I am about to bring 15- 20 Muscovy ducks home. They are pretty much wild/feral. Is my vegetable garden safe? I've always heard that chickens wreck a garden but ducks will actually help by keeping the insect population down.
Mine will eat everything. Every bug, every slug, every snail, every worm, every leaf, every plant, every veggie, everything they can destroy in my garden they will. I've seen them pull seedlings out of the ground and then turn their nose up because they didn't like them after they were destroyed. They're even now picking and eating the tops of the early Daffodils that are coming in in front of my house.
Fence them out of crops. Use them to keep the perimeters clean during the growing season and then let them into the garden area when it is at rest. If you can flood the garden area a a few times (with a hose) they will dabble and get eggs and hibernating bugs. You can also use row cover to keep them out of crops. Though one of my drakes figured out how to get under the row cover. I scared the crud out of him a few times when he was underneath and he stopped going in there.
Oh rofl.... I would have loved to see that.
I did feel a little guilty about it only because it was so much fun. He was happily chewing his way through the kale while I tiptoed around his backside. When I felt I was close enough I made a big ole noise and flapped the row cover. Thank goodness he didn't have a heart attack when he startled and tried to fly straight up and out of the cover. He didn't die, which filled me with some sort of awful glee since I wanted that little brat to know he was not where he should be, and I proceeded to scare the daylights out of him over and over as I moved him towards the end. He flapped and ran back and forth over the row until he got tangled in the end of the spun woven. At this point I settled down and helped him get out....
Kids, don't try this at home.
Muscovies are by far the most self sufficient duck I have owned to date. These guys know where all the meals are to be had around the farm and they are not shy about getting them.