There are those who will tell you that it is futile to try and grow anything in a yard that ducks have access to because ducks will trample and eat anything green. While that is true in theory, with a little patience and planning it is possible to create a beautifully landscaped yard for your ducks to roam.
Just because your ducks live in an enclosed yard doesn’t mean that you can’t provide them with as close to a natural, free range experience as possible. Our duck yard is attractively landscaped with bushes and shrubs, both to attract bugs for the ducks to eat, as well as to provide them with shade from the sun and shelter from the wind. The bushes also provide a natural screen against predators’ prying eyes. I replant grass seed each spring, as well as a small vegetable garden for the ducks in one corner of the yard, fenced off until it’s ready to “harvest.”
In addition to the benefits for the ducks of adding landscaping to their yard, an aesthetically pleasing duck yard instead of an eyesore will encourage you to spend more time with your flock (which benefits you both) as well as give your neighbors less potential reason to complain about you keeping backyard ducks.
Here are some tips to help you successfully landscape your duck yard:
It is true that ducks will eat almost anything you plant. Even if they decide they don’t like the taste of a particular bush, they will still systematically remove all the leaves and toss them on the ground, so it is very important to cage small bushes and shrubs until they grow at least two feet tall and the upper leaves are out of duck range. I use chicken wire or other fencing to form a cage around the bushes and then anchor the cage in place with stones.