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Author Topic: Feeling very naive.....!  (Read 3146 times)


  • Joined Oct 2010
  • East Sussex
    • My Blog
Feeling very naive.....!
« on: March 23, 2011, 06:12:12 pm »
Hello my experienced forum friends!

I'd just like some advice from you if you wouldnt mind? I bought 3 Indian Runners (2 whites one is a drake - Abigail and Waldo and 1 apricot - Amelia) Ive had them for 3 weeks and bought them from a breeder where they have been raised in pens. Was told they were point of lay.

Brought them to their new home - big fenced off pond area, house etc. Was told they 'dont like water' but they are seriously never off the pond! Impossible to catch (though am looking at getting one serious net) and were v scared of me initially.

After a week the ducks starting greeting me of a morning, quacking away, being cheeky for food and Abigail then we think Amelia started using the house at night and laying some gorgeous eggs in the house. Abigail went a week laying each day, Amelia sort of every other day. Anyway, on Sunday morning there were FOUR eggs in the house!! Is this even possible? I took them and then that day decided to clean their house.

Anyway, they havent been back in their house since (straw still fresh) and their behaviour has changed - they have lost the trust we had built up and are clearly a bit agitated. I have found 1 egg - in a bank somewhere completely different to their usual areas. But I have evidence of magpies/jackdaws/crows taking the eggs too.

So I have no idea:
a) have I destroyed my ducks trust forever?
b) will they lay again?
c) what was with the four eggs?
d) Was Abigail 'nesting' (she wasn't sitting on the eggs)
e) Other than net the pond roof off, how can I deter these flippin magpies etc?

ANY help or advice would be MUCH appreciated. I love my runners and plan to get some more shortly, just wish they were happy and laying again!

twitter - @southscouse

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Feeling very naive.....!
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2011, 07:52:16 pm »
first of all, dont panic!
they will build their trust up again, and will lay again I'm certain

they may be traumatised by the magpies, which will make them scared with you too, and maybe something has been in the house that they dont like?
  where do you feed them?  you could maybe encourage into the house by placing the food closer & closer to the house each day & then inside?
  is the bedding material different?

if they are "POL" then they are still getting the hang of it (!) so egg lating may well be erratic for a while.
(It is with ours, and one still lays outside sometimes - like its taken her by surprise!)

as for deterring  magpies... I cant help - short of trapping or shooting them (which will scare the bejezzus out of your timid ducks!!)
ours are in a covered pen, mainly because of foxes & loose dogs, and they chose to sleep outside anyway.

good luck anyway
Little Blue

andrew ford

  • Joined Feb 2011
Re: Feeling very naive.....!
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2011, 08:08:03 pm »
is it a house speshally desighne for ducks as they get "clostrphobic" and dont like "pop" holes eather acording to a duck book mine have been much happer since i moved them to a bigger with a biggger door


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: Feeling very naive.....!
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2011, 08:17:40 pm »
Mine have a pop hole with no problems - but it is open all the time - I have a huge dog cage over it with a second door on it that I shut them in at night with.

My ducks are ALL timid - even the three I hatched in an incy, but it's because the dogs are alway running around I suspect.  Magpies are an absolute blooming pest, I often wish I had an air gun.  My cat sometimes helps keep the numbers down but only the unsuspecting young ones. mine are khaki Campbell/Swedish blue crosses and aren't laying yet after the winter.  My drake is bowing and squeaking and doing his stuff so hopefully it won't be long.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Oct 2010
  • East Sussex
    • My Blog
Re: Feeling very naive.....!
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 05:22:56 pm »
Thanks so much guys.

The house is a 'proper' duck house and yes, beddings still the same - just clean stuff! I found a broken egg this morning and saw a rook/raven/crow (one of those big black beggars anyway!) swooping into my ducks on my walk down to the pond our smallholding is about a 5min walk from house) scaring them into corner and then hopping about like he was searching for eggs. Grrrr!! Tried sending my 'trusty' labrador to scare him away but the dope was more interested in chasing rabbits..!!

Anyway, they seemed happier in themselves so I do hope the trust is coming back. I gave them a little treat of apples and pears (is this ok??) and they loved that. I thought I might get them in the house for the night but they are not there yet with that level of trust! A turkey farmer friend of ours suggested starving them of their morning feed then giving it to them in their house at 'bedtime' Not sure of the pros and cons of this...last thing I want is to attract night time rats but then if I got them shut in the rats couldn't get to them???

Sometimes I feel wayyyy out of my depth with the smallest things!!

As for the horrid bird pests - I'm seriously considering netting the area. I love my ducks too much to see them stressed by such things! Need to sell duck eggs to pay for it mind....start laying girls please!!

Oh and on just another note - how do I know my ducks are broody? I was told ducks can 'gather' eggs and sit on them - even cold eggs laid a day or so ago?? Is this true??

twitter - @southscouse


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Feeling very naive.....!
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 07:25:17 pm »
Yes, ducks can collect eggs in a nest till they have a few then sit on them.  Eggs can stay dormant for about 3 weeks.  But you would notice if one of your girls wasn't with the others and go looking for her. (In true Good Shepherd fashion   ;) ) Fruit is fine for a treat.  Mine love bread and buns too. 
I had my first two eggs this morning, and gave them to two Canadian girls who are over here on a 2 year visit - they came here to help clean out my duck and chicken sheds and did a great job of both that and motivating me!

Don't worry about being out of your depth, so long as your ducks aren't you'll survive ;) ;) ;)

And remember, the only daft question is the one that isn't asked! ;D
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Feeling very naive.....!
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2011, 07:04:00 pm »
my ducks have always been shy, even the hand reared ones.

you will find them going broody if they start laying in hidden places. we only ever had one broody duck in the house, after that they always wanted to do it outdoors, shame. we are hunting all summer for missing ducks and eggs...Make sure you find her stash before she wants to sit day and night ::) :&>
Annie, I'm glad yours only have started now as well, surely it was 4 weeks earlier last year! Bad winter I guess..

mine never want to eat much in the morning, go straight for the foraging on what is left of my lawn! Before they go to bed they have a big feed - daytime they wouldn't get much as the hens are into everything I put out within seconds.

The only thing to keep pest birds at bay is finding the eggs quickly!

After a few years I still have questions! Keep them coming!  :&>


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