Keeping Ducks In The Garden For Slug Control

keeping ducks in the garden

Keeping ducks in the garden helps with controlling slugs and snails and you get tasty eggs of course!

If you live in a damp climate like we do here in Ireland you will have a big problem with slugs and snails eating all your precious veggies, flowers, and delicate perennials.
For me, this was the number one reason for getting my first 3 ducks! We now have about 10 ducks of mixed breeds on slug patrol in the garden. Of course, they supply us with plenty of delicious and very nutritious eggs as well!
Our garden was infested with millions of slugs and snails eating everything we planted overnight! Slug pellets weren't the answer to a slug population of this magnitude! We had far too many slugs and I don't use non-organic products in the garden anyway.
Keeping ducks in the garden solved the slug problem over time. It is not a quick fix solution, though. It took nearly 2 years to get the slug population down to a level where we could grow vegetables outdoors without too much damage.


What You Need To Know About Keeping Ducks?

There are a few things ducks can't do without. The number one thing is water!

They are water birds and it is their element. Ducks need something to muddle around, get their feathers wet and clean their beaks and eyes.
There is no need for a huge pond though if you want to keep just a few ducks in the garden. We use inexpensive kiddies pools. They can be easily cleaned and moved around as needed. If they are left for too long in the same place the ducks turn the place into a big mess!

duck pool

More Gardening Pages

Ducks also need a coop to keep them safe overnight from predators like foxes, minks or stray dogs. The coop should be easy to clean because ducks are very messy! We use straw as bedding.  The dirty bedding is great for the compost heap!

A duck pen is handy if you are not around all day to keep an eye on them. Stray dogs can kill the ducks within minutes! They need a water source of course in the pen area!

You have to provide some additional food for your ducks. They will forage for slugs, worms, and greens in the garden. You can use organic layer pellets for laying ducks or a grain mixture. We feed ours in the evening when they go into their coop. That makes locking them up much easier. Don't forget to give them a bucket of water with their feed!

Ducks In The Garden

Ducks do less damage in the garden then chickens because they don't scratch. Nonetheless, you don't want them walking over newly emerging seedlings with their big feet!

ducks in the garden

We keep them out of vegetable beds with low plastic mesh fences. Domestic ducks don't fly so it is easy to keep them out with just a low fence.
If you get new ducks you might have to 'train' them in the beginning. Ours didn't know where to go and sat outside their pen all day! We had to push them towards the vegetable garden to do their job! The easiest way to attract them to areas you want to have cleaned of slugs is to put their water source there. This is easy to do with the kiddies pool.

The Homestead Gardener Magazine

- organic gardening tips - permaculture - self-sufficiency -

homestead gardener organic gardening magazine

Take Your Organic Gardening Magazine With You Wherever You Go With Our Magazine App!
This interactive digital magazine is optimized for mobile devices like android phones or iPhones, tablets, and iPads. The content is always readable and resizes to fit your screen so it always looks great and is easy to read without zooming in!

Once downloaded to your device you can read the magazine regardless whether you are on or offline.

Test the first issue for FREE now!


Learn More About It Here!

What would you like to see next?

› Keeping Ducks

Back to top

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive a FREE ebook ‘Growing Herbs & Vegetables In Containers’

* indicates required

Recent Articles

  1. The Columbine Flower (Aquilegia): Not Just A Pretty Face!

    The Columbine flower is very easy to grow! A must have perennial for the lazy gardener!

  2. Sprouting Potatoes: What Are The Benefits?

    Chitting or sprouting potatoes indoors so they have small shoots before they get planted out. But...why should you do this?

  3. Using Seaweed In The Garden

    Seaweed is my favorite organic fertilizer, soil improver, and plant growth stimulant in the garden. I like to use it on nearly everything: from compost to planting to sowing!

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.