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Author Topic: Breeding runner ducks question  (Read 2393 times)

kipper

  • Joined May 2013
Breeding runner ducks question
« on: February 11, 2017, 08:09:49 am »
I bought 3 ducks and 1 drake last year and would love to breed them but unsure if I need an incubator or to put the eggs under a broody hen ?
I've had a look on the Internet and it looks like the runners don't go broody

Can anyone who's hatched eggs let me know the best way
Thanks

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Breeding runner ducks question
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2017, 08:35:33 am »
We've done both successfully. The tricky bit is having a broody hen at the right time, but if you do, why not?
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Breeding runner ducks question
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2017, 10:09:27 am »
I had 2 runner x ducks that hatched August 2015, both went broody last year within 4 weeks of each other and reared nearly 30 ducklings between them... :o  I can't be faffed with incubators and ducklings, they are messy animals and grow like weeds! Had a broody hen hatch out some ducklings on several occasions but they were never overly successful, maybe hatching 3 or 4 at a time. I think the hens don't get the right humidity that ducklings need towards the end- if you watch a broody duck she will bath herself 3 or 4 times a day towards the end of incubation just to get the humidity right. I let my ducks sit on large clutches of eggs thinking they wouldn't be very successful and we may end up with 40 or 50% hatch rate... one started out with 15 eggs and hatched and reared 12, the other started with 16 and hatched and reared 14  :roflanim:

madchickenlady

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Old Newton Suffolk
Re: Breeding runner ducks question
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2017, 10:44:50 am »
All my ducks have been hatched and reared by hens very successfully. I found the ducks are easily spooked off the nests and won't return. If they need moving for any reason, that's the end of that! I found hens to be more reliable and on the one occasion I needed to move the eggs to a different location my hen went right back to sitting. Of course different people have different experiences.
Heather

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Breeding runner ducks question
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2017, 02:47:32 pm »
All my ducks have been hatched and reared by hens very successfully. I found the ducks are easily spooked off the nests and won't return. If they need moving for any reason, that's the end of that! I found hens to be more reliable and on the one occasion I needed to move the eggs to a different location my hen went right back to sitting. Of course different people have different experiences.
I always left my ducks exactly where they decided to sit. The nests they make are pretty epic, more so than a chicken would ever make as she can spread herself over a large clutch of eggs quite easily, whereas a duck can't, and they are not impressed if you go anywhere near them. One of mine last year had to be pushed off her nest every other day to make sure she went to eat and drink. It wasn't so much that the hens did a bad job of rearing their ducklings- in fact both of these ducks that went broody were reared by a light sussex hen, but they just didn't seem to get the humidity right, and the extra week sitting seemed to take it out of them. The ducks came off their nests after the ducklings had hatched in remarkably good condition.

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: Breeding runner ducks question
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2017, 09:47:06 am »
I've had Indian Runners manage it all perfectly well on their own.  They didn't breed last year, possibly because they are getting a bit older. In previous years when they have it tends to be later on in the Summer, July/ August I suspect if you force the issue earlier on you are more susceptible to humidity problems.  They seem to need to feel even more secure than some other birds, consequently have sat right in the middle of a patch of stinging nettles, that sort of thing, rather than a broody box that you may feel is more secure.  So good ground cover and set up some potential nesting spots for them rather than assume they will find a corner of the duck house.

I've also had them successfully hatch under a broody hen.

kipper

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Breeding runner ducks question
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2017, 09:20:09 pm »
Thanks for all your replays
Think I will try a bit of both as I have 3 older silkie hens that go broody at the drop of a hat and know from the last few years they will sit ,hatched a goose 2 years ago and that was funny at 6 weeks old bigger than the foster mum ...lol    :&>

 

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