Temperaments: SQ Runners vs. Hatchery Runners

Cottage Rose

12 Years
Jun 24, 2008
Mid west Michigan
I've been wanting Runners for a long time now and might order some next Spring.
I was talking to a friend last night who says she found the hatchery Runners she got from Metzers while not as typey had much better personailties and were more calm than some she got from show bloodlines which were hyper ditz-balls.
Your advice and where would you recommend purchasing them from. Thanks for any help.


11 Years
Dec 7, 2008
western PA
I have both hatchery Runners and also a pair of exhibition Runners from Holderreads.
I find very little difference in the behaviors of these two types.
True Runners are already a somewhat nervous, or should I say 'more active,' type of duck. My Runners will always move when I come towards them keeping a safe distance between them and me.
What you will notice should you buy exhibition quality birds is the physical or structural difference from the hatchery Runner.
Exhibition birds are VERY tall and thin and virtually walk upright like a wine bottle on legs. Hatchery birds have heavier bodies, shorter necks and carry themselves in a less formal manner.
The bottom line is what you want to do with your birds. If you're looking to show or breed for high-quality offspring, then the exhibition or show bird is the way to go. If not, spare yourself the expense and just enjoy hatchery birds.

I bought my exhibition birds from Holderreads and this is their web address: http://www.holderreadfarm.com/
also bought an adult pair so that I was guaranteed a particular looking bird. They only ship adults in the cooler months through fall and winter.
If you purchase ducklings from them, while less expensive, you will be buying birds that can only be assessed as ducklings and not guaranteed show quality.

Good luck on whatever you decide!
Last edited:


Interstellar Duck Academy
10 Years
Jun 23, 2009
Northwestern Washington
My hatchery birds are awesome and have tons of personality. The SQ trio I bought from Holderread are a lot more stand offish. At this point I'm putting it down to them being adults when I bought them instead of raising them from ducklings.

Willowbrook nailed it on the head when she talked about the physical and structural differences. The difference is like night and day. I bought runners to look like the standard, not realizing that hatchery birds could look so unrunnery. I'm quite pleased with the looks of my SQ stock.

This spring I'll be able to answer this question more fully when I have babies from them.


10 Years
Mar 21, 2009
I really think that temperament is in part inherited and one bloodline may be calmer than another. My Fawn and White Runners came from Holderread's and they were some of the sweetest ducks you have ever seen. They did not mind being picked up and held hardly at all. Particularly impressive because I got them in a group of about 30 birds.

I also have right now a White Runner and a Blue Fawn Runner that someone bred from Holderread's birds and their personality is very similar- extremely calm and love human attention. I have also had the reverse experience with some breeds. I really think it just depends on the bloodline and probably multiple other factors.


Enslaved by Indoor Ducks
11 Years
Nov 20, 2008
Chicago, IL
i think it has a lot more to do with how you raise them as well. If they imprint on humans, and are handled A LOT as babies, they tend to be less spastic... My runners are indoor house pets and are handled a lot everyday and are very sweet. They beg to be pet and one of them enjoys being hugged and cuddled (if you stop petting him, he'll bite your hand to "remind" you to keep petting him).

When my ducks were babies, they lived in separate plastic totes that were near each other. They weren't allow to snuggle together, but they could "talk" to each other. They also had mirrors in their homes. I would only recommend doing this if you can devote a lot of time to them, as they will cry and get lonely.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom