I have 26 acres of reforested land, one mile up a logging road. It's surrounded by many more acres of reforested land, thats not mine. It's clay
covered shale, which means, lots of standing water. The place is crawling with slugs and ticks (and the cutest salamanders). I bought 4 goats to start clearing
the area, and have the most amazing pyr.who keeps them safe when we are not there. We are there weekends mostly, and I stop in with food every other
day, during the week. (spring thru late fall, goats are being boarded and pyrs. sprawled out in hallway, right now). Looking to buy some chickens and maybe ducks, to deal with the bug problem. Eggs would be a bonus. Thing is they would need to be EXTREME free rangers. Mara's good at keeping bears and coyotes away from my goats, but she's on a runner, and the goats know to run to her if there is trouble. Chickens arn't that smart. Also, theres alot of mushy areas but not alot of open ponding. Closest I've found in our area is a small puddle, maybe 3ft by 5ft, in the ditch across the road from our camp site. Our golden loves to lay in it. Anything that survives till late fall will be brought down to our village home, till spring. Any suggestions?
How about Muscovies? They graze more than other ducks, and are excellent bug-eaters. They don't usually lay very many eggs but they are excellent mothers and will breed well, giving you a meat supply. And compared to chickens they are relatively predator proof. They love water, but they don't seem to be as dependent on it as other ducks. Plus they don't quack, and are exceedingly cute, once you've got used to their wartiness.
I'm considering ducks and didn't realize this. Are they smart enough to hide at night and quick enough to fly during the day?
We have forested land with a creek and an old farm pond. I garden and am transitioning much of the land to perennial crops with a permaculture approach. So far, I can't see livestock fitting in our schedule. I assumed that if we bought ducks, they would just be eaten by the coyotes or raccoons.
We have 2 indoor/outdoor dogs that are contained within a few acres by Invisible Fence. We intentionally fenced them out of the creek areas so that they don't get so dirty. I'm not really comfortable having dogs that can roam as I think it's a risk to the dog as well as potentially damaging to neighbors.