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?