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Do I want ducks?
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wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14810
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 16 9:41 pm    Post subject: Do I want ducks?  Reply with quote    

I have eleventy billion slugs. I'm sick of standing on them, and although I haven't really got started with veg properly here, I'm getting there and I'm sure they will wreak their usual havoc next year. I've two acres, so nematodes and so on are not really viable. So I was vaguely thinking of ducks.

But I keep reading that they are messy, smelly, noisy, refuse to go to bed and turn everything to mud. I don't much like duck eggs, but I'm happy to give them away. I like roast duck now and again and can get them killed and processed locally for good prices.

I am thinking of a trio of Aylesbury ducks, and raising a dozen or so ducklings to slaughter weight. They would have permanent largish pond, at least eventually, and house. I'd rotate them round the veg beds and other problem areas as needed. The long grass under the solar panels seems to be especially problematic. The chickens spend a lot of time under there, but have no interest in the slugs. Local hedgehogs are not able to keep up with demand, it seems.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33683
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

No.

Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35864
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

What about Muscovies? They'll sit on their own eggs then.

(Ignore Nick. He's a spoilsport).

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

We had Aylesbury ducks when I was a lad, nice ducks. We'll hopefully get ducks in our new place in a year or two, however:

We like the noise of ducks and love duck eggs. They will be protected from foxes otherwise you'll just be raising fox fodder. They will help with the slugs but they also eat mice, frogs, toads, lizards etc so I'm not sure they'll do much good. We also have free water for them and will possibly have a couple of ponds for them as they will wreck a small pen.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33683
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chez wrote:
What about Muscovies? They'll sit on their own eggs then.

(Ignore Nick. He's a spoilsport).


I just got tired of the shit, the destruction, being tied and feeding the fox.

Woo



Joined: 19 Sep 2011
Posts: 780
Location: Mayenne, Pays de Loire
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have muscovies. they are entertaining... described as animated teapots once on here! very accurate.
yes they crap everywhere and march mud about. in my experience they don't need more than a washing up bowl of water. we built ours a pond the first year. only the babies used it then they trashed the liner with their claws, ate the plants and chewed through the cable to the solar water pump.
they are hard to kill but do produce some nice meat. the eggs are good for baking.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14810
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Chez wrote:
What about Muscovies? They'll sit on their own eggs then.

(Ignore Nick. He's a spoilsport).


I think muscovies are really ugly though. I don't like the whole red faces thing. It's creepy. Also, they will fly into the neighbours gardens and antagonise them (this is not hard) I have a couple of silkies, so I'm not bothered about sitting especially.

I think Nick has a point, although I already have the fox-feeding and being tied with the other birds. It's the mess and destruction I was wondering about. There's quite enough of that here with slovenly housekeeping and a small child around. The slug control aspect is appealing though. I really do have millions of the things.

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41706
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Pay attention to Nick. He's not the one trying to make an addiction to poultry look normal.

Shan



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 7091
Location: South Wales
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
Chez wrote:
What about Muscovies? They'll sit on their own eggs then.

(Ignore Nick. He's a spoilsport).


I just got tired of the shit, the destruction, being tied and feeding the fox.


+ 1

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 3977
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If its clearing up slugs you want,its Khaki Campbells you want,the other breeds are lazy compared.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33683
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

sean wrote:
Pay attention to Nick. He's not the one trying to make an addiction to poultry look normal.


And I was able to make that decision and post after drinking a pub dry. It's such an easy decision.

Bodger



Joined: 23 May 2006
Posts: 13488

PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I once bought a trio of Muscovy's way back in the 80's. With trepidation I let them out of the cardboard box that I'd used to carry them home in. They ventured forth, had a look to see what was happening and then the two females launched themselves into the air, flew three times around the house to got their bearings and then pissed off never to be seen again. I was left with a hideously ugly drake that was way too heavy to fly.

What you need are some of these. Welsh Harlequins. They're lovely ducks that don't fly.










Chez



Joined: 13 Aug 2006
Posts: 35864
Location: The Hive of the Uberbee, Quantock Hills, Somerset
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
sean wrote:
Pay attention to Nick. He's not the one trying to make an addiction to poultry look normal.


And I was able to make that decision and post after drinking a pub dry. It's such an easy decision.


Pshaw

Marionb



Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 5243
Location: Mid-Wales
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Bodger wrote:
I once bought a trio of Muscovy's way back in the 80's. With trepidation I let them out of the cardboard box that I'd used to carry them home in. They ventured forth, had a look to see what was happening and then the two females launched themselves into the air, flew three times around the house to got their bearings and then pissed off never to be seen again. I was left with a hideously ugly drake that was way too heavy to fly.

What you need are some of these. Welsh Harlequins. They're lovely ducks that don't fly.











I'm not a duck person but those *do* look nice ☺

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4278
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 16 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm inclined to suggest encouraging slug-munching wildlife - birds, toads, hedgehogs, etc

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