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Should I get Pekins or Runners?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by NHchicks, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Songster

    May 13, 2010
    I'm kind of stuck here. This will be my first go-round with ducks and I'm a little nervous. I already have chickens, but ducks will be a new adventure.

    Runners are really cute, but they look a little high strung. Pekins look pleasant, but I wonder if they might be too loud.

    The ducks would be free range with my chickens and would sleep in the coop at night. A pleasant disposition and not too too noisy would fit well here.

    Any thoughts on the differences between Runners and Pekins?

    Oh, and I'm getting ducks for slug control. They wouldn't be eaten and eggs would be great but not mandatory.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012

  2. Blondiega1

    Blondiega1 Songster

    Nov 5, 2010
    Dallas, Ga.
    I have 6 Pekins that I love dearly!
    The girls are loud but its been my experience that they quack far less than the boys.
    The girls make this squeaky peepy noise a lot but rarely quack.
    Now the boys quack a lot but are kind of mumbly and not very loud.

    That's just my 2 cents.
  3. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

    Sep 7, 2009
    Florida - Space Coast
    No one can tell you what duck is best for you. Figure out what you want ducks for. Eggs, meat, both, just pets? Runners are light weight, dont fly, high egg production and more nervous than other breeds. Pekins are large (heavy) breed of duck. All female ducks (except muscovy) are loud. Some like to talk all day long, but when the girls talk they are loud.
  4. duckiesrule

    duckiesrule In the Brooder

    May 20, 2012
    Western Massachusetts
    I have runners and I don't really see what people mean by high strung, but I have nothing to compare them to. My runners like to scavenge and spend a lot of their time going to and from their favorite spots around my yard. They also like to spend time in their pool. They will run from place to place sometimes, and when I first let them out of their house or pen they do tend to run across the yard while flapping their wings. They don't seem incredibly smart, especially when it comes to overhead predators. Mine tend to stand stock still and watch hawks fly over, they do not run for cover as I hear chickens do. They often have conversations amongst themselves, but these are not very loud. They will quack loudly when I leave them in their pen, but once they realize they'd like to be in their pool anyways, they quiet down. The more I spend time with my runners, the more they respond to human contact. My mother tends to pick one of our ducks up quite a bit, so that one is fine with human contact (her name is Spotty, despite all my efforts to name her Phyllis). Mary and Rhoda (Browny, ugh, why do I even try?) are less happy about being picked up, but there seems to be a strong correlation between giving attention and the ducks wanting attention. I don't know about Pekins, but runners are incredibly easy to herd. You can walk behind them with your arms out and they will go where you want.

    Sorry for the lack of organization, but those are some thoughts. My runners are almost 5 months old.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  5. ChristineR

    ChristineR Songster

    Jun 15, 2011
    WA state
    I have never had runners, but of all the duck breeds I have owned, Pekins are my favorite for pets! If that's all you want them for, I highly recommend. Mine have been mellow, not skittish, and friendly.
  6. fastrnrik

    fastrnrik In the Brooder

    Aug 13, 2012
    We have 23 ducks, several different breeds. Of that number 7 of them are pekins, and 2 of them are runners. We just keep our ducks as pets and to watch on our pond. Out of all the different ducks we have, the pekins are by far the funniest to watch and be around. Those little fat things make me laugh every day. The runners are pretty and fun to watch, but they don't seem to have as much personality. One of our pekin drakes is a crested with a huge white afro. We call him Puff Daddy or Puffy (like the rapper LOL). He is the most hilarious idiot of a duck ever! Our pekins have a big white Chinese goose that goes EVERYWHERE with them, it's funny how he herds them around. They're kind of a snobby group LOL, they don't socialize with the other ducks much. We have several much prettier ducks, but we love our pekins. Just my 2 cents.
  7. CalBells

    CalBells Songster

    Jun 3, 2012
    San Francisco East Bay
    Metzer farms has a breed comparison chart. http://www.metzerfarms.com/DuckBreedComparison.cfm?CustID=1147943 It lists Runners as "very good" foragers and Perkins as "Fair" foragers. Since you said you are getting the ducks for slug control, Runners might be a better choice.

    Of course I am biased as my 3 girls are Runners. We love them and they are very personable and friendly. One is a rescue and was not hand raised by us like the other 2 so she is a little shyer, but she will still eat out of our hands and hang out close to us whenever they are free ranging. They love to have us dig around for/with them and are either foraging, or swimming most of the day. We used to have a terrible slug problem, we couldn't get any seeds to sprout without them being chomped practically instantly. No sign of slugs since we got the girls! We've actually managed multiple crops of lettuce from seed, what a change!

  8. crissycriss

    crissycriss Songster

    Apr 8, 2012
    Heflin Alabama
    I love my Pekins. Never had any Runners.My female pekins are only loud when Im late letting them out in the mornings and when im running late feeding them or changing their pools.As long as i stay on track they're not loud at all. If i am they sure let me know about it. LOL!! ;)
  9. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Crowing

    Oct 24, 2009
    Both of these kinds of ducks can be loud at times.
    Why not mix the ducks - get some pekins and some runners?

    If you want quiet ducks the Muscoveys are the best and they only make quiet hissing and whistling sounds (they also don't need a pond and are happy with just a large tub of water to have a bath in.

    Whatever ducks you get make sure you only get one male (or no males) and the males are very aggressive to the ducks.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I have Runners, so of course I think they would be great!

    Mine are not particularly high strung. They are energetic and like to take walks, but they are not skittery. And they don't make much noise, it seems to me. They call for me sometimes, they chatter happily first thing in the morning. But if their needs are met, they are pretty quiet. We live on one acre in a suburban neighborhood. Houses are a few hundred feet apart.

    They are good layers. Right now we get just two or three eggs a day from nine runners, but this is about as slow as it gets. In a few months everyone will start laying again and we will have eight or nine eggs a day for a while, Lord willing.

    I would hesitate to mix Pekins and runners unless there are no drakes, or the only drakes are runners. Pekin drakes on runner females can be very bad (fatal).
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012

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