Our happy ducks lay healthy eggs!
Runner ducks have been a favorite on our farm. We owned them back in the 80's and enjoyed them very much. All these years later we are still enjoying the egg production, bug control and ease of care for these funny birds. They are easily excitable in groups but can be wonderful pets and get along with other breeds very well.
This dark blue drake in back with these 2 hens are part of one of my breeding pens. They produced the girl below.
The molting blue Runner gal looks pitiful next to the well feathered other ones but while she wasn't laying I added a nice stocky fawn and white Runner with my dark blue drake to produce good farm ducks like the drake below. He will be a new breeder in 2013 with his own pen of girls.
The fawn and white girl on the left is pretty but I like the drake on the right. He will be a nice addition to my Runners. Not so slender as to be fragile and not so bulky as to hurt the garden plants. Runners are fabulous to place in the garden. They seldom bother fruits or veggies and are most terrific for getting all the pesky bugs.
The young drake stands tall and enjoys the attentions of the young ladies. Here you see one of the girls bobbing her head, trying to get his attention and let him know she is available. The other two blue splash ladies look on for their chance to catch his attentions.
One of the breeding pens for 2013 will have these lovely ladies in black, silver and blue splash with the dark blue Runner drake. I love the colors that come from the crosses.
They look so ragged when molting but soon grow out a beautiful new finish that is a lovely sight to behold!
The dark blue drake on the far right ran with all these girls for a short while in 2012 but will have only a few select girls in 2013. You can see the fawn and white lady is shorter and stockier. She has been a great farm duck with a lot of sense so I bred her for colored kids and had fantastic results.
Mr Handsome is still on the farm, though he is master of the free range flock for now and not in breeding. He is a nice fella and I will keep him around in case I need to breed out.
I call this a silver, though she is young in this photo. She may just be a light blue splash but I have blue splash that are much darker.
I let these free range for a long while. They are just so good around the farm and eat so much less grain when they are able to forage.
Some of my Runners are kept for breeding because they make good setters and mothers. That is something bred out of Runners quite often. I don't want them constantly broody like my Muscovy but an occasional setter is great!
Runner babies stand straight up. Too adorable!
Look to the sky! Ducks will turn their head sideways in order to see what evil may be planning an attack from the sky. Mine like to watch airplanes go over or check out buzzards circling above.
I call this a blue fawn. He is an offspring of my dark blue drake and the fawn/white hen. I love his coloring and his sturdy body. He will be in breeding this year and I will sell eggs from his pen. I plan to put him with fawn/white hens as well as a few blues. His name is Talisman.