ducks in the vegetable garden

Bar Harbor, ME

I'd like to get some ducks to help take care of a slug problem in my vegetable garden. I have a couple of questions:

If I let them loose, in a caged in garden (i.e. one with a two foot fence) will they fly out?
If I put them in a house at night to keep them from being eaten (I live off Fox Lane) does it need to have a run so they can go outside at night (for going to the bathroom)?

I'm hoping to get a couple of Cayugas since they are reported to be a bit less noisy than others.


Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Mine don't fly out of 4 feet, but 2 might be too low. They don't get the option of going out at night, nor do my chickens. If they can get out, something can get in :(. I do clean their night house regularly.
I don't notice my Cayugas being particularly quiet, but it makes me re-think getting a different breed if these are the "quiet" ones *G*. The drake is Blue SwedishX, and they seem equivalent.

This message was edited Mar 15, 2012 9:20 AM

Richmond, TX

Wow! Can ducks be trained to go outside to poop?

Bar Harbor, ME

I dunno if ducks can be trained to poop outside. I was just wondering if they were inclined to and needed a place to go accordingly. I'll put the fence a bit higher, Thanx, catmad.

Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

my Cayuga can fly a good distance but only about 2 to 4' above the ground. I think my Rouens are the quietest. Also remember they may destroy your garden if penned in it. They will root through everything over and over. If free ranged they will wander about looking for bugs and not stay in one place to long but will keep coming back to recheck the garden

Bridgewater, ME

Quote from Kenarden :
I dunno if ducks can be trained to poop outside. I was just wondering if they were inclined to and needed a place to go accordingly. I'll put the fence a bit higher, Thanx, catmad.

Nice to see another Mainer on here

Eatonton, GA(Zone 8b)

Im new to ducks too! I have two baby Pekins, about 3 weeks old. I did find that they really need a lot of water to drink , and they have food constantly next to the water. So they are continually "Pooping". this makes a very big messy problem for me. So I have a very big Dog kennel outside for them, while Im at work, and they play outside when Im home with the Chickens and my Chihuahua. the dog keeps any predators at bay. At night I have a large guinea pig cage with high Sides , 3ftx 2ft, in my Storage house, that I put them in with no water or food and cover them with a blanket so they settle in and sleep. So far this has worked great. Of course when they get bigger they will go into the 10 x10 chain link fenced in enclosure with their own swimming pool, House and sand beach! I might have to get my sunglasses and join them!

Vancleave, MS(Zone 8b)

lol Eufaula

Bar Harbor, ME

Thank you everyone for your input. I had intended to let them be free during the day. I'll locate their housing in the veg garden and a pool too. I'm not looking forward to stepping on the waste but if they'll eat some slugs, give me an egg or so, and then cook up well later on in the winter, I'll be happy.

green, you're up there. I wonder if the ducks'd eat potato beetle too?

(Zone 6b)

Hi Kenarden.

As far as making them a small outdoor run along with their indoor coop, that is not a bad idea. I have chickens and sometimes am out of town so I can just leave my chickens as long as they have food and water, and they are protected yet have some freedom and air. That is real important in the summer time, for them to have air. Mine is just a 4X8 and is only 3 feet tall. That includes the boxed in part where they sleep at night. Okay, the end is boxed in in wood, and is 4X3, the run is 4X5 enclosed in hardware cloth, if that makes sense, together it is 4X8 ft. Mine are silkies and dont seem to mind being down on the ground to sleep. Probably the ducks would want to be low to the ground too. I don't have ducks, so I'm no expert on ducks. Some chickens want to be up high to roost at night, so they need a taller coop.

When I get up in the morning they are in the run part ready to get out and run around. At night they go into the coop part, as soon as the sun goes down. That always amazes me how they know what to do.

Anyway, that is my two cents. It is always nice for them to have a run they are safe to be in. Mine run is covered in hardware cloth, including the bottom of it. Not the best looking pen ever built, but I made it myself and it is working for them.

Bar Harbor, ME

Thanks L4J. I have decided to keep them in the coop at night and let them free range during the day. We'll see how it goes:)

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