Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
John asks: I read with interest your recent article about “renewable food” and – like you – have chickens but not ducks and was wondering what the downsides, if any, are to duck ownership?
My reply: I can think of two, one of which may not apply to you!
The first – which does apply – is that ducks are messier than chickens. The poo constantly, everywhere. If you let them roam freely, there will be poo everywhere. No more walking barefoot in the grass! This can, of course, be avoided by restricting the beasts to a “run” area, such as a fenced-in portion of your yard.
I prefer to let my birds have free run of my yard as it serves two purposes, poo aside. One, it keeps them from having to live in what would otherwise be a muddy mess, as they’ll strip all vegetation from a restricted area in short order. Two, it is healthier for them to have access to more grass/bugs and so on – which means healthier eggs and so on.
The second thing – which may not apply to you – is that ducks like to swim. If you have an ornamental pond, as I do, then (as OJ used to say) look out! The birds will find it and will jump in it and will muck up the water and possibly kill/eat any koi/goldfish you have in the pond.
I built a stone wall around my pond for exactly this reason.
Otherwise, ducks are groovy! They have fun mannerisms, lay eggs and taste delicious!
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