Are magpies less hardy than Runners?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by iamcuriositycat, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    This is my third year with Runners, and nothing seems to get them down except predators. They just don't ever get sick or injured or into trouble.

    I received five Runners and 10 magpies from Holderread this spring, and these Runners are the same as my others (except prettier, lol) in terms of hardiness--just nothing gets them down. But the Holderread magpies that have been raised in the same batch--same feed, same environment, same flock--have had problem after problem. I started with ten and now have seven, one of which is ailing.

    What gives?

    Here are the things that have happened to my magpies:

    1. Little blue one died under a week of age--cause unknown
    2. Little black one died around four or five weeks of age. Cause: bad batch of feed. Interestingly, three magpies sickened from the bad feed and NONE of the Runners did.
    3. Little black one developed angel wing around seven weeks of age. Cause: too much protein. Again, three magpies developed symptoms (though only one still suffers from it) and NONE of the Runners did.
    4. Little black female suddenly started limping last night, using her wings to help her move. When we brought her in, we found a piece of medical tape that we had used to try and bind her angel wing was still stuck to her chest and her foot had caught in it. However, after removing the tape she is still in bad shape this morning.
    5. I don't remember what the other one died of--that's sad, I know, but I have a lot going on right now and my memory is like a sieve.

    I realize some of the death and illness is environmental--the bad feed, the high protein, the piece of medical tape we didn't remove. But what I don't understand is why all the bad things have happened to the magpies while the runners are in perfect strapping health? Are Runners just a hardier breed? Or is it pure luck?

    If the little girl with the bad leg doesn't make it, I think I'm going to sell the magpies and either get anconas or stick with Runners. Thoughts?
  2. chasing ducks

    chasing ducks Songster

    Mar 30, 2010
    New Hampshire
    I don't know about magpies, but I do know that my runners are hardier than my other birds, so far. I have had issues with pekins, swedish, golden hybrids and muscovies, but none from my 11 runners or my 2 cayugas actually.
  3. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Interesting. I guess I've gotten spoiled. I do like hardy animals.

    Thanks for the feedback. Since I've only raised a very few ducks of other breeds, I don't have any way of comparing. I appreciate it. [​IMG]
  4. Sweetfolly

    Sweetfolly Songster

    Apr 17, 2009
    Kildare, Wisconsin
    I've never had much trouble with any of my several different breeds (I consider myself extremely fortunate!), but I've been hatching ducklings this year for a girl in 4-H who lives near me and lost half of her Holderread Runners from last spring over the winter. She has no idea what happened, they were apparently in a 3-season room off the side of her house that stays about 10 degrees warmer than the outside temperature during the winter here (which is much more protection from the elements than my ducks get in their uninsulated plywood pens, and I've never had a problem) with lots of fresh bedding and the correct food, but half of them just died over the winter, one by one. The rest of them are as healthy as can be. [​IMG]

    Anyways, the Poultry Project leader told her to add some "hatchery stock" to her flock to increase their hardiness. My birds came from Sandhill Preservation Center, and were the only decent looking Runners in the area she could find. [​IMG]

    Anyways, my point is that maybe it's not so much the breed as much as just individual "batches" of ducklings being less hardy. I remember when you first started having problems with the Magpies, you asked if maybe you just got a "bad batch" - maybe it's possible that you did. [​IMG]

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