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- Plum Nearly Farm
Once they get to laying age which is usually around 5 months old they will need a good healthy diet either layer or All flock and even if you decide on layer I would still offer some Oyster shell on the side[not in with their feed] that way if you have one or two who may even need a little more calcium they will have it when they need it. I don't have Runners but I think others who do say they will lay year round with times off in between for resting their bodies. How old are yours?
and Welcome to BYC
@Amiga has Runners I'm sure she can add to this.
- Overrun with Runners
Miss Lydia has covered the basics about food. Here are my thoughts about suitable conditions
Protect from extreme temperatures. Between 5C and 30C, seems to be the most comfortable range for my ducks, and they lay reliably. Having a shelter for them to stay in a good temperature range is important, as well as protecting them from storms and high winds.
Protect from predators - I don't know what is around your area, but here we have raccoons, coyotes, domestic dogs and cats, owls, hawks, fishers (a long-legged weasel), and others. Predators are smart at getting to their food - so don't take duck safety for granted.
Provide good nutrition, as Miss Lydia wrote. Can you get a good quality poultry layer feed where you are?
Provide enough fresh water. Ducks need fresh water to drink as well as to bathe in. Runners to not have to have a large body of water. They do well with a kiddie pool, or even a large sturdy bucket. They will soil the water pretty quickly, but as long as it is changed once a day (twice if the temperatures exceed 30C), it should provide what they need to stay clean and avoid eye, ear, and sinus infections.
What they walk on needs to be fairly soft and smooth. Sharp stones and thorns will cause frequent foot infections, called bumblefoot. Caught early enough, no surgery is needed, but it is a health problem best to avoid.
Friendly humans are a big help with Runners. They respond to being treated well. Happier ducks lay more eggs.
Some fresh greens at least a few times a week. Sprouted wheat is pretty easy, and I let "weeds" grow around my gardens because they are nutritious greens for the ducks. Lamb's quarter is a really good one, and mine like dandelion, chick weed, and comfrey, too.