The Indian Runner first appeared in this country around 1850 when a sea captain brought some to Whitehaven in Cumbria. They are believed to originate from India though some references state Malaya as its source. The ‘runner’ aspect comes about exactly as would be expected, they run and don’t waddle like most other ducks, with a upright posture and manner of movement not dissimilar to that of a penguin. They are also flightless so there is no requirement to clip or pinion the birds to keep them within their enclosure.
Indian Runners are egg laying ducks with good strains laying in excess of 220 eggs a year, in fact many hold them to be the principal egg laying pure duck breed. They are a sociable breed and providing there are enough ducks to go around, drakes will happily cohabit in the same flock. Weighing only 4lbs they do not consume as much food as larger laying ducks and are considerably skilled foragers who, given a large enough range, will seek out all manner of tit-bits.
They come in a wide variety of colours too, from the original Mallard colouring, through blacks, whites and fawns to more exotic colours such as chocolate and lavender.
They are relatively easy to incubate but do grow at a significantly faster rate than chicks. The below sequence of pictures shows the same flock as they grow.
Sexing the ducks on sight at this age is not simple for the untrained eye as the distinctive tail curl of the males is not yet present. Its far easier to sex on sound. The ducks “Quack”, the drakes making a rasping noise.
Fantastic birds to keep & work with, so if you have space and fancy a few ducks then they don’t come much easier or productive than the Indian Runner.