31.05.16 by Staff

Good News of the Day: Army of 1,000 Ducks Used as Brilliant Pesticide Alternative


South Africa’s Vergenoegd vineyard in Stellenbosch keeps a flock of over 1,000 Indian Runner ducks to help combat tiny white dune snails that would otherwise destroy the budding vines. The ducks’ upright and slender posture allow them to navigate the rows of plants, clearing up to a hectare a day.

While the cost of keeping all these ducks is significantly higher than standard pesticides, the duck army is so effective that the vineyard uses minimal chemicals and is recognized for its sustainability. See more images by London-born, Cape Town-based photographer Mike Hutchings and a video of the ducks working below!









Army of 1,000 Ducks Used as Brilliant Pesticide Alternative

This is what 1,000 Indian Runner ducks on their way to work looks like. A vineyard in South Africa hires them to eat snails! See photos and a video of them working here: http://booo.ms/1000-ducks

Posted by Booooooom.com on Tuesday, May 31, 2016


Photos & video via Reuters Wider Image



by Tony Manfred and editing by Ben Nigh via Insider


If you have work to share, please send us a tweet or post it to our monthly submission posts.

  • wish the music wasn’t in that video, i like hearing the sound of all their feet at that one part

  • Dave Morris

    Oh God that’s wonderful. I could watch that all day.

  • Yea they’re pretty cool. Good to see our local spots featured here :D

  • Mary Anne Landers

    Everything’s ducky! Thanks.

  • eren3_eren

    Great idea to use them.

  • DB


  • Perro Viejo

    Looks like immigration line at The Chunnel…

  • Jayne

    The vineyard owners must get TONS of eggs??? Or do they just allow the duckies to hatch out and increase the flock?

    • Kara LeBlanc

      I would love to know that, too!

  • HG

    Looks more like geese to me. Maybe they’re called “ducks” in South Africa.

    • Elizabeth

      They’re ducks, have had these ourselves years ago, cool critters.

  • Meltonmark

    How do they get the ducks back ‘home’ again in the evening?

    • markie71

      Turn them around and let them go.

  • marie sissi

    cute ^^

  • Colleen Thompson Schott

    I sure wouldn’t want clean up detail….lol. I’d be ‘pooped’!

    • Betsy Scott

      Groan! LOL

    • jonesky

      Free fertilizer?

  • jteknyc


    • Linda Rosario

      *tee hee hee*

    • steve devore

      Not in D.C.

  • Nancy Robison

    beautiful! love them!

  • Russann Tomlinson

    My father had a pet male mallard duck when I was a child. TRUE that ducks will take on the job of snail-hunting… Our duck, “Lucky”, would make the neighborhood rounds hunting down and gobbling each and every snail from each home in our neighborhood! He’d come home so full and it became a tradition for my father to visit and walk Lucky around the neighborhood and visit each house. Win-win situation for all as pesticides were discontinued and the whole neighborhood was happy! That duck was loved by many, as well as my good-hearted father!

    • Edeltraud Jakob-Grace

      Such a lovely story about your duck Lucky and that your father walk Lucky around in the neighbourhood and visit each house.
      So funny, our ever first duck was a tiny newborn duckling which got lost on our back kitchen door and was found from my husband. I raised it and the first nights it slept in the palm of my hands. We named it Lucky like your duck. Over time we added some friends for her. This is how we became duck lovers.

  • Kyara Peacock

    How awesome!

  • Dixi Blackford

    We got lucky and had two of our ducks that liked to sit on eggs….as soon as born, we would bring the babies in and teach them to eat what we considered weeds so that when they went back out to the garden they would not only eat the bugs, but also the weeds….and never hurt or bothered our food. We kept them in with us for 4 to 6 weeks until they were tall and mature enough to take care of themselves.

  • Edeltraud Jakob-Grace

    How amazing. Just love it so much. We have here 5 ducks in our backyard. Ducks are such great animals. They look like they are really happy to do their work in the vineyards.

    • Sheelagh Hanly

      You mean great birds? Ducks are not animals.

      • Wiz

        Ducks ARE definitely Animals…

        If you’re just starting to learn about animals and wildlife, a good
        first step is to gain an understanding of the basic groups of animals.
        Although scientists identify dozens of groups of animals, it helps to
        keep things simple at first. So in this article, we’ll focus on these
        six basic groups:







      • Kara LeBlanc

        Sheelagh Hanly, perhaps you should consider going to grammar school before you post anything that stupid ever again (particularly in the context of trying to “correct” someone else). Birds are animals.

      • Sheelagh Hanly

        Ah, lighten up, a Ghrá

      • Safety Conscious

        Remember the old game? Animal, vegetable or mineral. Now which do you think the quackery belong to?

  • peasoupfan

    Who gets to clean up all the duck poop? That stuff can be a menace to society in much smaller numbers than 1000.

    • Magdalene

      Does it matter that much? Pesticides are killers! Hosing down poop means working with nature; not against it. Have you seen the hazmat suits they wear in this country to spray crops? No wonder we are developing cancer!

    • Kara LeBlanc

      I was thinking the same thing! LOL!

    • Safety Conscious

      It would be organic fertiliser in the vineyard so it’s a win-win situation.

  • april_r

    I saw some geese in there…..

  • Dont_Email_me

    They need to play this music in the background: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnHmskwqCCQ

    • Kara LeBlanc

      Benny Hill! LOL!

  • Letty Grayson

    I hope they lead a long and happy life without being eaten themselves. That’s probably wishful thinking :(

  • FlippityGibbit

    What a lovely story! Especially nowadays when there are so many lovely duck recipe’s to be found!

    • Beatrice DuPont

      Eat them after they have a natural death.

  • Jan Mortimer

    You have no idea, this made my day. They have a job to do.

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