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A bucket of duckweed

Ducks dining on duckweed

Around the beginning of July, it was as if a flip was switched within our little ponds --- the duckweed started growing like crazy!  Our ducks are too big to be worth moving back to the ponds to dine, so I figured --- why not bring the duckweed to them?  It only took me a couple of minutes to scoop up about a gallon of duckweed, tadpoles, and water bugs, and after the ducks realized the bucket wasn't going to bite, they dived in with relish.  Within minutes, every bit of greenery was gone.

Duck bucket

I wrote last week that our ducks are too lazy to produce good-quality eggs since they don't forage much.  However, my duckweed bucket suggests that I'm just not embracing the duckness of ducks (as Joel Salatin would say).  Although you can raise waterfowl on dry land, that's not the role they're best suited for.  Perhaps a bucket of duckweed a few times a week is a happy compromise that will keep our ducks healthy and make them a more sustainable part of the homestead?

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we had ducks for a little while these guys are only lazy on land i always feel as if they act like their feet hurt (except for the indian runners). get them in some water and they get fast, a single 3 week old duck could eat a dozen feeder fish in 3 min. Is there anyway you can incorporate your moat, i mean your stream, in the ducks' life?

Comment by rebecca late Monday morning, July 21st, 2014
Rebecca --- Mark asked me the same question. We definitely have lots of wild wet areas on our farm, but the trouble is that our dog Lucy doesn't patrol down there, so our ducks would be...well...sitting ducks for predators. I suspect if we let the ducks enjoy our floodplain paradise, we wouldn't have ducks for long.
Comment by anna at lunch time on Monday, July 21st, 2014
our ducks always wandered all day and wanted to go home when it got dark. the only times we lost ducks was when someone forgot to lock them up at night. do you think you could train your ducks to free wander the unsafe areas during day and come home to a pasture/coop at night? I would not try it on babies but maybe adults could learn, if you get a couple well trained guys they would probably lead the others. maybe only feed grain in the coop.
Comment by rebecca early Wednesday morning, July 23rd, 2014

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