Update on my Psycho Runners

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Cottage Rose, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mid west Michigan
    Well nothing has changed so far. [​IMG]
    Not the least bit calmer.
    Although I don't have time
    to sit in their pen everyday, I have been walking slowly around
    them and tossing them treats.
    They will not touch their treats unless I'm out of sight.
    If I sit in their pen quietly they will huddle in the far corner of the pen as depicted in the first pic.
    They will not move away from the corner unless I leave their pen.
    If I move they panic/run as in the 2nd pic.
    I cannot get within 50 - 75 ft. of them without them becoming scared and running away.
    I can be 75 - 100 ft away from them and if they can see me they are on the alert.
    Not even my Muscovies and geese milling around me calmly changes their mind
    that I'm not the evil axe murderer.
    If loose in the barnyard they will actually run into the woods and hide until I leave.
    None of my other waterfowl have ever gone into the wood or even high grass that
    surrounds my waterfowl yard.
    I'm selling all but a trio if anybody has the time to tame these crazies down.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    [​IMG]

    Sorry I am laughing, but my runner was the least friendly creature I ever owned. SHe only got worse once she hatched out that clutch of babies. I found her a new home where her unfriendliness was actually as asset.
     
  3. duckyfromoz

    duckyfromoz Quackaholic

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    So sorry to hear that your Runners are not what you wanted...It hard to know when they are babies sitting on your lap enjoyong a beak rub exactly how they will end up. My adults will do a stampeded in the morning twhen let out of the night pens- but also come and eat out of my habds when they are out. I hope that reducing the numbers may make the remaining three a little more manageable for you.
     
  4. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    I think some ducks are people ducks and some ducks are just not. For instance, our 2 (remaining) Buff Orp ducks are terrified of people. They want NOTHING to do with us. Nevermind that we raised them from wee things. I can get closer to them than you and if you're lucky and you corner one you can pick it up and give it a bill rub and often times they realize "hey you ain't so baddd" but once they're back on the ground its all craziness and waddling. Our two new ducklings (both Buff Orps, but one is a drake) are friendly as can be. Easier to catch in the pen inside and don't peep/quack their freaking heads off when you get them. Oh well. So be it.
     
  5. CityChicker

    CityChicker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, now you know why they call them "Runners", LOL. They thought about calling them "Crazies", but thought "Runners" was a more marketable term. [​IMG]

    A group of ten Runners raised together has the potential for becoming exactly what yours are doing, unfortunately. Reducing them to just a trio should definitely help. If you want to keep just small numbers and have them be calmer like Scovies and your Geese, you pretty much just have to raise a few groups and select for the calmest personalities. It definitely can be done though! Don't give up on them. It seems like when you have a group that has one or two psycho-birds, they set the tone for the rest of the group. Like I said on your thread previously, I have a group of birds this year that are the same way. The couple crazy birds in the group have made the others afraid of the evil pea woman too (aka, yours truly), LOL. The birds raised the week before and the week after are perfectly lovely and calm.

    I would catch them one by one and take them out of sight of the others. Keep the ones that are the calmest when you have them alone. If you decide to increase your flock, do the same thing with your next group. I have done this over the years and a lot of my breeding groups of Runners are extremely calm and friendly. Some will literally jump in your lap. Good luck!
     
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    It seems like when you have a group that has one or two psycho-birds, they set the tone for the rest of the group.

    The trio of welsh harlequins I got as day olds from metzer are super friendly. I also raised a few in pairs. THOSE were friendly ducks. The 10 babies my runner hatched out learned from mom to spazz out when people got near. The one duck I have left from that clutch is slowly coming around without mom's bad influence [​IMG]
     
  7. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mid west Michigan
    Quote:I guess! SHEESH! [​IMG]
    I know ducks are food oriented and not people oriented.
    I wasn't expecting them to be like my geese but this is just plain NUTS!!!
    I did plan on doing the holding thing.
    In fact I already did that and could tell some were more calm.
     
  8. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
    Mid west Michigan
    Quote:The trio of welsh harlequins I got as day olds from metzer are super friendly. I also raised a few in pairs. THOSE were friendly ducks. The 10 babies my runner hatched out learned from mom to spazz out when people got near. The one duck I have left from that clutch is slowly coming around without mom's bad influence [​IMG]

    I have witnessed perfectly calm bonded to human goslings gradually get timid
    when put in with wild people fearing goslings.
    Its the pack mentality and sometimes no amount of desensitizing can make very timid birds calm.

    My Muscovies are as wild as March Hares when they hatch out even if they never see an adult duck
    and are totally hand raised by me.
    They never seem to bond to people but do calm down with age and never go through a psycho stage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010
  9. L0rraine

    L0rraine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure I made this suggestion earlier, but mine got much more tolerant of me when I only fed their crumbles food twice a day. Supposedly they only need what they can eat in ten minutes twice a day (otherwise they actually are over weight for Runners). Though they also need to be able to forage some during the day. After about a week of that, they started quacking and gathering a safe distance away (10 -15 feet) when it was clear I was going to feed and eventually would start eating out of the bowl as I was setting it down. Miss Mary actually started coming to the house and quacking for me twice a day when she thought it was time for them to be fed. I also started 'herding' them around the yard twice a day, when I thought they weren't wandering far enough away to get any exercise. At first it was a quick trek as they were at a dead run for most of it, but eventually when they learned the routine it was a much more leisurely walk (and some of our visiting friends actually thought they were walking with me - ha!)
     
  10. Cottage Rose

    Cottage Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mid west Michigan
    They are not fed free choice.
    I do feed them 2 x daily.
    I noticed they don't free range around and eat grass and bugs.
    They always stay in their pen even with the gate open
    and even if I don't feed them in the morning.
    Once my ducklings and goslings are well started
    and its grass and bug season I do this
    to encourage them to forage for their food.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2010

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