runner drakes

Discussion in 'Waterfowl' started by 224, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. 224

    224 New Member

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    Im thinking about getting some runner drakes but i have a few questions can any one help please

    Do they need a pond or small patch off water
    Do they make much noise
    And can they run with chickens
    Thanks
     
  2. Bird_slave

    Bird_slave Junior Member

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    I keep my runner ducks (& other waterfowl) seperate from my chickens, but only because that works for me and my situation. You have to consider that ducks like water much more than chickens do and it's not really good health-wise for chickens to be exposed to so much mud...and with any breed of duck there will be mud.
    My runners, call ducks and geese have a couple of kiddie pools for their swimming water. My call ducks have a totally seperate one because I keep them in their own enclosure within the yard during the day, but when first let out in the morning my tiny call duck pair invade the big pool and chase all the other ducks out for a bit. My runner drake is terrified of my much smaller call drake.
    We have two ponds on our property, but the smaller one closer to our house is in need of repair. I won't take the waterfowl to the larger one because it is full of snapping turtles and I don't want my ducks to end up missing feet.
    You can keep them without swimming water, using only buckets and bowls for them to rinse their faces and especially their nostrils in, but they really do seem to fare better with swimming water; their overall feather condition looks better too.
    In most breeds of ducks, the drake is nearly silent; making only a quiet hissing noise. My runner hens aren't too noisy, unless they get very excited about something. I do have one runner hen that is quite vocal about voicing her displeasure about things. Next to my geese, the nosiest bird on this farm would have to be my teeny, tiny call duck hen. I call her the Mouth of the South.
    All in all, I'd say they are no nosier than my chicken hens and in some ways quieter - at least my duck hens aren't singing the egg song every time an egg is laid.