Indian runner ducks

julia67May 4, 2009

We have a pair of runner ducks on our lake, the female has made a nest inside a plastic covered cardboard box on a floating island. she has been sitting on an unknown number of eggs since april 4th and we would like to know how long she will continue to sit if the eggs are not vialble. For the past two days she has not left the nest as far as we know. She is being guarded by the male and Gilbert our african goose!

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Runners are not normally good setters but some might be. They will normally leave the nest within a few days after term.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 9:06PM
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the normal time for them to hatch is 28 to 30 days from the time the LAST egg is laid so people sometimes expect the hatch sooner than it will happen. usually 2 to 4 days after this they will abandon the unfertilized eggs.

Rantheman BSc. AHT.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 10:17PM
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I'm no expert, but if she is still on those eggs you have a Prize duck. I just bought 4 runners and 2 rouens, knowing nothing about raising ducklings. After alot of reading, they all say runners are not good Mommies, but if you happen to run across a mother that will sit and hatch, that Mom and the babies are prize ducks and well worth keeping. That male and goose know what their doing, so let Mother Nature take her course and "ENJOY".
Good Luck

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 10:28AM
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Thanks for all your advice but all our worries are over as 4 eggs hatched this morning!! Parent ducks, Gilbert goose and 2 ole human duckies are very proud and doing very well so thanks again!!!! ps we are Brits living in France and our french neighbours think we are truely nuts!!!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 8:12AM
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Well sadly one duckling has died, we don't know what from and another was born with a deformed foot which we are caring for in the house as it was abandoned on the bank of the lake. We have splinted the foot with a small piece of lolly stick. He/she is feeding and drinking out of 2 milk bottle tops and sleeping in between half hourly feeds! If he/she survives the next 48 hours it might have a chance.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 10:23AM
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Runners are HORRIBLE mothers. I have had several hatch NICE broods but as soon as they are hatched they abandon them.
If you want to keep your baby ducks add a couple of rouen females to the flock.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2009 at 4:17AM
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Sorry to hear this. Have been watching this thread closely. We have a Runner who is trying again with four eggs. (First time, she smothered her single baby). She's no beauty , but is going the distance so I've tried to give her time and space. Our other female has not a clue and has never thought of trying. Tonight i noticed our sitting hen left her nest (due in only 3-5 days) for over an hour in the cold. I'm tempted now to bring them in under the incubator and assist if there's anything left - but frankly we don't need any more runners so i'm letting nature take its course.

yep. They're rotten mothers. At least the stock we have access to in this country. Makes me wonder where along the line this instinct went. I'd love to hear about this if anyone can chime in. I can understand the overbreeding in chickens for various traits (eggs namely) but duck eggs aren't that popular - so why? where? went the brooding instinct with runner ducks?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 2:55AM
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Well we think that our runner is one in a million as she has turned out to be a real mother duck! The 2 remaining ducklings are doing very well and seem strong so far but we don't know the sex yet but hoping for females as duck eggs are popular here in France for eating and baking. Uncle Gilbert Goose keeps a very close eye and the ducklings follow him everywhere.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 3:20PM
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Julia! I just had to say hello when I saw your username. (My middle name is May.) I am so happy that a couple of your ducklings made it. I am recently the mother of five chicks and live in Washington State. I am married to a British ex-pat.

I would love to see pictures of the babies and Uncle Gilbert. It sounds like a children's book!

Cheers to you and the family!

Julia in Woodinville, WA, USA
Born in 1967 - hence the 67...

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 8:37PM
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Hi Julia - well actually I am in the process of writing a story about our Pekin ducks for my grandchildren, called Albert, Victoria and Josephine - thats the ducks names not the children and also about the runners of course specially the little ones Quakers and Quaver! I use 67 in my user name because I AM 67!!!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 3:02PM
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Hi just like to say that i have 2 indian runners sitting on the same nest! Had a male khaki with them until 2 weeks ago but he was found a new home. I have 2 male and 3 female runners all together. Plus 4 mallards. My 2 sitters have been on the same nest for about a week now and i am keeping my fingers crossed that we will have young ducks. I have read so much that they are not known to sit well but these 2 seem to take it in turns. Will post if there is any more developement.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 2:45AM
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HI sorry new to this my husband brought 2 indian runners from the amish at our local farmers market, which at that time they told him they did not nest, only good for the eggs, well as of today she has hatched 10 and waiting for the last 3 eggs to hatch. I found your site after looking for many hours on the web about indian runners and have no idea what to (est) feeding or care of this many babies. have no clue can anyone help. thank you, PS are 4 poms have a great time with the (adult ducks)

    Bookmark   July 4, 2009 at 2:10PM
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hi Donna - well congratualtions on your large family! Our Runner pair produced 4 but only 2 survived and are now as big as their parents but as yet sex unknown. Mother duck did a good job of rearing them with the help of Gilbert the goose who acted like a Grandad to them! We put duckling food out for them which they all had to eat as we could't separate it as they lived on the lake and now they are eating the same food as the adults. Good luck and let nature take its course!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 3:00PM
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Hi Julia, thanks, we did lose some of the babys, but as of today we had a total of (7) very healthy babys and they are getting bigger ever day, we have a local park were we live which we are going to take some there to live once they get a little bit bigger. we really can't keep all of them so the park rangers will kept them. there is a big lake, we started them on chick starter which the amish told us that would be the best food, but now they are eating the same as mon and dad. Do not understand how so many people say that Indian runners do not nest or are not good mothers, our mom is the best, our 4 pom's (dogs) do drive her a little bit crazy now she is so protectived over them. have you found out anything about how to tell which are male or female yet if you do please let me know thanks again

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 7:31PM
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Hi All - well our runner Gretel is now sitting on her second clutch of eggs number unknown! Her previous babies are now same size as adults. We also have a coypu that seems to have taken up residence on our lake and we have found him/her laying beside Gretel on the duck island! She needs to be got rid of as they eat the reeds and the farmers crop of maize which they're not happy about. will keep you posted!!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 2:08PM
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i have two running ducks and my female is sat on about 10 eggs. Everybody says they are bad mothers but the lady i bought them from said she has never had any oroblems and just leave nature to it. Fingers crossed some will hatch.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 8:43AM
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zootjs(zone 5 MA)

I've had mixed luck with my runners, as mothers. They do hatch some eggs, but the long-term survival rate isn't great. Some die, some get murdered, some make it. I do better with an incubator. Not sure if it is the mother or the others in the flock, who does them in.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 5:33PM
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