Chicken Lady needs help with Runner Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Impress, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am pretty new to ducks. Chickens, I got those down. Easy peasy. These young runner ducks are driving me up the wall!

    Are they truly as stupid as they seem to be, or am I just not understanding them? I made them a nice pasture today, with a lovely shelter in one corner full of hay to snuggle in and food. Waterproof little rectangle house, with one side open for easy entrancing/exiting. They are feathered, they were ready for a pasture a month ago but our weather has been up and down so I waited until a nice day to put them officially out in the weather. They have been in a covered brooder, outside, no light or anything, just a dry place to be.

    I get them into the pasture, and.....they act like the shelter is the end of the world. I was worried they would get chilled if they weren't in the shelter for the night, so after one heck of a fight, I managed to stuff them all in then block the door to keep them in.

    It is going to rain tomorrow with a small temperature drop. Should I attempt to let them out of the box? Should I keep them trapped for a while so they know where to run to to stay dry and be warm?

    They have food and water in their little house. Thank you for any and all insight you can offer.
     
  2. Mike Winters

    Mike Winters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    maybe keep them in the shelter for they can learn that it is harmless. they are nervous because they are runners, they can be as paranoid as chicken little.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ducks are actually pretty intelligent. Runners are a very skittish breed though.

    Had they been outside before today?
     
  4. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They have been outside for a couple of months, just in an enclosed house with a roofed run. The only other ducks I have are Pekins and the difference in their personalities is just shocking to me. So okay, leave them closed in for a few days so they know where safety is.

    Good to know I don't just have an insane lot of runners, all runners are skittish and paranoid. Got it. I will say that to myself under my breath from now on when I am dealing with them so I can keep it in mind.

    Thank you so much!
     
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They were placed in a new environment and don't know what is what and what is or isn't safe. If the house is dark, put a light in so that they can see in there and it isn't a big, dark, scary hole.
    Runners are the easiest breed to herd. Moving them should not take much work as long as you go slow.
     
  6. BattelSyrup

    BattelSyrup Out Of The Brooder

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    We always have to herd our runners back into their chicken tractor at night. They don't automatically go back in and roost like chickens do. Chickens seek shelter; our runners do not.
     
  7. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ahhhh fantastic. I will get them a battery powered lantern at Big Lots tomorrow, maybe that will help them out. And herd them nightly! ^_^
     
  8. newfoundland

    newfoundland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our ducks are a combination of Aylesbury crosses, Campbells and Indian Runners. We secure them all away at night to prevent fox attacks and whilst the Ayleburys and Campbells will go into the houses when we clap our hands, the Indian Runners will scatter all over their pen. When you enter the pen though, to secure the ducks away, they do run into their little house. They are more skittish and it takes time to train them to your voice. Lovely ducks though.
     
  9. duckins

    duckins Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Runners are one of the best foraging but are skittish all ducks need to be approached calmly and gentle bc they get scared easily. This is a transition period new and scary to them plus they probably love being in pasture it's natural to them. Ducks are very smart but we have to act like their common sense guide for their safety sometimes. I found a routine is key for my flock so weather and life permitting we stick to same schedule everyday mine forage in morning and evening when they were young my first 3 drakes would stay out till it started to get dark we would herd them back to run encourage them to go into their house and lock run for the night. Now they do this own their own and they taught my hens the same routine but don't be surprised bc they will not stay in their house unlike chickens they don't roost in fact mine party all night and do most of their sleeping/napping during the day. Do they have access to swimming pool if well feathered and weather allows mine love a good swim after foraging before they go home for the night. Persistence and patience is a big key all ducks view us as enormous predators until their trust is gained. Good luck with your runners they'll come around.
     
  10. wildpeas

    wildpeas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, I don't know where you all get your runners but mine are the friendliest of my bunch and are the first to eat out of my hand when I find them worms. They even know their names and will come running when called. As to nighttime, I always put my ducks up in their house before dark with a pan of peas. They are usually inside or in front of their house before dusk waiting for dinner.
     

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