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RE: [fukuoka_farming] Snails and slugs - natural safe and cheap killer

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  • Linda Shewan
    Hi David, Right now I only have 1 Pekin duck left - the fox got the other 3 a while back. I keep them in a pen with the chooks (which is painful for the water
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 19, 2008
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      Hi David,



      Right now I only have 1 Pekin duck left - the fox got the other 3 a while
      back. I keep them in a pen with the chooks (which is painful for the water
      mess - clean water required every day instead of every few days/weekly for
      chooks) and let them all out into the lawn area every couple of days because
      they don't seem to do so well penned up.



      I have had Elizabeth (Aussie kind) and Indian Runners in the past and they
      ate the greens too... I have heard since that Muscovy's are meant to be the
      best so they will be my next try. We are just building a new completely
      fox-proof (I hope), much larger dividable pen (so I can separate chooks and
      ducks) and so I am willing to give it another go.



      I think if you have a structured garden with planned plant/harvest rotations
      that you can work ducks and chooks in successfully but not if you have all
      sorts growing at once as I do. There is a book called the Permaculture Home
      Garden written by Linda Woodrow and she uses a Mandala garden system
      commercially with strict rotations and uses the chooks after each harvest
      period to clean up and manure before planting out the next one. Very ordered
      and very successful - just doesn't fit my personality!



      I don't use slug pellets of any kind and overplant everything in order to
      get a useable harvest but confess that I don't keep my family in veg all
      year... more learning required, and an unheated row tunnel required for that
      I think.... short season here.



      Good luck fellow slug hunter... Linda





      From: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      [mailto:fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of David Keltie
      Sent: Tuesday, 19 August 2008 10:24 PM
      To: fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [fukuoka_farming] Snails and slugs - natural safe and cheap
      killer



      Linda, do you keep your chooks and ducks penned in another area? What
      breed of ducks do you have? Is there a breed that prefer slugs/snails
      to young greens? I tried allowing chooks to roam hoping the damage
      they did would be out-weighed by the the good but they trashed all the
      veg so I never found out if they reduced slug damage or not! Even
      perennial greens were destroyed.

      I'd prefer ducks to organic slug pellets (do they qualify as a
      pesticide?) but I've a family to feed. A good supply of vegies is more
      important than occasional duck meat (the hens provide enough eggs on
      their own).

      Thanks, David

      On Tue, Aug 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM, Linda Shewan
      <linda_shewan@... <mailto:linda_shewan%40yahoo.com.au> > wrote:
      > Hi Bernhard,
      >
      >
      >
      > Have you tried ducks in your vegetable garden?
      >
      >
      >
      > I have and they ate all my greens. The problem is that in my wild garden I
      > have things growing all year, all over the place. Not strict rotational
      beds
      > or easily cordoned off areas. I believe this brings a diversity to the
      > garden and while I used to have serious aphid and other bug problems last
      > year they all disappeared (3rd year gardening at this property) - except
      for
      > the slugs and snails. I do the night raids with the torch and feed them to
      > the ducks in the morning because in my head that is part of the food chain
      > but I don't like using sprays of any kind, organic or otherwise as it just
      > doesn't 'feel' right. I can't seem to make much of a dent in the numbers
      > this way though and I'm not organised enough to make traps and check them
      > properly...
      >
      >
      >
      > Having said that I have decided that I will put the ducks and chooks in
      the
      > vegetable garden just after harvesting the garlic, which should be a few
      > weeks before the tomatoes are ready to go in if this year follows last
      > year's pattern. I know I will lose some peas, chinese greens, silverbeet,
      > parsley and other greens this way but I will try and protect some of them
      > and hopefully I will reduce the snails and slugs enough that I can more
      > successfully plant the summer crops. We will see... gardening is quite a
      > journey...





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