The Problem

In Spring and early summer, as the vines burst into leaf, snails become a problem. They have the potential to cause serious damage in the vineyards. Conventional wine farmers will make considerable investments in snail bait – a toxic pesticide which not only kills off the snails, but all the beneficial micro-life in the soils as well.

The Solution

Avondale’s solution to this is logical and elegantly simple – we use Nature as our guide, and we invest instead in ducks:

1. Arrival at Avondale
In April, a bunch of yellow, fluffy, two-day old ducklings are welcomed to Avondale. They are kept warm and fed in a “Nursery” (‘nesting box’) while they grow bigger and stronger, and their down starts turning to feathers.
2. Off to the “Boarding House”
Around three weeks they outgrow the “Nursery” and we shift them to “The Boardinghouse” which is situated on the farm and protected form the elements, especially the natural predators.
3. Feathered Adventurers
After about a month and half, the young ducks are fully feathered and water proof! It is at this stage that they will slowly be introduced to their future carrier. We take them for short daily excursions where they will walk into the nearby vineyards and get a taste for the snails.
4. Training wheels
Once they have are up to match fitness they begin to be entrained to walk up the ramp of the “Duck Mobile” – an enclosed trailer that is drawn by a tractor. This will become there luxuries transportation around the estate.
5. Ready for Action (or Lights, Camera, Action)
By early spring, our posse of snail assassins can’t wait to get into the vineyards. As they hear the rumble of the “Duck Mobile” approaching, an excited clucking fills the air. They troop up the ramp and set off for a day’s work in the vineyards.
6. Snail Assassins
Every day, our team of snail assassins spends their days patrolling the vineyards, eating up every snail they find as they waddle along. Ducks love snails, and they are highly effective! There are absolutely so negative consequences to using ducks for snail control at all. It’s a great example of nature working at her peak!
7. Action attraction
Unruffled, the ducks waddle down the green carpet with the paparazzi in toe, it’s a Ducks Life!

Jonty’s Ducks

Address Details
Klein Drakenstein, Paarl, South Africa
P.O. Box 602, Paarl South, 7624

Contact Details
Phone +27 21 863 1976

Terms & Conditions | (c) Avondale | Extraordinary Wines Approved by Mother Nature

Not for sale to persons under the age of 18

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