Will Indian runners come home after a day of foraging and roaming?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Susan Hillside, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Susan Hillside

    Susan Hillside Chirping

    Mar 3, 2013
    Suttons Bay, Michigan
    Hello folks,

    I’m new to BYC. I keep a flock of 15 hens and 1 rooster. I’m thinking of adding 4-8 Indian Runners this spring. I have 2 acres of land but a hundred or more adjacent acres of orchard which belongs to my neighbors. My first concern is the roaming; through my research I know they love to roam. How do I get them to come back home at night? Should I feed them first thing in the morning and then feed them in the evening back in the chicken house? Can I train them to come home like that? I plan to have them share my chicken house with the 16 chickens, I think there is enough room. My chickens put themselves away at night and all I do is close the door. Will ducks put themselves away like that? Thanks for your help.

    Susan Odom
    Suttons Bay, Michigan

  2. mominoz

    mominoz Songster

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    They learn a routine pretty quick, keep them in their outdoor home for a while, then start letting them out in day and feed at night in their pen. Use a call word when you feed, I say "dinner, bedtime", or a whistle whatever to associate. If you do not have them in a 'dogproof ' daytime area, you probably will lose them to dogs or coyotes. Mine are turned out in an 1/2 acre, but have another 10 acres that's fenced , I may turn out in. My Saxony went a whole couple hundred feet looking for bugs. After the initial bug chase in the morning , my runners settle down in the sun or shade in a group and rest, then they have 2 more bug chases and swim sessions usually. If the 60 or so buzzards are circling they tend to skitter under some trees....Occasionally there is one idiot off by herself.....
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  3. Nyssa03

    Nyssa03 Chirping

    Welcome to BYC - We have runners and they "herd" themselves very well. It's amazing to me how well they put themselves to bed at night - I just walk out the back door and say time for bed girls and they start circling towards their house. When the weather is better they have a much bigger area and after a few explorations generally come back to close to the gate area (nearer their house) to rest. They are facinating little ducks - I hope you enjoy them.
  4. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I agree.

    They need to be trained where home is. You do run the risk of losing them to predators. My muscovy put themselves up but not until almost complete dark, unlike the chickens who go in before dusk. My muscovy typically don't roam that far, even when they had access to 10 acres. Often they are sleeping in the run (40'x50' with an opening where they can go out to forage). They go out to forage a few times a day on their own.

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