will my ducks eat all the grass in their pen?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Kyle85, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. Kyle85

    Kyle85 In the Brooder

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    I have a 15x15 fenced in area that I want to keep 2-3 ducks in. I plan on putting down centipede grass and I'm wondering if they would destroy it or not. I know they eat grass, I just don't know to what extent. They will be in their pens the majority of the day.

    thanks.
     
  2. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Songster

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    ya probably mine did my pen is a tad smaller than yours took them about 3 weeks
     
  3. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    yep in a month or so
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  4. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Songster

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    Yes - they will destroy it all.

    I have an even larger run that I built for my first three ducks, and they killed everything in it within a month - including some small trees.
     
  5. LoreenH

    LoreenH Songster

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    That's good to know. We haven't built our pen yet so will take this into consideration when deciding what to do about the floor of the pen (should have ducks by spring).
     
  6. Soccer Mom

    Soccer Mom Songster

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    Be prepared for the carnage. They will also tamp the ground down with those big flat feet and splash enough water into the dirt to make mud puddles. Then they will root in the mud puddles.

    I periodically rake the duck yard and about once a year, we till the soil and rake it well. Mine free range most of the day and are only occasionally locked in the duck yard and they still turn it into a moonscape.
     
  7. Kyle85

    Kyle85 In the Brooder

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    hmm well that sucks a bit..

    *wonders if there is a type of grass that doesn't taste good*

    I wanted to use grass because it seemed low maintenance. What other options are there? I don't really like the idea of a dirt floor and a concrete floor would be pricey as well as uncomfortable for the ducks...
     
  8. LoreenH

    LoreenH Songster

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    Quote:We are thinking maybe Astroturf? It would just hose off.
     
  9. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

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    Well, mine are only locked in at night, and their pen is only 10 x 7 (although I'm planning to get a second run for them as my flock expands) plus a 5 x 7 house that they never use. But I have been very happy using straw bedding, even in the outer portion. The downside is that it does have to be refreshed regularly, but I buy the straw for between $1 and $3 a bale from local farmers (who also deliver as part of that price), and it keeps their pen pretty clean. I only rake it out once a year and start over again. The soil beneath the straw gets really rich and dark and loose, because it is cushioned from the duck feet by straw, and the earth worms love love love that moist interspace between the native soil and the nutrient-laden straw. If I wanted to, I could probably start a new garden bed each spring this way--just move the pen somewhere else and start my bed where the pen was last year.

    The straw does get really nasty on top after a couple days, at which point I simply add a new (thin) layer of straw. This really helps hold down the flies and other nuisance critters, as well as the smell, and when it's time to rake all that stuff out, the stuff at the bottom is gorgeous compost and the stuff above that makes awesome mulch for fruit trees and garden plants.

    Another advantage is that the ducks enjoy rooting around in the fresh straw and finding the odd seedhead here and there to munch on. They also dig holes in the straw to reach the muddy soil below, but they can't move enough of it around to really create puddles, so the mess is kept to a minimum.

    A lady I know who raises goats uses this same method in her large goat barn, only she uses a bobcat each year to do her once-a-year "raking."

    Good luck with whatever method you use!
     
    pappaduck likes this.
  10. Kyle85

    Kyle85 In the Brooder

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    Quote:not a bad idea, but it would cost me $300+ to do that...too rich for my blood.
     

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