What types of plants do you plant for your ducks?

marcelineduckie

Songster
May 9, 2015
506
46
118
California
I'm just wondering what types of plants y'all plant inside or outside or anywhere really for your ducks to eat get shade etc.. I have one spot that gets morning Sun trough the trees but is mostly shady what would be something good to plant there? I also have a full backyard with lots of Sun . Share the types of plants you plant and where you plant them below please :) I need some inspiration and ideas
 

Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,820
551
Southern New England
First, let me say that you can have a nice yard and garden and ducks. I have it all!
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Next, it takes some planning and understanding ducks.

For example - I have a beautiful kiwi arbor. The plant is on the other side of a fence from the ducks, and climbs up cedar posts to form kind of a grotto when the leaves are out. The ducks can enjoy the shade underneath. Some of the vines hang down, and the ducks can nibble on the leaves - but most of the plant is out of reach. In the fall, when the fruits fall, the ducks can eat them.

Blueberries are nice, very pretty, and though the ducks will eat the blueberries they can reach, they cannot reach most of them.

I plant pots with greens (mild mustard, cabbage, kale, and clover), and when they are an inch or two high, I put the pots into the pen and just let the ducks nom them to the dirt. I pull the pot, replant, and in a few weeks, let them play again.

They generally eat down tender annuals pretty quickly, and they don't mess with woody perennials as much. Knowing those things, I am able to have a yard that they enjoy and that I enjoy.

Oh, I have netting over part of the tea garden (fenced in for the ducks). Last year I let some wild grape climb over the netting. It provided shade, and little bunches of wild grapes hung down into the pen. The ducks ate some, and I ate some. Yummy.

Just thought of some other of their favorite plants.

Comfrey - they like nibbling on the leaves, and comfrey bounces back quite well. I even grab a handful of the coarsely hairy leaves, rub them between my hands to soften them a little, and toss that into the swim pan - nice treat

Myrtle (Vinca Minor) - tough little evergreen groundcover - pale purple flowers in the spring.

Daylilies - can be nibbled, and provide nice cover when full grown. These are perennials. If you were closer I would give you a dozen or two.

Comfrey, Myrtle and Daylilies are vigorous - they spread, slowly or quickly (depending on the person's sense of time), and some folks don't like having to keep up with thinning them out. But the ducks do a pretty good job, actually. My Runners ate down an entire patch of comfrey when I let them spend too much time in that garden too early in the spring.

Timing matters - Once plants get to be about a foot and a half tall, they are less likely to be eaten down.
 
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Amykins

Crowing
6 Years
May 11, 2013
4,771
473
276
Oh Amiga, that sounds lovely. I wish I could see it! And the mental image of your duckies jumping to get their bills on those juicy grapes has me grinning ear to ear <3
 

Going Quackers

Crowing
9 Years
May 24, 2011
7,839
975
371
On, Canada
Oh gosh, not a thing it's more like how to keep them from squashing my gardens lol

Amiga sounds like she has good advice for this.. mine almost all free range so they can go find all sorts of stuff.. mainly they like grass, bugs.. and other various icky things.. like frogs, mice etc..
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Amiga

Overrun with Runners
11 Years
Jan 3, 2010
23,213
2,820
551
Southern New England
Thanks, both - I remember when I first joined the Duck Forum, there were some folks who - well, were not very supportive because of their experience with ducks and gardens. But there were some very kind people who sent me PMs encouraging me. I will always be grateful for the latter.

And as I wrote, I have had some non-successes with the garden. Letting them stay too long in some areas in the spring, they knocked back my bee balm quite a bit one year. Ugh. So, I transplanted quite a bit into other parts of the yard that they do not frequent. Problem solved. For their areas, I like the vigorous plants, and the more tender plants are in areas they do not visit much, if at all.

They love the woods - I let rotting wood lie for many reasons - it is much healthier for the land, actually. And it harbors slugs and other yummy things. It is not easy to find slugs at our place anymore - we used to be overrun (overslimed?) with them.

Get me writing about ducks and plants - that's it, I'l go on, and on, and on . . . .
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Going Quackers

Crowing
9 Years
May 24, 2011
7,839
975
371
On, Canada
Ducks are awesome with slugs they have really saved by Hosta beds BUT the pekin also like to lay in this bed.. yeah, they are chubby and this fails epically.
 

TLWR

Crowing
10 Years
Jul 10, 2010
2,892
302
286
southern AL
I have a stella d'oro lily that is a favorite of one of my runners. She thinks it is the best place to sit and hang out. It is at the corner of their pond. The pond has hastas and lilies on one side, mint and some bulbs along the front and then an elephant ear on the other side.

Ally sits on the corner lily. Everybody walks all over the hostas. They normally rebound pretty well and the lily bounces right back. The mint, they can trample all over that and you never can tell. They nibble on the elephant ear when it dips into the pond, but they don't really eat any of it, just walk all over it!

I have a slightly raised bed along the sidewalk between house and garage. That has echinacea/cone flowers, lilies, amaryllis, roses, daisies, lilies, iris, glads, random other stuff.
They mostly leave that bed alone, but they do climb in and dig around now and again.

The chicken just moves my mulch around, but leaves the plants alone.

If I try something new I'm unsure of, I leave it in the pot and set it out and watch what they do. It's new, so it will have the most interest then. If they try to destroy it, it goes where they can't get to it.

I tried that with the ornamental cabbage and kale one fall. They left that alone when I set it out. They left it alone when it was planted for a good lone time. And then one day they decided it was yummy and ate it all leaving me with the stalks LOL


Oh yeah, I also have morning glories and moon flowers. Not good for them to eat, but they leave them alone. Every now and then the WH duck will snack on some, but just a few bites. And only from one chunk that grows along a small section of fence. I've never seen them touch any of the others on any other fence section.
 
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marcelineduckie

Songster
May 9, 2015
506
46
118
California
You guys have given me so much hope! I can do this :) I was really worried about the morning glorys I have I mover the pots higher up the ladder I was growing them on good thing they hadn't stretched out yet now they're wrapping around the top. O was thinking about growing some dandelions in or around their pen maybe do the idea with switching out pots . We have soo many weeds here it's unbelievable but I've slowly been trying to garden in sections at a time. I also have some sunflowers growing in a few spots
 

marcelineduckie

Songster
May 9, 2015
506
46
118
California
"Weeds" that I toss into the water bowl or swim pan:

chickweed
smartweed
violets
dandelion (I leave the flowers till the bees are done with them)
I will look those up, we have a bunch of I think they're called Fox tail? Around here, those won't hurt them will they? Aweh I do the same thing with the flowers I have much respect for bees. A few times this last summer one of my daughter's and I actually saved some bees. Randomly we'd see them sitting on cement or on the playground equipment at the park and my daughter would go and pick dandelion flowers and we'd lay it next to them they'd climb onto the flower sit for a while then fly away.
 

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