Training Runner Ducklings

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Lighthear, May 18, 2011.

  1. Lighthear

    Lighthear In the Brooder

    Aug 30, 2010
    Elkhorn, WI
    Hi All,
    Well my first ever incubated hatch of Runner ducks was a success! I have 10 beautiful ducklings! Problem is my partner doesn't want to sell them on Craigs List, because he is concerned of who will buy them and how they will care for them. I have never had more than 3 ducks at once and now have a flock of 10 2 week old ducklings and 2 adults. Anyway my question is Can you train a Runner Duck? What I'm thinking of is can I train them to follow me from the barn to the outside pen or will I have to herd them to where I want them to go? I'm a little concerned about letting all 10 loose and once! On another note, any duck people in WI need a runner duck?[​IMG]

  2. NoseyChickens

    NoseyChickens Feathers On The Ground

    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern California
    If you walk slowly and calmly behind them it's pretty easy to herd them where you want them to go. It would be easier to start out using more than one person to herd at first. they like to stay together in a little pack all day. I used to have to herd mine into bed at night, now they just go on their own most days. It may take a couple of weeks, but they can learn.
  3. TeamChaos

    TeamChaos Songster

    Nov 8, 2009
    I have two runner ducks with my two toulouse goslings, and the poor little things seem so scared all the time! Depending on where you are in WI, I would actually be interested in a few more runners.
    So far mine follow me around the yard and would rather be shown where to go than picked up and moved. They are fascinating!
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Songster

    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Oh, yes, you can most definitely train them. In fact, if you follow the same routine every day they will very quickly learn the routine and you won't have to worry. Use treats--they are highly food motivated. [​IMG]

    In the parts of the world where Runners developed (India, among them, surprise! lol), traditionally they were used for pest management in rice paddies. Duck herders would lead them out to the rice paddies for the day and stick a flag in the ground. The ducks were trained to stay within sight of the flag. In the evening, the herders would return, pick up the flag, and lead the ducks back to their corral for the night.

    So it's definitely doable. However, they can get minds of their own, and if they don't want to be cooped up they can be a pain about it. Once they reach adulthood, I feed them ONLY in their pen at night, so by evening they are crowded around the door of the pen waiting to be let in for dinner. Of course, when they are younger they need more frequent feeding.

    Good luck and congrats! [​IMG]

  5. Jrvautour

    Jrvautour In the Brooder

    Apr 8, 2018
    I have three runner ducks that are 9 weeks old they have been in their "duck house" since they were one week old and I still need to catch them every night and put them back in before dark.they are still very timid and run from me. I really hope they chill out soon and learn to take them selves to their house. There is food and water in their house and every night they chow down . So they know it's in there . I give them treats but I still can't get them to like me lol
    I also raise chickens and they are so much easier to raise and train.
  6. jmoschner

    jmoschner Chirping

    May 2, 2018
    This seems relevant:

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