Raising Runner Ducks

Runner ducks are flightless ducks that are slender in stature and stand very upright on their feet. They run instead of waddle and enjoy swimming as much as other ducks. It is fairly easy to tell the gender of adult runner ducks, males have a more curled tail and they don't quack.


We recently got 3 baby runner ducks from a family member. The two dark colored ones were 2 days old and the light colored one had just hatched that morning. I am absolutely in love with them already. They have changed so much in this first week, I can hardly believe it.

We were told to make sure that they learned how to drink by dipping their bills into a dish of water a few times a day but we found that the older ones had already figured it out and the little one learned from them on the first day. :)

A few days ago we bought them a much bigger water dish (a large plastic plant saucer) so that they could play and drink in it. They were so excited and ran circles around the brooder box and through the dish for a good 10 minutes.

The food dispenser that we used for our chicks a few years back works really well for them too. It helps reduce spillage and waste, as well as keep them from pooping in the food.

They are easy to care for, although it is even more necessary to change their bedding daily because of the water mess that they make. They grow much more quickly than chicks so we will need a large space for them soon. But for now a large plastic tub, covered with chicken wire, and a heating lamp is all that they need. As with any backyard fowl that you raise from babies, the more you handle them, the more social they will be with you.

The kids are really enjoying our new additions. Our teenage son even set up a baby monitor so he can listen to them in his bedroom. If you decide to get some, I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

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I can't believe that they are already 2 weeks old. They are huge! This week I let them play in the bathtub which they really enjoyed. Its a bit messy but clean up is quite easy because of the drain. Then I sanitized the tub afterward.

Our Runner Ducks (Week 2)

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We officially have grown up ducks. There are little to no baby feathers on any of them, although the dark one has a funny little mohawk of baby feathers running down its neck still. They seem to have settled into their new home.

Our Runner Ducks (Weeks 7 and 8)

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Our runner ducks don't shy away from any type of weather. I always worry about them when the weather gets yucky. We had a surprised snow storm this week and I wanted to see what they were up to. As I walked into the yard, they ran up to greet me and tell me all about the snow. :) They loved it!

Runner Ducks in the Snow

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Our ducks are getting bigger and stinkier by the day! They are definitely outgrowing the pen in the garage and will be moving outside very soon. They really need more space and a bigger pool of water to play in.

Runner Ducks Weeks 4 and 5

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I wanted to make sure that they had a chance to play in the water, but since they were still in their brooder box I needed a small "pond". I went to Lowe's and bought a plastic paint roller tray. It holds a good amount of water and has a natural ramp built in. :) They loved it!

Tiny Swimming Pool for Baby Ducks

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The main event this week was moving day! We purchased a large dog run at Costco and are working on modifying it so that it protects them from predators. We placed the placed the dog run on pavers, in part to level the area and to help with predators.

Our Runner Ducks (Week 6)

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Our ducks are officially grown up. They always greet me when I come through the fence with non-stop quacking. The lightest colored one is very clearly a crossbreed, although it tries very hard to fit in. :)

Our Runner Ducks (All Grown Up)

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Our runner ducks are now 3 weeks old and have grown up so much. They seem to get taller by the minute and have distinct personalities. I am totally in love, which is good because they are ridiculously stinky!

Runner Ducks (Week 3)

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I have runner ducks and we have a batch of 4 eggs. I've checked and they're fertilised and marked them. They should have be hatched by now. But she is very aggressive towards anyone who goes near, so I'm not able to check without upsetting her. So as she is sitting on them I've left her alone, but today I found one of the eggs broken and discarded to the side of the nest.

I can't see any ducklings or hear anything over her hissing. She lifted up slightly as I approached and I got a glimpse of eggs still under her. Will she have the duckling under her or has she killed it and if so what do I do now. I don't want to lose them all.


August 10, 20190 found this helpful

There are a lot of unknowns here--like are these ducks you are raising or is this a situation in the wild. Are they inside/outside/in a protected area or out in the open?

So my general advice is that it is best to just let nature take its course. It is possible the baby hatched and did not make it or the mom disposed of it because it was not viable, or was taken by a predator.

Your best bet is to keep the family safe and block predators as best you can and see what happens if it is outside. If it is inside, just leave them be.

Also if this is out in the wild, you could always call your local bird refuge/wildlife refuge and ask for help.

We have some good ones where I am and they will take eggs and hatch them safely if they are viable and then release them when they are ready. They usually only do this when the situation is considered dangerous.

If you purchased the ducks to raise, you could always contact the place you bought them for guidance.

Post back with an update. Prayers for good outcomes!

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August 10, 20190 found this helpful

You cannot do anything. If a predator came she will end up abandoning all the eggs. Leave her and the eggs alone and hope for the best. Good luck.

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