Aussies Living Simply

Indian Runner Ducks

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    How many people keep Indian Runner ducks? Are they fairly
    easy for a beginner? We’re looking into them, but can’t find any info
    on how they go with natural ponds/streams (are they destructive? Should
    they be kept away from our little creek?)

    Still looking at potential livestock for when we move.


    Hi Ashilleong.  I’ve had Indian Runners in the past – we kept them in the back yard of our 840m2 suburban block.  They were quite low maintenance – they had a small fibreglass pond approx. 1.5m2 and 50cm deep.  Ours free-ranged the entire yard during the day and were locked into a smaller pen at night for safety from foxes.  They were quite vocal in the morning when they wanted to be let out!  The biggest maintenance points were the regular changing of their foul smelling water – once a week for our 2 ducks and it needed the ‘solids’ scooped out too.  Much easier if you were on a property though, and could simply tip it out and give it a good squirt (as we do on our farm now).  They also did a LOT of poo and as they were quite friendly spent much of their time on the back door step POOING!  They weren’t destructive with their webbed feet like chicken can be with their scratching.  They did have favourite veggies they liked to eat though (like my pea shoots!!), so it’s worth fencing parts of your veggie garden if you don’t want them eaten.  Ours made a good breeding pair and had some gorgeous ducklings without any fuss or bother.  We were novices and learnt as we went along.  We now have muscovies which I love and they are also very low maintenance.  Muscovies don’t need as much water as Indian Runner ducks and although they’ll have a swim, they aren’t desperate for it like runner ducks are.


    Thank you! Did you eat any of the duck eggs?

    We’re hopefully going to free-range the ducks and chickens as much as possible, building a pen for night times. We have a creek and small dam on the block and George had worried that ducks could be destructive.

    I have heard that ducks are little poo machines 🙂

    Why did you end up changing from Runners to Muscovies?


    yes, I did and do eat duck eggs.  Also sell them to people at work.  They have a greater ratio of yolk in the eggs, which is richer/creamier/thicker.  I haven’t noticed any difference in taste though.  They make great cakes, but also very lovely creamy scrambled eggs when mixed with hen eggs, and amazing mayonnaise.


    We switched to muscovies as we also wanted them for meat and they are meant to be amazing meat – apparently quite like veal and not as fatty or gamey.  They are also prolific egg layers and good mothers.  They don’t need as much access to water (less demand on water and less cleaning) and they are good foragers, so will eat more of our wild grasses, millipedes etc.


    I don’t think they’d be destructive per se in your creek, but they would eat ANY small organisms that live in it – small bugs, frogs, little fish etc.  they may turn over the pebbles in your creek with their bills looking for them too.  And they could dirty up your creek with their poo pretty quickly unless it’s running more often than not.


    We have indian runners and find them very easy, we had close to 20 at one stage and they free range on an acre. We did lose a few last year to a fox! Seems they prefer them to chooks! However they don’t fly so can be easily penned off or restricted. We have a little pond and a bath tub but they don’t seem to mind as long as they have a big bucket of water to wash their whole faces in. I really like them and plan to put some eggs under a broody.


    Excellent. We’re adding them to the list!


    Muscovies sound the go for us.

    Sorry to butt into the thread, we’re looking at possibly getting ducks. Meat and Eggs.  We have a massive chook pen, gate at both ends.  I was thinking of splitting it in half and having ducks in the other end and free ranging them through the day.  Couple things, we have a small farm dam quite close, so how do we get them back in the pen at night. The chooks just put them selves away (we let them out for about 4 hrs a day)and we go lock the gate at dusk. No foxes yet but we have had a Quoll take a couple chooks !  What do you feed them ? 
     water to drink ? 

    Water, I was trying to find a small kiddies wading pool, and say 6 ducks ?

    Hi Trandto,

    Muscovy ducks are great dual purpose birds and can be extremely self sufficient if they have access to pasture.  They are often used in food security projects in developing nations as they can forage for 100% of their food, lay a decent amount of large eggs, go broody, hatch eggs with no assistance and grow reasonably large reasonably fast.  Muscovy ducks can eat nothing but grass and still put on weight, no other domestic breed can do this.

    I wrote a bit about them on an old thread

    If I can help let me know.


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