Indian Runner Ducks: Personality, Appearance, and Care Instructions
If you want to raise ducks, Indian Runner ducks may be the best breed for you. They come in a variety of colors, have a distinctive stature, and lay a large number of eggs each year.
Indian Runner Ducks are distinguished by their distinctive upright bodies. They also lay lovely pastel green eggs.
The Indian Runner Duck is an inquisitive breed that enjoys exploring. They are fascinating to watch as they forage for potential snacks. Their foraging abilities make them ideal for pest control.
These ducks need a lot of time with their owners, but they’re usually friendly and don’t get sick very often. So, if you’re looking for a fun, unusual duck breed, these could be the birds for you.
The History of the Indian Runner Duck
The Indian Runner Ducks are domesticated waterfowl that live in the East Indies. There’s no proof that they originally came from India. At the beginning of the 20th century, British breeders tried to find examples in the subcontinent, but they didn’t have much luck.
The name “Indian” may be made up, like the names of many other breeds of waterfowl brought to Europe and the United States. It may refer to a loading port or the East India Company sailing ships with “India-men” on board.
The African goose, the black East Indian duck, and the Muscovy duck are also goose and duck names that are wrong.
Indian Runner ducks are thought to be among the first domesticated ducks. Over 2,000 years ago, the breed was depicted in ancient hieroglyphics in Javan temples. Because of their tall stature, the ducks pictured are thought to be Indian runners.
These ducks most likely came from Indonesia in the 1800s. They were so great at eating pests in fields that keepers let them roam free all day.
Because they lay more eggs than most ducks, they were frequently crossbred with other ducks to create “designer breeds” that looked nice and laid a lot of eggs.
They were crossed so often with other breeds that purebred Indian Runners almost went extinct at one point.
Indian runners are now common domestic ducks. Large flocks of them are frequently kept for pest control and egg-laying purposes.
The most distinguishing feature of these ducks is that they stand upright like penguins. They have long, straight backs, and they hold their heads high in the air. Because of their shape, they’ve earned the moniker “bowling pin duck.”
Because their legs are farther back, these birds cannot waddle like other ducks. They can run fast, but their wings are too small to fly.
Size and Weight
Indians Runners are light ducks, but males are slightly heavier. Hens typically weigh between 3 and 4.5 pounds, while drakes typically weigh between 3.5 and 5 pounds.
Drakes are 26 to 32 inches tall, while hens are 24 to 28 inches tall.
Colors of the Indian Runner Duck
The majority of Indian Runner ducks are brown, but there are numerous color varieties you could end up with.
The following are the most common colors of this breed:
While fawn and white are the most common feather colors, blue Indian Runner ducks are a popular variety.
These birds’ skin is always pink beneath their feathers, no matter how dark they are.
Baby Indian Runner ducks resemble other ducklings. They have fuzzy feathers that are usually a yellow-brown mix.
Indian Runner ducks are known to be friendly and docile birds, but they can be wary of strangers.
These ducks will be less fearful and easier to train once they get to know someone. They require more human interaction than other breeds, or they may live their entire lives stressed and scared.
Because they need more hands-on care, they are not good for keepers who have a lot on their plates. You’ll need to spend time gaining their trust and entertaining them.
Hen vs. Drakes
Aside from drakes being larger than females, there are few significant differences between the sexes. Males’ tails typically have curly feathers, whereas females do not.
You can also tell the difference by the sounds they make. Hens make the classic quacking sound, whereas drakes make a softer, raspier sound.
These ducks make only a moderate amount of noise. The hens will quack quietly to each other all day, but it won’t cause much of a stir.
Drakes are even quieter because they make a low, raspy sound rather than quacking.
Brooding Indian Runner hens are extremely rare. If you want more ducks, you have to get the eggs right away and put them in an incubator. You also have to raise the eggs yourself to make sure they live.
Even if a hen acts broody around the eggs, she will be a terrible mother once the eggs hatch. So, if the female sits on the eggs, you’ll need to relocate the chicks to a safer location as soon as they hatch.
Are Indian Runner Ducks Friendly with other Animals?
Indian Runners can live with other ducks and chickens, but it’s important to choose the breeds carefully. To avoid fights, choose birds that are similar in size and temperament to the ducks.
Keep males out of the enclosure if you don’t intend to breed your birds.
Care Instructions for Indian Runner Ducks
Indian Runners are one-of-a-kind ducks that require special care. So, here are some pointers on how to care for them.
Ducks rarely overeat, so you can freely feed them. Adult ducks require a layer feed containing 15% to 19% protein. Ducklings will require a higher protein diet to support their growing bodies.
These ducks are excellent foragers. They can find nutrients by searching the ground around them, making them great pest controllers. Foraging food should be a supplement to, not a substitute for, their regular feed.
Ducks, like chickens, enjoy the freedom of movement. Free-ranging gives them more space to explore and reduces their stress levels. Allow your Indian Runner ducks some free-range time if you are comfortable with it. They will not flee as long as they have all of their basic needs close to the coop.
Indian Runner ducks live in groups of their own species, but they still require plenty of space to spread out and stretch their legs. Each duck should have between 4 and 6 square feet in the coop. If possible, more space is always preferable.
Outside the coop, each bird should have at least 10 to 25 square feet of space. They enjoy running around and foraging, so the more space they have to roam, the happier they will be. They prefer to forage as far away from their coop as possible.
A duck enclosure does not require roosts, whereas a chicken coop does. Indian runners do not sleep on roosts but rather huddle together on the coop floor.
Because these birds prefer to lay their eggs on the ground, nesting boxes are not required. Most ducks will lay their eggs in a corner with bedding.
Because ducks spend more time on the ground than chickens, make sure you change their bedding on a regular basis. Clean bedding will keep them comfortable and reduce the risk of disease transmission.
Indian Runner ducks thrive in all weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold. During the winter, they might lay fewer eggs, but they probably won’t stop at all.
Even though these ducks are tough, you should still take precautions in extreme temperatures. Make sure they have access to clean water, regardless of the weather. The coop should be well-ventilated as well.
The ducks should have plenty of shade in the summer. Depending on where you live, you might want to consider a coop heater in the winter.
These ducks don’t have many health issues. They’re tough birds that don’t get sick often and can survive in both hot and cold weather.
So, the only major health concern you may face is parasites. These ducks can get worms from contaminated food, water, or soil. Fortunately, veterinarians can provide deworming procedures to help your bird recover.
Some herbs, like oregano, honey, thyme, and garlic, can help prevent worms and other health problems, but they may not work as well as the medicine that a doctor prescribes.
Keeping the coop as clean as possible is the best way to avoid problems. Make sure the food and water are always fresh and keep any potentially harmful objects out of the enclosure.
If you have any concerns about your duck’s health, seek advice from a veterinarian. Before something goes wrong, it’s a good idea to become acquainted with people who specialize in bird care.
Production of Eggs
Indian Runner ducks lay more eggs than most chickens. They lay 5 to 6 eggs per week, for a total of 300 to 350 eggs per year.
The eggs of an Indian Runner duck are large and have a lovely pastel green color. The hens begin laying eggs as early as 4 months of age, but they do not establish a routine until they are 6 to 7 months old.
Many people prefer duck eggs to chicken eggs because they have a richer flavor that is better for baking. Furthermore, because they are larger than chicken eggs, you won’t need as many for a recipe.
If you raise these ducks, you can experiment with recipes that use duck eggs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Make sure you’ve done your homework before bringing some Indian Runner ducks home. Here are some frequently asked questions by new duck keepers:
How Long Do Indian Runner Ducks Live?
Indian Runner ducks typically live between 8 and 12 years, which is longer than the average duck. This range will change depending on the quality of care you provide.
Can Indian Runner Ducks Fly?
No way, these ducks can fly. They are unable to lift themselves off the ground due to their unusual body shapes and small wings.
What Sizes Do Indian Runner Ducks Come In?
Indian Runner ducks range in size from 24 to 32 inches. Because of their upright posture, they are taller than other duck breeds.
Where Can You Purchase Indian Runner Ducks?
Look for duck breeders who specialize in this breed near you. A good breeder should be well-versed in the needs and characteristics of Indian runners. To ensure that you’re buying healthy ducks, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
Are Indian Runner Ducks a Good Choice for You?
Indian Runner ducks are a great duck breed for beginners if you’re willing to put in the effort to earn their trust. Their distinct posture and high egg production set them apart from other ducks.
They even outperform most chickens when it comes to egg production, making them an excellent breed to consider.
Indian Runner ducks are thought to be among the first domesticated ducks. They lay more eggs than most ducks, so they were crossbred with other ducks to create “designer breeds.”
Large flocks of them are frequently kept for pest control and egg-laying purposes. The Indian Runner Duck was depicted in ancient Javan temples. Indian Runner ducks are friendly and docile birds, but they can be wary of strangers.
They require more human interaction than other breeds, or they may live their entire lives stressed and scared. There are few significant differences between the sexes. Hens make the classic quacking sound; drakes make a softer, raspier sound.
Free-ranging gives them more space to explore and reduces their stress levels. Adult ducks require a layer feed containing 15% to 19% protein.
Ducklings will require a higher protein diet to support their growing bodies. Indian runner ducks thrive in all weather conditions, including extreme heat and cold. Indian Runner ducks lay more eggs than most chickens.
If you have concerns about your duck’s health, seek advice from a veterinarian. Indian Runner ducks typically live between 8 and 12 years, which is longer than the average duck.
Because of their upright posture, they are taller than other duck breeds. Their distinct posture and high egg production set them apart from other ducks. They even outperform most chickens when it comes to egg production.