Normally when you get ducks, many of them are not that distinct from one another. They are still ducks, at heart. The Indian Runner duck is different. Yes. It is a duck, but it is not the same as your typical duck. The movement is different. The way it stands is different. If you want something unique and in the same time a prolific egg layer, then the Indian Runner duck is probably that.
Let’s take a look in a bit more depth, shell we?
Indian Runner Duck Facts at a Glance
|Eggs||300-350 eggs per year|
|Egg Shell Color||Greenish|
|Temperament||Friendly and docile|
|Weight||Male: 3.5–5.1 lb (1.6–2.3 kg)|
Female: 3.1–4.4 lb (1.4–2.0 kg)
|Country of origin||Indonesia|
|Admitted to APA||1898|
The Origins of the Runner Duck
Despite the name, it is unlikely that the Indian Runner duck comes from India. It, instead, comes from the East Indies. It is likely that the British created the breed. The name, as with most things at the time, would have come from how it was shipped.
It is likely that the duck was named after the East India Company.
We know that the Indian Runner duck was active in Europe throughout the 1800s, and due to the high egg production, it was an incredibly popular breed.
The Indian Runner Duck actually changed the face of duck breeding in the United Kingdom and Europe. Before this duck, most people wanted something that they could eat.
They didn’t care how it looked. The Indian Runner duck, however, was a stunning looking breed, and it produced a huge number of eggs too.
It is unknown how many of this duck breed are in existence right now, particularly in the United States. However, it is likely that it is not on the verge of dying out. In recent years, there seems to have been somewhat of a revival of the breed, which means that it is likely going to be sticking around for a long time.
The Look of the Duck
As we said before, this is a unique duck breed. It is part of the reason why it was successful.
If you look at this duck, you will notice that it walks upright. They have a tall, thin and upright stature, this is the reason why some people have compared the way in which the Indian Runner looks to that of a penguin.
In the past they were also called the “Penguin Duck”.
The name has to come from somewhere too, right? Yep! This duck is known for its ability to run. Most other duck breeds will waddle, but the Indian Runner will just dart across the land. It is quite a sight to see if you are used to other duck breeds.
This was the very first official ‘light duck’ breed. The males cap out at a little over 5 lb, and the females at around the 4 lb mark.
Indian Runner Duck Colors
There are 8 recognized color varieties of the Indian Runner duck:
- Cumberland Blue
- Fawn & White
The Fawn-White Runner duck was the first variety admitted to the APA in 1898.
Indian Runner Duck Eggs
If you want a productive duck, prolific layer outperforming many chickens, then this breed is for you. The Indian Runner duck can lay between 300 and 350 eggs per year.
Yep. You read that right. This duck lays almost 1 egg per day.
They are not going to be the biggest eggs in the world but, for those that love duck eggs, you aren’t going to be getting any better than an Indian Runner. In the past, it was one of the main reasons why people raised this duck. They simply wanted the Indian Runner eggs.
Due to the number of eggs that the Runner duck lays, you will be able to enjoy a duck that is easy to breed. It sits well, and it has a high fertilization rate.
However, as with all birds that you would raise on your homestead, it is important that you put the ducks in an incubator and a brooder if you want to be able to raise ducklings properly.
As a Meat Duck
This is one of the smallest duck breeds, so it is on the lighter side of things. However, with the ease of breeding and the fact that it has a good feed to meat conversion ratio, it is a pretty decent meat duck breed.
You could easily raise dozens of these upon your homestead and you will have a regular source of meat and eggs. It is a wonder that this duck breed isn’t more popular, to be honest with you.
Raising the Indian Runner Ducks
One of the true joys of owning an Indian Runner duck is that it is a quiet breed. It is not dead silent, but for those that live in a slightly more built-up area, then this duck is probably going to be a good breed for you.
Many people ask how long do Indian runner ducks live? Well, the lifespan of the Indian Runner duck is 5 to 10 years in the wild, but longer in captivity.
Nowadays, if people are raising the Indian Runner duck, it is likely that they are using it as a show duck. Ever since it was introduced to the United Kingdom, it has been heavily featured in shows. How could it not be? It looks amazing!
Even if you do not take the duck to shows, it is going to be one of the most unique looking duck breeds that you can have running around (quite literally!) which makes it a fantastic ornamental duck breed.
It is worth noting that the lighter nature of this breed means that it is a good flyer. So, if you are going to be raising this duck breed, then you will need to make sure that it is in a secure location.
You will also have to clip the wings otherwise it will fly off. If you go around some duck-heavy places in the United States, you will often find wild Indian Runner ducks that have escaped.
Remember, since this is a breed that loves to run, you will need to have a lot of space for it to roam around. You can’t just keep it cooped up all the time. It wouldn’t have an enjoyable life, and that egg production will plummet.
On the other hand, the Runner dicks are known by often dropping their eggs wherever they are at the moment. This means that you will need to keep them in the coop overnight, otherwise the eggs will be eaten by predators.
While this isn’t really a breed that is known for bonding with its owners, it is a good, friendly bird that won’t cause you many issues. It doesn’t really fight with other breeds of duck too, which means that you can keep a good number of them in the same location.
Finally, make sure that you are not pairing up males and females unless you are breeding them. The high rate of egg-laying and no breeding season means that you will be rolling in ducklings in no time if you do not have some sort of control over your breeding program.
Indian Runner Duck for Sale
You might be lucky enough to live near a local hatchery where you can find Indian Runner ducks for sale, just make sure that you purchase from a reputable chicken breeders.
Otherwise, here are some reputable hatcheries where you can find Indian Runner ducks for sale (they ship nationwide):
The general cost per Indian Runner duckling ranges from $4-$6 for males and $10+ for females. Unsexed ducklings usually range less.