Mallard Ducks - Good or Bad?


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I've seen so many wonderful pictures of ducks in ponds, but I was told by a few folks that they can carry quite a few diseases and should try to keep them out. Being only my 2nd spring with the pond, the ducks are coming back a seem to love the pond. they then seem to go away in a few months after mating. should I try to keep them out and are they as harmful as many have said? The pond is about 5,000 gallons.

Rob
 
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Meyer Jordan

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Yes, all water fowl may carry disease, but the danger to fish is minimal. The real danger is disease transmission to humans through contact with the water.
 
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I wouldn't have the heart to shoo them away, but with our dogs, thinking they'd not find it an inviting pond.

My folks have a place on Lake Michigan and we always go swimming. One hot afternoon, we were swimming near a flock of ducks and we were pretty excited.

I noted one pooped and it wasn't long after, I became familiar with swimmers itch! It was a maddening and intense itch, especially in a summer cottage with no AC!
 
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Ducks can carry parasites that can be harmful to fish. I had a duck pair land in my pond one time. It was kinda exciting as it was going on, but once was more than enough after I researched what harm the ducks could have.
 

JBtheExplorer

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should I try to keep them out

The only way you'd keep them out is with a net covering your pond. I've had a pair of ducks show up for years, even before I had a pond. Once I installed the pond, there was no keeping them out. Initially I would walk outside and they'd fly away, only to return a few hours later, but after awhile, they'd only fly over the fence, wait until they thought I was gone and fly or walk right back over. Now, I can walk right up to them and they won't do anything other than swim across the pond. I stopped chasing them away when they decided to nest in my pond.

They do tear the waterlilies, but other than that, any visual damage has been minimal. They can also harbor parasites, leeches, etc. I've had no issues with that. I know that @RobAmy have ducks all the time. To my knowledge, they haven't had any issues either, but they'd have to answer that themselves. Even frogs can spread disease to fish. It's just a part of nature. It's certainly something to be aware of but I wouldn't worry too much about it.

As for Swimmer's Itch, rub briskly with a towel immediately after leaving the water & shower after being in water.



I'm personally looking forward to seeing my ducks return. They should be back any day now. I learned a lot by watching Mrs. Duck lay on her nest last year. Funny how she'd always leave at the same time every evening to meet up with Mr. Duck and go out to eat. He'd always fly her back to the pond, but he'd usually keep flying or land until she sat back on her eggs and then he'd leave.
 
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Our first pond in the city attracted a family of Mallards that nested in the county drain across the street from us. The hen would waddle up out of the drain, cross the street and into our pond with a dozen ducklings in tow the first year. I tried to convince the wife that feeding or otherwise interfering with wildlife was a bad idea, but that was futile. The ducks quickly learned that our dogs were all bark and no bite.

The second year the nesting pair flew in, landing and taking off from the pond. Ducks are strong fliers once they are in the air, but are total klutz’s on take-off and landings. We got in the habit of saying "In Coming" when the ducks were coming in and the dogs would their happy dance and we'd hear two big splashes as the ducks hit the water. That second year the pair had 19 ducklings.by late summer the ducklings were learning to fly. They took off to the west, somebody left the sliding screen door open and only about a three of the duckling cleared the second railing of the deck, so we had to wrangle 6 of the ducks out of the house.

The third year the brood was only nine, nothing exciting happened and that was the last year for duck. I always wondered what happened to them. We were lucky, even after three years we had no noticeable infestations brought in by the ducks. A lot of things in ponding are a "Your Mileage May Vary" thing so my being lucky doesn't mean you will be too.

My Wife really misses the duck, she bought some Duck and geese decoys, she said for decoration, but I know better. So far they haven't lured in any waterfowl, I suggest buying some ducklings each spring without luck.
 
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Never met a finer poultry dish, theres something about the combination of the succulent very rich meat, onions, mushrooms, pineapple, plum that just makes your taste buds never forget

Which reminded me to hunt down the Ah Fong Soo chow recipe, folk 30 years later still have vivid memories, gollygosh, that is another quest solved
 
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ducks remind me of my friend junebug who was rescued as a fuzzy yellow mallard on the side of the road and eventually flew away. perhaps our experiences are different.
here is a pic of her. it was fascinating to watch her feathers unfurl from elongating tubes of scaley stuff she would help off. when she would fly and come back, it was just amazing. never had a friend before that could fly. looked like a lot of fun. sure do miss her.
10499573_686345901445139_6462577209584807591_o.jpg
 

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