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Securing Your Indian Runner Duck Brooder
Despite being cute and fluffy upon their arrival, Indian Runner Ducklings can be crafty, smart little things capable of finding cracks and crevices to wiggle through to run for freedom like little escaped convicts. While allowing your ducklings to get some exercise is definitely good for their development, keeping your ducklings in a secure location is paramount to ensuring their survival.
Short of having a broody hen or mother duck to sit and chase down your ducklings, you’ll have to be as crafty as the ducklings in order to make sure they stay put until they are large enough to roam with more freedom.
This can be done by keeping them in a cage or a room with a water-resistant floor. As Indian Runner Ducklings love splashing and going back and forth from their watering bowls like any other duckling.
Bedding For Indian Runner Duckling Brooding Nest
Using a bedding that is high in carbon will not only be an excellent choice for absorbing the ducklings watery excrements, but may become another source for the ducklings to forage for food.
Aged tree chips and chopped leaves make excellent options for duckling bedding, retain warmth well, and are compostable.
Keeping Your Indian Runner Ducklings Warm
Of course, the most natural way of keeping ducklings warm is to allow their mother to heat them. Except that Indian Runner Ducks are a bit notorious for making poor mothers to their ducklings. No worries, there are multiple options for supplementing a duck mom’s warmth for your Indian Runner Ducklings.
Allowing A Hen Or Broody Duck (Of a Different Species) To “Adopt” Your Indian Runner Ducklings
As a practitioner of permaculture, I believe in the “less is more” option when it is available. That’s less work for you, more warmth–and an increased chance of survival– for your Indian Runner Ducklings.
Having a “mother duck” around allows for another living creature to tend to the ducklings around the clock, being a constant source of heat, rounding up stray ducklings.
Purchasing and Using a Heat Lamp For Chicks & Ducklings
A popular and affordable option for those who don’t have a mother duck on hand. This also allows a good light source for the ducklings and a non-moving source of heat, which allows the ducklings to adjust themselves to their own comfort towards or away from the heat source as they need.
Repurposing A Portable Heater To Keep Your Indian Runner Ducklings Warm
Waste not, want not.
I believe the blowing of warm air on the Indian Runner Ducks not only serves the purpose of keeping them warm, but simulates an outdoor breeze, sweeping away any odors in your duck brooding nest and bringing fresh air to your ducklings. If you intend to keep a bowl of water large enough for your Indian Runner Ducklings to swim in, this is also a good option for helping the ducklings to dry themselves off after each swim to ward off any potential chill.
Providing Water For Your Indian Runner Ducklings
Though many caution against having a water source large enough for new ducklings to swim in due to the threat of them becoming chilled and perishing from… having a large source of water can be an ever-present source of food for your ducklings and allow them to keep themselves a lot cleaner than they could if they were kept dry.
It seems a bit unnatural for ducklings to be raised without a large body of water and for those who are intending on raising their Indian Runner Ducks with an outdoor pond, having daily practice with swimming and foraging for food in their water helps ease the adjustment from the ducklings going from indoors to outdoors.