I’m so happy to say that my new gray Indian Runner girls have laid their first eggs! Woohoo!!!
Below is a little back story for you, so you’ll understand just how proud I am of these eggs:
Previously, I only had male Indian Runners, and well, they were getting a little lonely seeing all the other animals pairing up during breeding season. Naturally, I decided to play matchmaker and find the guys some mates.
So, I did an internet search for Runner eggs (actually, first I checked to see if famed waterfowl breeder Holderread still had gray Indian Runners, which also happens to be the stock my guys are from – they don’t), brushed off my trusty Brinsea incubator, and waited for said eggs to arrive (Indian Runners are probably one of the least common duck breeds in our area, especially good quality ones that stand straight and tall, so finding eggs locally did not happen). And when they failed to hatch, I tried again. And again. I mentioned in the post about hatching shipped eggs, that they’re a complete gamble and this story illustrates that point to a tee. Which brings us to this past Fall.
I decided to give up for the time being, and vowed to instead search for someone with ducklings or juveniles or an adult pair or anything remotely gray-Indian-Runnerish for sale in the Spring. And I took a much-needed break from hatching.
Then, a few months ago, I walked into the barn at the Paxton livestock auction and from across the room my eyes latched on to the prettiest sight I’ve ever seen. . . .Well, that may be taking it a little too far. Besides, I’m sure Bryony would beg to differ. Heck, even I would beg to differ (Humble, much? Not at all 😉 ) But it was a very welcome sight.
My jaw dropped, I let out an audible gasp, and I practically skipped over to stand in front of three tall, straight, bowling pin-like ducks. There in all their glory were three gray Indian Runners. Exactly what I had been trying in vain to hatch out for months, and it was that easy.
Actually, it wasn’t. After overhearing someone else in the crowd refer to my gorgeous, much-longed for birds as “The ugliest looking Mallards I’ve ever seen in my life,” I was sure we’d get them for a song. Not so. Someone else in the crowd must’ve known that they weren’t Mallards nor ugly, and well, a slight bidding war broke out. Don’t you just hate when that happens? *shakes head* But they came home with me 😉
Which brings us to the present. Eggs = Ducklings. And soon. . . . or just as soon as one of the incubators is empty (it is breeding season after all, and everything, or so it seems, is breeding – more on that later).
You may be wondering what will make their ducklings so special. After all, we hatch out ducklings every year. We even have some right now:
Aren’t they cute? 🙂 But I digress.
Indian Runners are special because there aren’t that many anymore, at least not good quality ones. They’re a breed that’s known for their upright stature; in fact, they sort of resemble a bowling pin. They lay boatloads (and I do mean that almost literally) of extra large green tinted rich eggs. Runners’ personalities tend to be a little goofy, although they can also be a little on the skittish side (as evidenced by my new ducks who head for the corner any time I come near). Altogether, they’re truly special birds.
See, there they are in the corner. Oh well, it’ll take time, but they’ll come around.