How Not to Train Indian Runner Ducks – Farm Fun Roundup

The huppy ducks, Indian runner ducks, train Indian runner ducks

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The hubby went away for a little over a week and that leaves me at home to care for the animals. Now that the goats have new homes it’s just the ducks and chickens which makes it easier on me when I am by myself. I will be the first to admit that when I don’t feel well it’s hard enough to care for me let alone a flock of animals. On the other hand it’s good sometimes because they motivate me to get outside when I otherwise might just wallow in my general miserableness. Today I am going to share a little lesson on how not to train Indian Runner ducks because somehow we have done a very poor job of it.

The huppy ducks, Indian runner ducks, train Indian runner ducks

Table of Contents

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Indian Runner Ducks

I shared on Facebook about losing the original Happy Ducks to what we suspect was a raccoon. It was very sad for us as we had never had a predator problem in our 10 years here. We ordered four new ducklings because I really do enjoy having ducks on the Farm. They are very entertaining.

The huppy ducks, Indian runner ducks, train Indian runner ducks

The new ducklings were raised a little differently than our first set; since it was a different time of year we didn’t have chicks so the ducklings were alone. Therefore they didn’t learn to go in and out every day like the chickens do.

To remind you, an Indian runner duck (learn more here) is a domestic duck that well, runs. They don’t tend to fly although they can for short distances rather like chickens do. They are popular as a backyard duck because they love to eat bugs. Watching them chase grasshoppers is one of my favorite summer activities.

The huppy ducks, Indian runner ducks, train Indian runner ducks

And, yes – my Indian runner ducks are very often in a row. It amuses me to no end that they usually are.

How not to Train Indian Runner Ducks

This leads me to the point of this tale. The care and feeding of Indian runner ducks. The ducks have a house where they sleep at night so they are safe from harm and out of the elements. This was the issue with the first set of ducks – they were refusing to go in at night because the females were sitting on eggs. We didn’t think too much about it because we had never had a predator problem and it was summer. Now we know better. So we make sure the ducks go in at night.

Except they don’t want to.

They want to sleep by their duck pond. Being wiser now the hubby goes out every night to get them into their house. Or I do when he is away and this is how it goes:

  1. Move the three chickens who refuse to roost in the chicken house out of the duck house and into the chicken house
  2. Remind the ducks that they are not going to sleep by their duck pond at which point they get in a row and start walking to their duck house, quietly quacking.
  3. Close the opening with the duck ramp because why would the ducks use the duck ramp to get in their duck house? Oh no! They want to go in the door. So the door is opened.
  4. Walk around the duck house 3 times before three of them hop in the door and quack, quack, quack at each other.
  5. Walk around the duck house one more time so the fourth duck can make sure there is nothing there to attack them. Then he hops in the door and they all quack mightily before settling down.

The huppy ducks, Indian runner ducks, train Indian runner ducks


You might say, “silly you!” Just stand there and wait for them to do their circuits. Why should you have to walk circuits around the duck house in the dark of night?

Good question.


I swear I live on the crazy farm.

So this is what I have been doing for the last 10 days or so while the hubby has been away. I will be more than happy to pass the duck duty back to him. If anyone can tell me why the ducks need three circuits of the duck house before they can go in I’d truly appreciate it.

The Happy Ducks in Their Adolescence 

To share the cute that is the Happy Ducks, I offer up this video of them on their first time out in the world when they initially discovered their pond. It helps to remind me that they are not all frustration and craziness.

No matter how much they drive me batty I am very happy to have them on the Farm. I do suppose doing circuits around the duck house is one way to get my exercise. Does that mean I have to thank them?


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