More questions about cuddly ducklings

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 the garden.
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 before...
Any input would be appreciated.
Mark
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Mark wrote:

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
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Henriette Kress, AHG Helsinki, Finland
Henriette's herbal homepage: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed
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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. karen

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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 ducks.
Mark
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