Questions about Runner Ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Sunny Side Up, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    142
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I would like to add about 5 Indian Runner Ducks to my flock which presently consists of 2 Pekin hens, 3 Khaki Campbell drakes and 13 KC hens. They spend their nights in smaller groups each to their own little duck house, and range the yard in different configurations during the day. Would some Runners fit well into this happy scheme?

    I would like to get 1 drake & 4 hens. I would also like to have one of each color, but what would result from hatching those eggs? Would it be better to get them all of one color? Or what would be the best color to have for the drake & which for the hens?

    Which hatchery have you used & been satisfied with? I'd like the best Runners, of course, at the best price, if possible. Some hatcheries charge a lot extra for shipping. I want to keep 5 for my flock but could order 10-15 and sell the extras.

    I think Runners look especially dear with their unique upright posture, plus I've heard they are pretty good layers. What have been your experiences with Runners?
     
  2. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

    5,583
    29
    241
    Jan 11, 2010
    Australia
    Runners are my favorite breed, and yes excellent layers. I have wanted them for years- but had trouble finding them at times here in Australia. None available when I had to room to house them. This year I rehomed a few pets to enable me to get them.

    I decided on Two colours- Harlequin and Cinnamon- but since hatching began- I have decided to keep a few others as well a blue dusky a white and possibly also a black and others. As far as what colours you purchase- It depends on what reasons you want them for- and what you intend to do with offspring. It may be easier to find homes for recognised colours. If you have each bird a different colour- you will have a wonderful assortment of coloured offspring, with too many different possibilities to list.
    I intend on penning mine separately next breeding season to ensure the Harlequins and Cinnamons breed true- but the others are for experimental colours so will all run together.
     
  3. rainplace

    rainplace Interstellar Duck Academy

    Runners will fit in great with your flock. You can go with all one color or you can get different colors and see what colors you get to hatch. Runners have so many interesting colors! Since it looks like you're wanting sexed birds of a limited quantity, then Metzers would be your best bet. If you can go with more birds and wait till their sex shows, I bet you'd be happier going with Holderreads since your runners will be more true to type coming from them.
     
  4. eggybritches

    eggybritches Chillin' With My Peeps

    288
    0
    119
    Sep 12, 2009
    Central Florida
    I have a brown male I may be interested in getting rid of, if you were seriously looking. For free if you pick him up. I don't know how far Loxahatchee is from Sarasota, but I suppose I could google it...

    He is king duck and bosses my dogs around, or I'd never consider getting rid of him. Such a sweet boy, but very dominant.

    [​IMG]

    They all have different personalities, just like people. I think they're the perfect breed, to be honest. I can't see why they wouldn't fit in wonderfully with your flock.
     
  5. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,228
    19
    181
    Mar 21, 2009
    Sunny Side Up- Runners usually do well in mixed flocks. For the number that you want, you could either get them from a private breeder or someone like Metzer's. Holderreads have some great Runners too, but you have to buy them as adults or buy ten ducklings.

    You can mix colors of Runners. If you don't mind getting a mix of colors and patterns, including lots of mismarked birds, you can run just about whatever together color wise. A lot of people seem to do that with Runners. If you want to breed for established colors (although some are non-standard), there are several colors you can breed together with good results. For example-

    1. Fawn and White, Pencilled, Blue Pencilled, Emery Pencilled
    2. Gray, Blue Fawn, Pastel, Saxony
    3. Black, Blue, Chocolate, Silver

    These are just a few examples. I am not sure what you are asking on the color of the drake, unless you mean that you want to do possibly do a sex-linked mating. If so, yes that is possible with Runners. The most common option for that would be a Chocolate drake to a Black Hen.
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    142
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Thank you all for the information. I'm not planning on doing any "serious" breeding with them, but would perhaps like to sell some of their eggs for hatching and didn't know if mixed colors would make ugly ducklings.

    I want to have 4 hens & 1 drake. I plan to order twice as many to make a minumum order of 10 & also to insure against any losses. I can sell the extras. I like having a mixed bouquet of birds and so am considering having one of each color, blue, black, chocolate, and fawn & white for the hens, and a fawn & white drake because that's our favorite color. How does that sound? Otherwise, I'll get them all in fawn & white.

    It seems that Metzger's & McMurray's both offer what I want, sexed ducklings with a minimum order of 10. I got my Khaki Campbells from McMurrays & have been very happy with them. The prices seem very close for both, does anyone have a preference between these two hatcheries?

    Edited to add, Holderreads doesn't offer sexed ducklings.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2010
  7. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,228
    19
    181
    Mar 21, 2009
    Yeah, that is too bad with Holderread's. They used to sell them sexed, but went away from doing that a few years ago. As far as the other two hatcheries, I have heard that Metzer's supplies for McMurrays but I don't know that for fact. Either way, I am sure you will be fine. I have actually seen some quite nice Runners from both and I have personally gotten several birds from Metzers and they have all been very healthy. [​IMG]
     
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    142
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Sexing ducklings is so easy that it just must be to the hatchery's advantage to sell only straight run. They must not want to be stuck with lots of leftover drakes. I think I'll check with both Metzger's & McMurray's to see when they could ship all the colors I want at once. I'd like to receive them in June or July, then I could show & sell off the extras as adults at our county Fair. There haven't been Runners shown there in several years or more, I think they would be a popular attraction.
     
  9. Duck_feeder

    Duck_feeder Drowning in feathers!

    519
    3
    131
    Oct 22, 2009
    Chicago
    Quote:That and the customer service headaches from people that don't understand that sexing isn't 100% accurate... I wouldn't want to have to explain to someone that I sent them a drake because he looked female when I vent sexed him and they'll need to wait a few weeks for the replacement duck (or next season) and I can't take the duck back so they need to rehome it themselves...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by