (so the leaves are out of reach of the ducks) and put them in the pen.

    Throwing in a cabbage or lettuce head is good for them to keep entertained.
     
  9. HennyPenny2

    HennyPenny2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi, I was actually going to try some potted plants, mainly to naturalize around there stock tank for swimming and to give them a place to lay under. I'm going to try sweet grass, a medium sized grass that's native to our area. Hoping it works. Anyone else have luck with potted plants?
     
  10. zchryjmsbnntt

    zchryjmsbnntt Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2016
    Thanks for all the advice everyone! [​IMG]

    The messy part i'm not concerned with. I've done so much research that i "think" i'm mentally prepared for the mess lol. that's the first thing anyone says to me when i tell them im planning on getting some ducks lol.

    @Duck Drover
    what about bougainvillea? that was on a list that is okay for ducks (both flowers and foliage). i personally have two in the front of my house that need to be taken out of their pot and planted in the ground somewhere. i like your idea of a trellis over the coop so i might steal that from you lol. [​IMG]

    @HennyPenny2
    i found this list this morning while doing additional research. i too am wanting some potted plants for the duck pen to a) make it look pretty and b) provide more shade/food/entertainment. most of the plants i saw on there can be potted:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/294882/flowers-that-are-ok-for-ducks-to-eat/10
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016

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