wild ducks in the garden

This is a new. In the past I have had to cope with woodchucks, rabbits, voles, deer, slugs, and wasps (not mentioning the ever present vine borers). Foxes, possums, raccoons, squirrels, moles and crows usually leave the garden alone, and small birds in general produce negligible damage. I stepped out of the backdoor last night after dinner to find five ducks in the garden (they fled on sight). I can see why they should be there (all greens and garlic planted, many small greens which I am sure can interest a duck). I found no evidence of damage, maybe they had just arrived. How do I discourage them?
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(simy1) wrote:

Just wait til your crows discover what an almost-ripe watermelon looks like!! and yes, they can tell ripe from green. We have to cover the melons with chicken wire to protect 'em from crows. (I have 3 resident crows that I don't mind cuz they discourage too many starlings from accumulating, but even so I didn't agree to share my crop before it's ready to pick!)

Fence. Ducks are walkers, not flyers, if they have a choice.
~REZ~
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Ducks are great slug and bug eaters, if you have that problem, so might actually be of some assistance to you.
Karen
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I doubt it. Right now the lettuce is 3 inches high, at its tenderest. The slugs used to be a major pest but years of Sluggo applications have eliminated them. The cabbage caterpillars are not there yet. My only hope is that they are after the earthworms, which are incredibly dense in my garden. It has rained every night in the last five nights.
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As a child in Seattle I had a pair of ducks who roamed the garden. Never messed with the plants but they sure ate the bugs, and definately love slugs!
simy1 wrote:

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I understand that ducks tend to ignore the garden and eat the slugs and other insects. Some people let the ducks in on purpose.
Ray
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Wild duck is delicious! Try a pellet gun.
hawk
simy1 wrote:

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On 11 May 2004 05:51:54 -0700 in
(simy1) graced the world with this thought:

A shotgun works wonders. Leave a dead one in the garden as a message. Could they be eating snails? In any case, if they're wild, and not refugees from the local park, they may just be passing through.
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simy1 said:

As they do mine, respecting the fence topped with shock wire -- excepting the wasps (good guys, so you want them on patrol) and vine borers (which fly during the day and never learn to respect the gardener despite the number of borers that get killed).

in general produce negligible damage.
Mole tunnels are a nuisance, if only because the voles may make use of them and water runs away through them. Crows and birds need to be netted out of my corn and sunflower patchs, though. And newly-fledged starlings make a nuisance of themselves, pulling blossoms off the squash and eggplants. And the feathered set can really do a number on ripening corn. (This year I'm going to try sewing bags from old sheet to cover the ears. Paper bags don't work anymore.)

Curiously enough, I noticed a duck in the garden last month (or, rather, I noticed a duck running up and down the fence on the outside of the garden, sent my daughter out, and she saw the duck in the garden.
Something had pulled up all my just-sprouted peas and left the roots and a few tiny tips behind. As such a thing had never happened before, I blamed the duck.

I don't know. As far as I can tell, the ducks haven't been back here. Once they are past the period of courting and nesting (when they hide themselves away all over the place) they usually stick to wetlands and ponds. I've only ever seen them in people's yards in springtime.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote in message

I was lucky when I laid chicken wire under my beds at the start. It is all broken now, having rusted away, but I feel it occasionally when I dig in to remove some large taproot. It creates enough disruption for the moles to stay away. Voles used to come (and dig tunnels) on their own.
Crows and birds

Yes, I have prudently stayed away from corn so far and that has saved me quite a bit of trouble. The crows, which used to dominate bird life in my yard (a big group numbering at least ten), are gone, courtesy almost certainly of the West Nile virus (as are the bluejays, one of which I found dead). Without them, hawks have returned, with attendant decreasing rodent population, and the number of songbirds (whose eggs were eaten by crows) has also gone up.

I see them as well in the spring. In the darkest days of garden rampages, I thought that I would ultimately garden in a chicken wire cube, closed on all six sides.
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These ducks aren't a pest, they are your friends. They will eat all your slugs and snails that are pests. They won't eat your vegtables or scratch up any new seedlings like chooks would. And the small amount of manure they leave behind certainly won't hurt your garden.
Encourage them.
Don't take the pellet gun to them, the snails are much harder to control.

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