Thursday, September 22, 2005

Indian Runner Ducks

We ordered Indian Runner Ducks from a hatchery. I expected them to look like the pictures in the catalog.

Here is what they really look like:



Somewhat upright, especially compared to the Mallard, but not exactly the bowling-pin posture we were led to expect.

And I was a bit disappointed when the yellow fuzz of the Fawn and White ducklings gave way to the mishmash of colors that barely resembled the catalog drawings.



At least the black ducks' color was mostly correct.

Notice that the black duck in the foreground has a couple of white feathers though. I thought it was kind of cute when they first appeared. A black duck with a few stray "white hairs".

Now that they've molted, she can't seem to decide what color she wants to be.

37 comments:

Favorite Apron said...

Aren't ducks the funniest critters? We had khaki campbells for a while. They were wonderful forages and laid beautiful eggs.

Johnny C. said...

Ever see the episode of the Soprano's when Tony hangs out with the ducks in his pool?

Who knew Tony Soprano had a soft spot for animals?

Anonymous said...

Our family raised ducks when we were kids on a small farm with a spring fed creek. Did you know that ducks can drown? Yep! When the snapping turtles bite their feet off they sure can. Nature isn't always pretty. (Loved the deep purple flowers you posted.)

Ron said...

Yow! A tweed duck!

Jenn said...

A tweed duck!
LOL!!!
Thankyousomuch!

Rexroth's Daughter said...

I guess you can't return them and ask for the ones with the long necks or a refund!
They're still cute as can be. How are their eggs?

roger said...

back when i had animals, i found ducks to be very responsive to food training. they got quite tame and almost affectionate.

do runner ducks run?

yllstonewolf said...

sadie, my border collie, said she would love a dozen of these for her backyard. it would give her something important to do and she could give thaddeus, the fat orange tabby, a well deserved break!

Colleen said...

I've worked with Runner Ducks and before I even read your post, I thought they didn't look like pure Runner Ducks...they look like they were crossbred with Mallards! That's funny that we were on the same wavelength. Anyways, even though they are cute, if you're not satisfied, you should send them back or get your money back. Isn't that like false advertising or something?

Floridacracker said...

Don't you love the way a duck will cock his head and look you in the eye as if he's studying you? It's hard to be sad around ducks.
What a great personality le canard has.

swamp4me said...

Sorry, but those are some ugly ducks. ;)

Anonymous said...

I can certainly sympathize with you...my fawn & white runner ducks stopped holding their heads up this summer. McMurray poultry is not exactly show quality, I've found! My Golden Polish hen from them has great white feathers in her head tuft. My f&w runners are from Clearview, but my chocolate drake was bred from Holderread's ducks, and he's more upright. I also just got two more duck hens out of Holderread's stock and they are still standing tall. But the Holderread's birds are not as robust health-wise. And Dread Pirate Roberts, yes, they run! Especially when you are trying to lock them up in their house at night.

Rurality said...

I meant to write a comment to say that I ordered these from Ideal and not McMurray - but I can't link to their individual pages. I've heard that McMurray has the same problems though.

Anyway, yep they definitely run! They're pretty funny. Really hilarious when they were little.

Polly if Campbells will live at the pond we might want them. The runners don't want to have anything to do with ponds.

Johnny would you believe I've never seen the Sopranos? Need to rent the DVDs I guess.

Anon - I'm assuming those were baby ducks...? Ouchy. I have seen male mallards drown a female when they were too... frisky.

Tweed, right! Good description.

RD we don't like the smell of the eggs so we don't eat them. Jasmine was getting them for a while, but it gave her bad ideas about egg-stealing so we don't cook them for her anymore.

DPR these ducks are by no means affectionate. But they are funny. I like chickens 50 million times better though.

Anne they do herd very well!

Colleen I guess we've gotten used to them now... I wouldn't send them back, even though they're not my favorite critters.

FC I don't think these guys are smart enough to study anything...

Swampy they can't hold a candle to teals or pintails or even ringnecks... but they will go into a pen when you want them to. :)

Anon, one of these is the runt of the litter, and she is a lot more upright than the others. Now I'm wondering if she'll stay that way though!

The Whippy Curly Tails said...

Just a city girl here...I love these ducks....so pretty!

Love the tweed coloring!

=^..^=

cookie jill said...

Looks like you have too many ducks...I think you need to "adopt a chicken"

http://www.mailorderchickens.org/

I just thought of you when I stumbled across this...

I don't know why.... ;-)

Rhodent said...

I still think they are cute! I always love your pictures of your various critters and flora!

Maktaaq said...

I agree with Colleen: those are crossbred with something else. I went to the local agricultural fair on Labour Day and the Indian Runner Ducks (my favourites!) were pure bowling pin.

Lauren said...

i like your ducks, i like all ducks, but they are not indian runner ducks. they look like the same shape as my duck, he's a white campbell, but with shorter beaks maybe.

rubyfrute said...

Hi I am in New Zealand I got given a duck who seemed to have a weird stance and was huge compared to the common garden jobs we feed with the kids. I now realise that I have an indian runner she has loads of personality and thinks she is human. She is free range and likes to hang on the back porch and poop in my shoes. I am looking forward to her leaving the "ugly duckling stage" and getting all her feathers so far she has fawn black and white diamond designs on her wings and tail. No idea what colour though was told she had pretty white parents with black speckles. She finally gave the cat what-ho and is slowly giving the chickens the message that she will not be messed with, the goat ignores her completely and she quite likes the dog.She also enjoys bathing with my two year old and swimming in her paddling pool.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rurality said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rurality said...

I have deleted the last comment, and my reply to it, because neither was very polite.

Anyone is free to disagree with me, but since it's my blog I feel free to erase it if you're not being polite about it.

I realized that my reply was every bit as hostile and snotty as the original comment by "anonymous", so I erased that too. (The last "anonymous", not the delightful first and second ones.)

To the erased "anonymous": If you didn't intend to be hostile or snotty or basically call me an idiot, please feel free to try again when you're in a better mood.

Anonymous said...

I've noticed that some people say that ducks can't be affectionate...if they imprint on people, they are more loyal and affectionate than ducks.

www.thegoosesmother.com

Anonymous said...

Oops. I had ducks on the brain. lol. I meant they're more affectionate than dogs. :-) Everyone should be able to keep an indoor pet duck!

JEcklar said...

I know I'm coming to the party late (I found your post while searching for information on runner duck colors), but thought I could add a little.

While I agree that it looks like you've got runners mixed with Campbells, the "going tweed" effect is normal for genotypically black female runners. They all start out black, but the females tend to develop white speckling after their first year. If you're breeding, the whiter females tend to produce black offspring with more of a green sheen, while the females who stay blacker will produce offspring of a deeper black.

Enjoy them! I just hatched out ducklings from my runners -- the first I've hatched -- and I'm enjoying them immensely. They're a delight to have around!

Anonymous said...

someone anonymous said that everyone should be able to keep an indoor pet duck, but how do you house train them?
I've heard they can be house trained, but i don't know how.

Cat

Tailfeathers said...

Looks like this may be an old post but thought I'd leave this comment anyways as it will be helpful to anyone who may see it.

I've learned the hard way, if you want to know for sure what you're getting, and if you definitely want to ensure you get a purebred of a breed, then you do NOT want to buy from a hatchery.

I have been told by top breeders that hatcheries like Murray McMurray and such do not have their own chickens nor do they hatch their own eggs but rather buy eggs from others. So even they don't really know what they're getting.

If you're wanting a pure breed and if you want to know with certainty what you're getting, wise counsel would be to go to a reputable breeder.

Tiff said...

I have fallen on this page a few times trying to find info on training my indoor pair of runners and how to show them. If i could get any sites or tell hows that would be great. These cuties i try to hend tame alot they are still wee little babys and are so talkitive. One is yellow with slight brown face and the other grey. I don't know how to tell girl or boy nor colors. If any one could respond back send email to carneytiffany@yahoo.com Please and thank you.

Gabriel McGovern said...

My friends just got four runner duck chicks. They wanted the pompadour kind, but had to settle for ones with a more sensible hair style.

The chicks are cute overload... It will be interesting to see what color they turn.

Anonymous said...

my baby runners are a week old, and they keep sneezing but they look healthy and are very active...why are they sneezing???

Anonymous said...

Must be bird flu!

Lauren said...

Our strange neighbour bought all the remaining birds when a local domestic bird farm went under...
He didn't take care of them at all just dumped them and left them to survive in our combined back yards to our shock and dismay...!!!
The boyfriend and I took it upon ourselves to save them from the coyotes which kept picking them off and pen them somewhat in a large barn and paddock and have been feeding them now for months after getting advice from the local feed stores!

Anyways, one pair of the random birds was distinctly funny looking, tall and coke bottle like and ran around like crazy with his less tall, but similar mate...

I fell in LOVE with!!!!

Turns out they were two white and fawn indian runner ducks! One very nice looking drake one and the duck not quite as stereotypical quality.

I am currently looking for some of my own now!!!!
The neighbour took them away to a new location, but left us with the strangest odds and ends of birds....LOL...the poor guys who didn't make his KEEP list.
Some strange looking geese and some prehistoric looking ducks we nicknamed the "dino ducks"

Hahaha. They are all fun to take care of but I miss those goofy little bowling pins running around.

I am sorry to hear yours didn't turn out as expected, but thanks your story will keep me more careful with whom I contact to buy from!

:)

KnuttandKnott said...

Your local extension office may have sources for pure bred runners, breeders, poultry judges etc. The hatcheries mentioned do not provide pure bred poultry and I find their advertising misleading if not down right lies. lol Check online for heritage poultry breeders in your area. These breeders work diligently to maintain the integrity of the stock they raise. You may pay a higher price yet it is worth it.

Shanti Perez said...

Hello. I had a similar experience with my runners. I have four hens and a drake, plus two Cayuga females ordered from a hatchery. None of them meet the breed standard, but I am ok with this and was happy that they are healthy. For the upright, bowling pin runners I recommend Holderread's Waterfowl Farm. I notice, too, that my runners have the 45 degree angle body position of khaki Campbells, so they really look like khaki Campbells with runner coloring.

Anonymous said...

Hi I have a pure white runner duck, and he doesn't stand up right. not all the time if the runners you saw where at a show or on the web they more than likely have been trained to stand like that all the time. Some other good idea if there pure runners is the amount you paid a pure "show" runner is about $50, but even if there a mixed breed doesn't mean it's a bad thing if you got them as pets they'll be awesome and good company everyday and if you bought them for laying then the runner in them will still lay heaps of eggs

Cross breeds aren't necessarily a bad thing look at those little cross bred dogs that go for $1000's

and I think your ducks look cute as

Cheers

Anonymous said...

the indian runners can also stop stand so up right if there a bit fat, because there neck is sort of like a counter weight

:-)

Anonymous said...

I realize the post on here are very old, not sure why it is still listed or being used, but as for mixed breeding with Khaki Campbells, Indian Runners are where Campbell's come from. Just for anyone like myself looking for information in the more recent time and may find these post. Also, Indian Runners do not always stand upright, most are trained to do this for shows or they do so when frightened. Usually they walk in a more flat position. So I take that as your ducks may be very comfortable and feel secure not to be at alert attention. If you aren't planning to show them you can still enjoy their nature.