Ducks eat Japanese Beetles!!

QTee_zone_5January 17, 2004

My chickens don't eat Japanese beetles but I have been talking to some waterfowl people and ducks scarf them up!! My order is in for Spring delivery of 10 ducklings.

Best for pond clean up & pest control are list as:

Runners, Hookbills, Campbells, Harlequins, Magpies, Anconas and Australian Spotted Bantams.

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missymrtn_socal(southern CA)

It's so weird that you posted this today, Qtee! I've been researching different ducks online, and am trying to see if I'm crazy to ponder bringing a couple of ducklings into our garden.
I was just debating putting up a thread about this!

I'm not after JB, but SNAILS. I get them by the truckload.
I thought that this might be a fun way to cut down the population a bit.

Does anyone have any experience with keeping ducks as 'pets'? I wonder what the gentlest variety would be?
I like the looks of the classic 'Pekin' duck, but my feedstore guy recommended the 'Maskovi'. I just don't like the looks of that kind as well.

It's a little tough to find out enough information....I keep pulling up recipes! :-/


    Bookmark   January 18, 2004 at 11:26AM
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Melissa...I am getting Muscovys because they are quiet and don't quack and if you are into raising your own meat they are the finest duck you can eat since they aren't as greasy as other ducks. I know about the "look" of Muscovys but I'm getting some anyway. The "curunkling" on their head kind of gives them that turkey look doesn't it, but from what I've heard they win you over with their personalitys and they are known to be supreme bug catchers and foragers. They will most definately get snails for you! Do keep in mind they may be rooting around in your gardens and mess up your mulch and poop all over. Never-the-less I'm going to try some and just let a few out at a time to do bug control and see how it goes. The hens are also very broody and make excellent mothers. If you don't want more ducks you will have to collect the eggs. I have heard duck eggs are excellent for baking. Muscovys are very good flyers to so you will have to clip their wings...especially if you buy adults since they will try to fly home!
I'm getting day old ducklings to raise myself.
If you can't get past the look try some of the ones recommended above but do know other duck breeds can be noisy.

If you can't find what you are looking for locally there is a premier duck/goose breeder out on your side of the country but he only sells Muscovys as adults but has other breeds as well or may be able to refer you to a good breeder in your area.
Dave Holderread
PO Box 492
Corvallis Oregon 97339
Send $2. for a brochure

You can also contact:
Sandhill Preservation Center
1878 230th St.
Calamus, Iowa 52729

I'm getting my day old ducklings from Brian Schulte in Minnesota (507) 532-2893 and he does ship. He came highly recommeded by an experienced waterfowl person and he has show quality Muscovys in a lot of very cool colors besides the typical original colored ones you will find solid black, blue, chocolate, buff etc. he has solid white and other colors too I think. Call him for a brochure. Sorry I don't have his address yet.
Hope this helps and let me know if you get some ducks and how it works out for you. I am very anxious to see them eating my rose chafers and jap beetles!

Heres another website with Muscovy info

This site has tons of info and links on ducks/geese/poultry etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Muscovy Duck Info

    Bookmark   January 19, 2004 at 10:06AM
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DianaT(z8 SC)

I wouldn't buy Muscovies if I were you. We had *one* when I was growing up, and that duck would try to eat you alive. He lived under the front porch (very rural farm area, lol!) you had to hit that porch running and get out the yard quick because that devil would come running out and bite the you-know-what out of you. And scratch with his claws and beat with his wings too. He kept all our jeans ragged out on the bottoms, worse than any dog you ever saw :) Muscovies don't quack, either. They hiss. And they have this hooked tip on their bill that they tear your butt up with when they catch hold of you. No way would I *ever* buy a Muscovy duck, oh no you couldn't give me one.

Ok maybe they're not *all* like the one we had, maybe we just had the Duck From Hades, but I sure don't want to find out.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2004 at 10:11AM
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In any given breed of any animal there are going to be some bad ones. From all my research Muscovys are suppose to have very good dispositions. I can't imagine why your folks put up with such an ill-tempered animal. I would of had it butchered pronto.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2004 at 4:04PM
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Sophie Wheeler

"Very good dispositions" is a relative term. In duck terms, that means they're slightly less, um foul. ;~D

Ducks are very bad tempered and aggressive creatures to have running loose in a garden. Geese are worse. I'd consider guineas instead. My mother's bantam hens kept the veggie garden clean of pretty much any insect and had the bonus of eggs.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2004 at 7:32AM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

Hmmm, I guess that sells me on the guinea hens...I was considering getting them for tick control anyway, but if they eat JB, I'm there!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2004 at 5:22PM
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In my childhood I used to have a hen as pet. Well, she ate any thing: worms, bugs, and vegetation! I do know that chickens, ducks, geese enjoy eating young foliage too. So watch out for your roses, bloom and shootsÂ

    Bookmark   January 31, 2004 at 8:12PM
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I don't believe I've ever seen a japanese beetle either, but I do have beetle problems. I finally found a match in the Flower Eating Scarab (Euphoria kernii) I'm not sure why I have not heard anyone else bothered by this beetle. There are at least 3 of them in evvery rose in my yard, and they even attack daisies, eating the petals. They probabl have the same life cycle as japanese beetle, soil - flowers - soil. But so far I've only found hand picking, or a spritz of that Scott's insect killer, but you've still got to drag them out of the bloom where they are hiding between the petals and toss them.

Actually, one sunday, almost evening a huge swarm of shiny green beetles came through. They did not touch the roses, and just blew through here. I've never seen them again. I wonder if those were Japanese Beetles on their way to other rose gardens.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2004 at 8:03PM
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Organic_johnny(z6b SEPA)

txgardenlady: the swarmers are probably June beetles.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2004 at 8:00AM
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Noni Morrison

I have a flock of ducks and they have cleaned up every slug in my large garden. THey are NOT agressive. Dumb, but funny dumb. I have to put them in at night so the raccoons don't make off with any more of fact will be ordering another 15 soon from McMurray HAtchery. (Will split the minimum order with a friend this time) I get the Exotic mix and it is fun to have the different breeds. Everyone loves to watch them, I even had one with a top knot last time. As far as I could tell they were all equal in bug eating. THe breeds I had were Sweedish Blue, Rouen,Runners,
Buffs, Pekings and Cayuga. Can't wait to see what we get this time! THe Pekings probaly have a few more brain cells and will out eat the others at feeding time. THe raccoons know that they are the juiciest....

    Bookmark   February 15, 2004 at 9:53PM
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Sounds like you have a nice selection there LizaLily...which breeds do you like the best?

How do you like the Runners...I'm considering getting some.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 2:41PM
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owensgirl(z8 San Marcos)

Hey guys, I have a double lot in the city, and it is fenced on 3 sides but not across the front. Do ducks stray? And even if they stick around would they be able to keep clear of stray dogs do you think?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2004 at 8:07PM
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Circejane(N Italy)

Stray dogs will get them every time...fowl need to be enclosed by a secure fence on all four sides.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2004 at 9:04AM
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Morgalla(z6 OK)

I inherited some wild mallard babies last year, and fully expected them to fly off when fall came, but they have stayed and now one of the hens is sitting 18 eggs in my dog's house! (My dog is a witless pug, who doesn't care as long as she gets butt-sniffing priveleges).

We just got some Indian runners, (more eggs, less likely to sit) as duck eggs are the bast for baked goods. (including quiches, frittatas, cakes, custards, etc) As long as your ducks are grain fed, the eggs wont be gamy. Of course even if they are fed they'll still dabble around and eat any bugs, slugs, and beetles around. Just dont let them around young plants (they'll trample them) or low growing fruit trees. Especially not anywhere after a heavy rain or watering, as they'll drill holes and eat all the tender young plants and grass. A fence only 18 inches high will keep them in, but not prevent dogs from getting them if they are determined. If they have a pond to flee into, it might be OK, but no way would I keep them without a full fence.

Consider Muscovies if you can find them. They tame easily and are very quiet, and the best flycatchers around. Many people think they are ugly because of their caruncled heads (look kindof vulturish). But they have a hilarious frill of feathers on top of their heads that they can raise and lower when agitated- like a mohawk! They also don't have as developed of oil glands so don't need or want as much access to water as other domesticated ducks. Their native habitat is South America, and they have claws on their feet that are a lot larger than mallards (all other domestic ducks are derived from wild mallards). If they decide to be nasty (a lonely drake might) they'll really give a hard time to other animals. Every Muscovy I have encountered has been gentle and tame- far less skittish than my own pets. Get them as babies, or they can and will fly off unless their wings are clipped.

I recommend ducks- if not for their use in slug killing then at least for their droll ways. They make me laugh every day, and the children love them.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2004 at 2:45PM
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missymrtn_socal, salamanders eat snails. If you could attract them to your yard, they should help out.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2004 at 2:45PM
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hello as a owner of cuyaga,pekin and call/coy ducks i can speak on them..i love them ,there neat and funny to watch..muscovys are huge ducks!.pekin are large also but great eggs are so tasty.most prefere them over chicken..they are far from being nasty..they are very shy in fact and we raised them from day 2 or 3..with there flat bills there no way they can hurt you.there quacking is no problum..sure they quack when they see us and want attention....they eat grasses,bugs galore! and the tips of some of my siberian iris's which ill re plant elsewhere come fall...

ducks need alot of wash down there food and clean there bill and eyes...we did not have to but we bought a 300 gallon rubber maid water tank from tractor suppy($169.)as our cheap wading pool was to small..they love to spash each other like kids .lol..and its fun to watch them..

ducks can't defend themself!.i use 3 lines of defence for my 1 chicken and 8 ducks:

2 large german shepards
i inclosed there area with chicken wire
cages that they are locked up at nite with 1/4" wire

and i live on top a mtn and so far nothing gotten them

we have 11 "Call"duck eggs in our incubator with one just pipping/breaking out now

the saying"ducks in a row" is true they follow each other in a line...

i move a few of them to our fenced in garden with a bucket of water and they eat up bugs galore

i pick up my white male pekin(aflac)and carese his head behind his ear and his feathers are so soft and he loves it that he lays his head against mine...

they run around looking for bug doing what i call there snake dance with there heads lol..there clowns

i had chicken and of 5 only one left..ill never own a chicken again..only sm to med ducks for me

if you buy mail order they charge alot and you got to buy 10-15! way to many for most the spring go to your local flea market or tractor supply/farm store and buy a few real cheap.....$1.00 to $3.00 max


    Bookmark   July 13, 2005 at 1:23PM
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My ducks make a mad dash to follow me when I head back to my beetle beleaguered raspberry canes. But, they don't seem particularly apt at picking them off themselves, though my pekin has taken a liking to greedily snatching off a few berries while she's waiting for me to collect the beetles.

The canes got a bit high and out of control this year so I'd pick my little Cayuga up and hover him over the beetle bunches...much to her delight. I imagine them to be the duck equivalent of wasabi peas, and that makes for some fine snacking.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 4:56PM
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