Do Indian Runner Ducks eat slugs? Do they make good backyard pets?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by jadeflower999, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. jadeflower999

    jadeflower999 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Vancouver, Washington

    I just love the look of Indian Runner Ducks and was wanting to get a couple for my backyard. I live in town with about a quarter acre backyard and have 2 chickens (hens) back there already. I was hoping to find a duck that enjoys slugs as I've heard ducks will eat slugs. Does anyone know if these do? What are their personalities compared to other ducks? I've had ducks in the past but never runners. Do you guys/gals think these make good backyard pets? Or would I be better with another breed like Muscovy or Peking?

    Thank you for any input on Runner Ducks!!!

  2. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    southern AL
    If you want them for slug control, I'd go with boys. 1/4 acre for girls with runners - your neighbors could get annoyed if the girls are quacking up a storm. Boys I hear are quieter. So if you have the chickens for eggs already, I'd go with boys for runners. Pretty sure they will eat slugs - they seem to eat anything here that fits in their mouths. Not sure if I've noticed them eat a slug, but I'm sure they would.

    I have 3 runner girls and one of them is out chasing flies today. I enjoy them. They are friendly and when they want something, they are LOUD mouths.
  3. DuckyMom

    DuckyMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2010
    Upstate NY
    Hahaha Runner's are wonderful. They make great pets and are so sweet and loveable! I dont think the gender makes a huge diffrence besides the quacking. Like all male ducks they can't quack. Luckily duck quack's dont really carry and our neighbors (live right next to their pen) can't even hear them! The quacking isn't always a bad thing. They almst act as feathered "Watch Dogs" They alert us when ever anyone come onto the property. (not to mention we enjoy the daily eggs!)
    Runners make lovley foragers and will eat slugs and snails and any exposed worms or beetles. they even will take care of the littler weeds. (Warning: They will also eat all baby plants and any tomatoes or strawberries that you grow. [​IMG] )
    Our girls are friendly and kids love them! they come running to the side of the pen quacking and wagling their tail feathers and arent satasfied until they've been snuggled and pet!
    I've heard many times that runners are nervous but found that when properly treated they are extremely friendly. My runners are "lap ducks"! I'm training them for Pet Assisted Therapy!
    I could go on for hours with stories about my babies! But for the sake of brevity I'm just going to stop here!
    Good Luck!
  4. Wokawidget

    Wokawidget Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2009
    I pretty mcuh agree with what's been said above.
    I am in a similar situation as yourself.
    I had a handful of chickens and an english white campbell, and just like you I loved runners.
    I got a 2 week old appleyard runner....she's now 8 months old.

    She's constantly under my feet and if you do gardening she can be a pain as she's always in the way [​IMG]
    Compared to the Campbell she is loud. Quacks at people walking into the garden, quacks at birds of prey, quacks when dinner time is 30mins late...and chases rats on the odd occasions we see one, which is funny to watch.

    On Monday I forgot to lock my 2 ducks up and my Campbell almost became a dead duck after a cat attack. The runner ran the entire length of my garden to my back door and went WAK WAK...Boggling is in toruble..WAK WAK...end of the garden...WAK WAK...she's being attacked...WAK WAK. Because of her my campbell survived. My GF no longer has any issues with her quaxking [​IMG]

    She's also very good with the chickens and people.


    PS ...and yes...all ducks like slugs. Mine keep going until their beaks are stuck shut with slime, then they go in search of water...EUGH for me...yum yum for them. Ducks will eat everything and anything...if it fits in their beaks and is remotely food like then it's game. This includes pretty much all plants and small animals.
  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    ditto on the slugs and the wonderfulness of runners! I agree if noise is a big concern, drakes are something to consider. Get a few, they love duck company and can pine away without it.
  6. sayyadina

    sayyadina Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2009
    Mine aren't really that loud. They'll start quacking when they hear people coming, gates opening, or occasionally for no reason, but its not that loud and doesn't last very long. I have 5 female runners, 5 male runners, 3 female harlequins and 2 male harlequins, plus 2 geese. The geese are louder than the ducks. However, they have a pretty big house with their own yard and get free run of some of our pastures during the day during the fall, spring & summer. We get way too much snow to let them roam at this time of year!

    Runners are very good for eating slugs, which is why I have mine.
  7. crj

    crj Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    I have runners ducks and I absolutely love them. I have never seen a slug in my yard so I couldn't tell you. They will eat anything tough. I have 2 girls and they are loud..... lol. Especially when they don't get what they want or want attention. My 3 boys are much quieter. They are forever whispering..... haha.

    My ducks are the nervous type. Even there off spring are nervous and I even handled them, did the ....... shoot, can't think of it now....... you know, when they hatch. I don't know how this hatch will react. Time will tell. They are great though and tons of entertainment. Get them, you will be glad you did. If you are in southeastern NC I have a bunch of boys that need new homes...... lol.
  8. jadeflower999

    jadeflower999 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Vancouver, Washington
    Thank you so much everyone for your responses! The noise is something for me to think about (darn neighbors!) But maybe I will think about drakes... I just have to get some Runner Ducks:)
  9. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    You do! You do! And it can be tough to find a home for drakes, so having your own slug management crew would be wonderful! Did I mention that they can be very sweet, if raised up right?

    And nothing beats the look on a runner's face when he or she is happy to see you!
  10. andalusn

    andalusn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    Ridgefield, WA
    My son used to pick up slugs and fill a bucket and then sit and give them to the ducks as treats. Gobbled them all up [​IMG] Main reason I have chickens is bug control.

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