Indian Runners; how do we control egg laying?

by Glenn Butterfield
(Clatskanie, OR USA)

We love our Runners. Very entertaining, excellent pets. The eggs are wonderful. But, how do we get them to lay in the same place each day? It seems the only time they do is when desiring to brood.

The one brood we did allow brought 8 little ones (7 lived). The mother was an excellent parent. I tried to see what sex each was, a couple of days after hatching. She just about took my hand off, and let me know that I had better keep my distance. I did!

Hi Glen, I guess you have learned that momma ducks are very protective over their young!

Ducks are notorious for laying wherever they please. Some like to choose a few favorite spots in the garden and will go back to these time and again, while others will choose any old spot.

This then becomes an issue for those who allow ducks to free-range all the time.

Ducks like to feel protected when they lay their eggs most of the time. Therefore they will look for a spot that is usually protected from at least one side and also has some form of covering from above.

I suggest that you keep your ducks in a duck house and provide them with nesting boxes for them to use and lining them with straw. Place the nesting boxes in a protected area of the duck house, preferably in a corner so that they have that protection from the back and side wall.

You could also try adding a dummy egg in each nest to encourage your Indian runners to use the nesting boxes.

Keep your ducks in the duck house overnight until about 10:00 a.m. each day before letting them out. Although most ducks lay before 8:00 a.m. there are always those that fall outside of the norm. And even containing your ducks until 10 doesn't guarantee that you won't find the odd egg around from time to time, but it certainly will minimize the problem.

By keeping them confined like this for a period of the day you have more of a chance of having eggs you can get to, rather than finding them in long grass, under bushes or sheets of wood or iron leaning up against barns or the homestead.


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Oct 26, 2012
Getting Ducks into the Duck House
by: Steve

That is good advice.
One extra thing you can do is to train them to go into the duck house by giving them a little food in the evening. We use leftover rice and salad scraps. That way you don't have to chase them all over the place trying to get them in.

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