I'm thoroughly wedded to the idea of getting 4-6 ducks in the spring.
They'll have a large fenced-in area in the back yard, also enclosing
As I understand it, ducks will eat bugs and slugs (good), but they
also like to nibble at vegetation (potentially bad).
Does anyone have any experience with the kinds of garden veggies ducks
like to eat, and which therefore would need to be protected? I
imagine I wouldn't have much problem with them eating the really
aromatic stuff like oregano and garlic, etc., but I've been wrong
Any input would be appreciated.
You'll have to fence off your veggie-n-herb garden, and leave the ducks to
roam in your meadow. You know, the part of your garden where nothing you
value grows; just more or less wild greens.
This partly because ducks have an appetite (oregano too aromatic for
ducks? Hah!), partly because ducks leave calling cards (not as bad as
geese, but still).
And you'll have to keep watch over your ducklings, which is nice if it's
sunny ... hawks and cats quite like them. You'll also need a place to
put'em overnight, pretty much the same as for chickens; there's foxes,
too, and suchlike.
Ducks are cool, and 5-6 ducks is few enough that you won't get an
extremely people-shy flock of birds, that yell "fire!" "emergency!" "get
outta here!" whenever they see a human ... fortunately, ducks all run in
the same direction, so you _can_ catch them. Chicken, on the other hand...
Geese are even cooler than ducks, and they will get quite attached to
their keeper. Emden geese are enormous (well, for fowl), and will follow
you around in single file after you've been around them for a while. Then,
if you stop suddenly, there's a chain reaction of geese walking into you -
and each other. Much fun. Geese will also disapprove at the appalling
state of your feathers, and try to yank all and any folds straight - like
they should be - if you sit down with them.
Henriette Kress, AHG Helsinki, Finland
Henriette's herbal homepage: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed
My ducks devoured all types of lettuce, cilantro, just about anything green
and leafy. They even started nibbling at pumpkin leaves. They also ate
cherry tomatoes, but not the leaves. They don't bother the rosemary though.
Seems to me they didn't bother strawberries, either. Maybe that will happen
this year. If you have less than an acre for them, I'd suggest the smaller
number of ducks.
Actually, I'll be enclosing about 1/3 acre for these 4 ducks, but I
plan on laying in a good supply of "duck chow" to supplement their
diet. They'll have shelter in my garden shed from both the elements
and any dog-like predators (I also wouldn't have any ethical problems
with popping a load of rat-shot into the backside of any of the
neighborhood doggies who like to crap in my yard, should they decide
that attacking my ducks is all-of-a-sudden a good idea).
I guess I'll put some light barrers around my "tasty" crops, at least
until they're big enough to put up with a little nibbling from the
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