Is it safe? (Indian Runners)

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by wafflechicken, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2012
    I have 5 Indian runners that are almost 6 weeks old. For the last 10 days or so they have been in the coop with a courtyard that they can go into during the day but no further. At least 2 of them really REALLY want to start foraging but I'm a bit nervous about letting them out.

    Right about dusk when I let the chickens in the coop I find that the Indian Runners are already bedded down in their corner. Every night without fail.

    How likely are they to go bed down in the coop like this if I set them free from their courtyard during the day?

    I have scovies that refuse to go in the coop but they're much more able to take care of themselves with regards to predators. I fear the runners would just be snacks so I'm afraid to set them free during the day.

    Is it safe yet to let them roam during the day? Or should I give them more time in the coop/courtyard setup?

    Edit:

    Oh and if it makes any difference, while they spent their first 4 weeks in the house they never actually really warmed up to people. Given that most of my flock is pastured during the day having skittish birds is actually a benefit. Unless they don't see the coop as their safe spot then evenings are going to make cat herding look like preschool games.

    the dang things are fast and move like fish in a school!
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  2. thomassio

    thomassio Out Of The Brooder

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    I only have three runners, about the same age. I let the free range in the garden. To start with I had to herd them into the coop but after just a couple of weeks they now take thenselves to bed on their own as soon as the light begins to fade.
     
  3. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    The only problem I see is them saying [if they could talk] and they'd sound like kids." It's not fair If the Scovy's get to stay out so should we."
     
  4. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Ha! That's exactly what I'm worried about because I can already hear them saying it in my head!

    They two groups don't seem to mix though.

    So far...

    I guess there's no good way to find out but to try it.
     
  5. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    Yep
     
  6. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, so far (2 nights) they do seem to be going back in the coop.

    Though last night they seemed to want to swim more than go inside. Not entirely sure what got them out of the pond so I could herd them in the coop.

    I will say these things are the most skittish birds EVER.

    And yet the most hilarious. They remind me of nothing more than the Finding Nemo "Mine Mine Mine" seagulls. They talk constantly and that's all they seem to say (though it sounds less assertive when the scovies and geese teach them what "mine" really means in this area)
     
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I like how they all move as one. I hope to have some Runners one day. If your feeding them close to the coop that may help with incentive too. and a kiddy pool close by it too.
     
  8. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Well the pond is no farther away than I could put a kiddy pool and SO MUCH more enticing.

    And the little jerks decided they wanted to try their luck outside last night. They stayed in the water but by the scovies - the two don't even like each other!

    BUT - I had been leaving the feeder down the coop so they would associate that with food. Now it will only be down when I walk out there. Hopefully they'll learn that if they want to eat they'll go in the dang coop when I want them to.

    On the upside, everyone survived last night. I mentioned to a (city) friend "well I hope they all live" and her reply was "That's less fun or funny when it's a legitimate fear, isn't it".

    Yes, yes it is. But they're all still around. So far.

    Now I have to try to get them to like the coop again.
     
  9. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I had a feeling you were going to have problems with these delinquents when they didn't see the Scovy's going in for the night. Hope you can change their minds. [​IMG]
     
  10. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    I suspected as much, too. But I'm ever (and stupidly) the optimist. The scovies are totally evil (but I will never love anything else as much as a scovy duck - as badly as they influence and harass everyone else)
     

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