Worried about missing Runners.

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Christine Robins, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Christine Robins

    Christine Robins Hatching

    Nov 25, 2008
    Corvallis, OR
    Yesterday I bought my first ducks--2 adult Ancovas and 2 adult Runners.

    The Ancovas are fine--they've spent all their time in conversation with the Ancova flock across the street. But the Runners (both females) have been hiding out somewhere. Yesterday they spent all afternoon behind some bushes on our 1-acre property. (Almost all our land is open field.) We finally tracked them down and herded them into the duck coop.

    Today I haven't seen them since I let them out this morning. I've searched everywhere for hours. I doubt they've gone anywhere, since our entire property is surrounded by a chain-link fence.

    I certainly don't want them exposed to predators at night.

    Any suggestions?
  2. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Wow, I hope nothings happened to them. From my understanding runners are pretty loud, so you should be able to hear them. I noticed you are offline already, so I hope they turned up. Probably be better to keep them penned up for a week or two so they don't forget where home is.
  3. Smartie_Pants

    Smartie_Pants Songster

    Oct 5, 2008
    Madisonville, KY
    They are actually called Ancona's.

    I would pen the runners up for a week or so. That way they can get used to their new environment and learn that everything is okay, but you won't have to worry about them running away or getting lost.
  4. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member Premium Member 11 Years

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    Quote:Great advice! Ducks have to be taught a routine. Once established they will remind YOU what the routine is! [​IMG]

    They are probably scared with the change in their lives. They are hiding out and laying low. I would go find them and make them go in.

    Good luck and we really do need pics!
  5. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    I hope they show up safe and sound, Runners tend to do that. My two Hershey and Twinkie will find a nice safe spot to hang out and then turn up at dinner acting like I was the one missing.
  6. Lophura

    Lophura Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    Holden, Missouri
    Quote:Have they showed up yet?? Probably not what you want to hear, I let some free range and they seemed to be the perfect size (and shape) for the Red-tails and Great Horned Owls to pick off without a trace. I would find reminants either under a pole or tall tree several yards away from our property.

    Best of luck in your search, they are cool ducks and one of my favorite domestics.

  7. Christine Robins

    Christine Robins Hatching

    Nov 25, 2008
    Corvallis, OR
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions.

    Writerofwords, you predicted correctly--just as it was getting pretty dark, the AWOL birds suddenly appeared and raced back to the pen area! We guess they had been hiding in a big pile of leaves underneath a tree. The tree is only a few dozen feet from where their coop is. But being pretty much the same color as the leaves, they were wonderfully camouflaged.

    (The Anconas went back into the coop all by themselves at dusk--maybe the Runners got the idea from them that it was bedtime.)

    Anyway, the first item on my agenda today is to get some plastic fencing at Home Depot and create a much smaller foraging area--about 50' by 50', and to keep my eye on them. Once they all settle down, I plan to create movable pens around the border of the garden for slug-foraging.


    1. Will the Runners eventually flock together with the Anconas? (The Anconas seem quite content to spend the whole day watching their breed-mates across the street.)

    2. I had the idea to fasten some kind of brightly-colored "collar" around their necks to make them easier to find. Has anyone ever tried this with brown ducks?

    3. So far, none of the 4 ducks shows any sign of eating the feed I've put out for them (Purina "Flock Raiser"). I've tried throwing some to them when they were outside, but they've ignored it. Should I just give them time to recognize it as food on their own?

    I'm finding my new birds adorable and fascinating, but also dumb as a doorknob! It's been quite an adventure so far!

    Thanks again for your help,


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: