Our aquatic feathered friends are on the landscape eating slugs with gusto. We’re thankful for their work and apatite here at Leafhopper Farm. The challenge is keeping our flock of ducks moving around the land, and they don’t do that often right now, because of our pond. I’m going to have to fence off the pond so the ducks can’t get in it any more, as they were never supposed to go into the pond, and the water is now very poopie, causing an overabundance of nitrogen, which is clogging up the water with algae and making the whole pond unhealthy. This is the challenge with keeping a flock of ducks out of the open water.
Ducks need a lot of water, and though they would LOVE to swim all the time, it’s not required. Enough water to dunk heads in is plenty, and a 5 gallon bucket works just fine once the ducks are old enough to reach it’s edge. Right now we are working on a problem with the ducks fearing a new kitty pool. They are in the habits they formed as young birds, and it’s not in rhythm with the other systems; that’s my fault. I was not around to encourage them in a good routine, and because this is a new system (pond and ducks together) it was bound to have some issues. So, we’ll be wrangling the flock into a pen where we can reintroduce water, food, and roaming habits in a mindful way for the ducks to get their needs met and provide work on our farm where needed.
The ducks do play an important role in our farm’s plan for good fertility and healthy soil. Their poop on the landscape is a rich gift, spread by their wanderings through the fields and garden edges. Below is a video of the ducks eating slugs. They can really slurp em’ down! Just listen to that feasting.
The ducks will need to be “sheparded” around the landscape, and I hope the electric mesh will serve as enough for our flock, especially at night for protection. We’re also looking into a simple coop for the ducks, which would allow them to roam freely during the day, and remain sound at night in a confined space like the chickens. This experimentation will continue, as the ducks find their place in the systems of holistic management here at Leafhopper Farm.