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Ducks

Ducks are also easy to keep, taste great and they can be integrated very well in the permaculture garden to control pests and fertilize.

Photo by Žaneta Mišutová: https://www.pexels.com/photo/ducks-on-water-17304426/

Ducks are another fantastic addition to a small permaculture homestead. They offer many benefits and can be a joy to have around. Let’s explore the advantages of keeping ducks, how to care for them, and even how to hatch ducklings!

Benefits of Keeping Ducks:

  1. Pest Control: Ducks are excellent insect hunters. They’ll happily gobble up bugs, slugs, and snails, helping to keep your garden free from pests.
  2. Weed Management: Ducks love eating weeds and seeds. They can help you control unwanted plants in your garden naturally.
  3. Egg Production: Ducks lay tasty and nutritious eggs that are a great addition to your meals. You’ll have a regular supply of fresh, organic eggs.
  4. Fertilizer: Like geese, ducks also produce nutrient-rich manure. You can use their droppings to fertilize your plants and enrich your soil.
  5. Aquatic Helpers: Ducks love water! If you have a pond or a water feature, they’ll enjoy splashing around and can even help keep the water clean.

How to Keep and Breed Ducks:

  1. Cozy Shelter: Ducks need a safe and dry shelter to protect them from rain and predators. Make sure their coop is comfortable and well-ventilated.
  2. Nutritious Diet: Feed your ducks a balanced diet of grains, vegetables, and aquatic plants. They also need access to clean water for drinking and bathing.
  3. Safe Enclosure: Ducks can be vulnerable to predators, so it’s essential to have a secure fenced area or a duck run to keep them safe.
  4. Social Animals: Ducks are social creatures and prefer to live in groups. So, get a few ducks instead of just one to keep them happy.
  5. Breeding Ducks: If you want to have baby ducks (ducklings), provide nesting boxes filled with straw or hay. Female ducks (hens) will lay eggs in these nests.
  6. Incubating Duck Eggs: If you have an incubator, you can hatch duck eggs artificially. Otherwise, you can let the duck sit on her eggs to hatch them naturally.
  7. Caring for Ducklings: Ducklings are adorable but need special care. Keep them warm and dry, and provide them with chick starter feed.
  8. Be Observant and Gentle: Ducks are curious and friendly. Spend time with them, and they’ll get used to you. Always handle them gently.

Keeping ducks can be a delightful and educational experience. They’ll bring many benefits to your permaculture homestead and become beloved members of your farm family. Take good care of them, and they’ll reward you with their charming quacks and playful antics!

We can even connect our grow beds to our duck pond with a “duckponics” system.

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