Indian Runner Duck: Eggs, Personality, Appearance, and Care Tips

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The distinctive and endearing Indian Runner duck breed is distinguished by its erect stance and penguin-like gait. They run or trot, not waddle, which is how they got their name! These colorful, energetic ducks are available in a range of stunning hues, such as penciled, black, chocolate, and fawn and white.

They are rather quiet and simple to take care of, and they lay an amazing 350 greenish-blue eggs a year. Despite their body shape making them poor fliers, Indian Runners are gregarious and amusing birds who are wonderful complements to garden flocks.

Size and Weight

Indian Runner Duck Size and Weight

Indians Males are somewhat heavier than females, although runners are light ducks. Drakes weigh 3.5 to 5 pounds, while hens weigh 3 to 4.5 pounds.

Drakes are 26 to 32 inches tall, while hens are 24 to 28 inches.

Indian Runner Duck Colors

Most Indian Runner ducks are a shade of brown, but there are many color varieties you could end up with.

Here are the common colors of this breed:

  • Fawn
  • White
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Gray
  • Buff
  • Chocolate
  • Green

Indian Runner ducks are available in several appealing hues, but the most popular colors are fawn and white.

These birds always have pink underneath the skin, regardless of how black their feathers are.

Indian Runner ducklings resemble other ducklings in appearance. Their feathers are fluffy and typically have a yellow-brown coloration.

Males vs. Females

There aren’t many notable distinctions between the sexes other than the fact that males are larger than females. Typically, females lack the curled feathers on their tails whereas males have.

Additionally, you can distinguish between the two by their respective noises. Drakes produce a softer, raspier sound than hens, which makes the classic quacking sound.

Indian Runner Duck Overview

TypeLight Utility
WeightMale: 2-3 lbs, Female: 1.5-2.5 lbs
TemperamentActive, friendly, curious
Egg ProductionUp to 350 greenish-blue eggs per year
Climate ToleranceAdaptable, but prefers warm weather
Special TraitsUpright posture, penguin-like walk, good egg layer
Lifespan8-12 years

Indian Runner Duck Physical Attributes

  • These ducks are noticeably upright, much like penguins.
  • An Indian Runner duck’s body has a cylindrical form. Compared to all other duck breeds, the duck’s legs are situated significantly further back on the body. These ducks can sprint, not simply waddle, because of the way their bodies are shaped and where their legs are placed.
  • Indian Runner ducks have wedge-shaped heads. Their eyes are high on the skull, and their bills are very straight.
  • Indian Runner ducks have much shorter tails than several other popular domestic duck breeds.
  • Indian Runners are around 20 to 26 inches tall from the base of their tails to the top of their heads.
  • Male mature drakes typically weigh three and a half to just over five pounds.
  • The typical weight range for adult female Indian Runner ducks is just over three pounds to slightly over four pounds.
  • More colors are available in this kind of farmed duck than in any other. Indian Runner ducks come in a variety of hues, the most popular ones being chocolate, black, white, blue, light brown, dark brown, and a somewhat brown green.

Indian Runner Duck History

  • Talk about the 200-year history of Indian Runner Ducks.
  • Mention how their unique body style is reflected in the sculptures found in old Javan temples.
  • Describe their 18th-century voyage from the Indonesian islands to Europe.

They were frequently crossed with other ducks to produce “designer breeds” that looked well and laid a lot of eggs since they could lay eggs better than most other ducks. At one point, purebred Indian Runners were on the verge of extinction due to their frequent breeding with other breeds.

Indian Runners are once again common household ducks nowadays. Large flocks are frequently kept with them to manage pests and lay eggs.

Meat Production

  • Indicate that Indian Runner Ducks are a type of farmed duck that is classified as light.
  • Draw attention to their excellent taste and high meat-to-bone ratio—they’re sometimes compared to wild ducks.
  • A mature hen or drake can feed two persons, and Indian Runner Ducks typically have low-fat content.

Egg Production

  • Give details about egg production, saying that each Indian Runner Duck lays between 300 and 350 eggs a year.
  • Mention that the chickens lay large eggs that weigh between 2.8 and 3 ounces and that the eggs are colored blue and white.
  • Keep in mind that, in contrast to other kinds, Indian Runner Ducks do not long to be in the water while they reproduce.

Because duck eggs have a deeper flavor and work better in baking than chicken eggs, many people choose them over the latter. Moreover, since they’re bigger than chicken eggs, a dish won’t require as many of them.

You can attempt several dishes that are better with duck eggs if you raise these ducks.

Husbandry Facts

When discussing the facts related to husbandry, mention that Indian Runner Ducks do not want to forage near their coop. Mention how noisy they are and how much more room they require to walk about. Emphasize that Indian Runner Ducks are resilient, resistant to illness, and suited for a range of climates.

Foraging and Swimming

Talk about how Indian Runner Ducks forage, highlighting how they are voracious foraging when given the freedom to move about.
Mention how much they like swimming and how elegant they are in the water.

Cross-Breeding and Almost Extinction

Describe how widespread interbreeding led to the nearly extinction of Indian Runner Ducks in the sixteenth century.
Bring up their role in the development of other duck breeds, such as the Khaki Campbell and Buff Orpington.

Indian Runner Duck Temperament

Despite their reputation as calm, amiable birds, Indian Runner ducks can be wary of outsiders.

These ducks will be simpler to teach and less wary if they get to know someone. Compared to other breeds, they need more human connection to avoid living a life filled with stress and fear.

They need more hands-on care, therefore keepers with hectic schedules are not the best fit for them. You’ll have to invest time in earning their confidence and providing them with entertainment.

Noise Levels

The noise level of these ducks is barely average. Throughout the day, the chickens will softly quack among themselves, but this should not be a problem.

The drakes don’t quack; instead, they produce a low, scratchy sound, which makes them even silent.

Indian Runner chickens rarely go broody. To increase the number of ducks you breed, you will need to immediately collect the eggs, place them in an incubator, and tend to them personally.


A hen will not make a good mother after the eggs hatch, even if she seems broody around them. Therefore, as soon as the chicks hatch, you must relocate them to a safer location if the female does, in the extremely unusual event that she sits on the eggs.

Do They Get Along with Other Animals?

Other types of ducks and chickens can coexist with Indian Runners, but you’ll need to be selective about the varieties you choose. To prevent battles, choose birds that are around the same size and disposition as the ducks.

Males should not be allowed inside the enclosure if you do not intend to breed your birds.

Health Issues and Care

  • Talk about typical health problems, with an emphasis on worm infestation.
  • Encourage frequent deworming of both young and adult ducks.
  • Provide advice on how to avoid parasites by dusting the ducks with a handmade therapeutic herb ball recipe.

There aren’t many health issues with these ducks. They are resilient birds that thrive in both hot and cold climates and hardly become sick.

Thus, parasites are the only major health issue you may have to cope with. By coming into contact with tainted food, water, or dirt, these ducks might contract worms. Fortunately, deworming treatments are available from veterinarians to help your bird recover.

Certain herbs—like oregano, honey, thyme, and garlic—can aid in the prevention of worms and other health issues, but their efficacy may be inferior to that of prescription drugs.

Maintaining a spotless coop is the best defense against problems. Ensure that the water and food are constantly fresh, and take out any dangerous items from the enclosure.

The greatest advice to follow if you’re worried about your duck’s health is to speak with a veterinarian. It’s a good idea to become acquainted with avian veterinarians in advance of any problems.

Indian Runner Duck Breed – Behavioral Traits

Indian Runner ducks are an intriguing breed with distinctive physical attributes and intriguing behavioral features. Below is a summary of what to anticipate:

Active and Energetic:

Runners are gregarious birds that are often moving and searching for food. Their name comes from the fact that they frequently run or trot around since they like exploring their environment.
They perform best in bigger cages with access to outside spaces, where they have lots of room to move about.

Friendly and Social:

Runners are inquisitive, gregarious birds who love interacting with people and other animals. They are affectionate toward their flock mates and respond well to gentle handling.
They may, however, initially be shy or tense, particularly in the presence of loud noises or abrupt changes. Early socialization plays a key role in the development of confidence.

Good Foragers:

Runners are skilled foragers who can find insects, grubs, and snails with ease. This organic pest control helps lessen dependency on commercial feed and is good for gardens.
They can swim in small amounts of water, but they prefer to bathe and clean their feathers in a tiny pool or tub.

Other noteworthy traits:

  • Because of their long necks and straight stance, runners are not the finest fliers.
  • If they are startled or cornered, they may get frightened and appear flightless. Give them access to places with cover so they may feel secure.
  • Their calls are comparatively quieter than those of other varieties of ducks.


Indian Runner ducks add charm and production to any flock with their eccentric trot and ceaseless egg-laying. These amiable, sturdy, resilient, and graceful friends are enchant with their teasing antics and understated charm, rendering them an exceptional and fulfilling option for both backyard birdwatchers and hobby farmers.

Most Frequently Asked Questions!

Q1: What is unique about the body style of Indian Runner Ducks?

The unique body shape of Indian Runner Ducks makes them resemble feathered bowling pins or penguins. They have a cylindrical body form and stand upright. Unlike other duck varieties, their legs are positioned further back on the body, enabling them to sprint instead of waddle.

Q2: Why were Indian Runner Ducks initially referred to as “penguin ducks” in the United States?

Because of their distinct body type that resembles a penguin, Indian Runner Ducks were sometimes referred to as “penguin ducks” when they were originally introduced to the United States. But Indian Runner Ducks can run rather fast, unlike penguins.

Q3: What is the history of Indian Runner Ducks?

For the past 200 years, Indian Runner Ducks have been documented as existing. During the 1800s, they made their way from the Indonesian islands to Europe. Ancient Javan temple carvings from over 2,000 years ago show ducks with a unique body type resembling Indian Runner Ducks.

Q4: Are Indian Runner Ducks raised for meat or eggs?

Indian Runner Ducks are not kept mainly for meat; rather, they are raised for their eggs. Although they are tiny compared to typical meat birds, they are regarded as a light-class farmed duck breed, and their meat has a good flesh-to-bone ratio and excellent taste.

Q5: What is the average lifespan of Indian Runner Ducks?

When raised domestically, Indian Runner Ducks live an average of eight to twelve years. Their lifespan in the wild is around two years.

Q6: How many eggs do Indian Runner Ducks lay annually?

On average, Indian Runner Ducks lay between 300 and 350 eggs a year. Hens produce large eggs that weigh an average of 2.8 to 3 ounces; the eggs are colored blue and white.

Q7: Do Indian Runner Ducks go broody?

Though they are not a very broody breed, Indian Runner Duck hens are one of the few that will build a nest and deposit eggs in it. They might not have strong maternal instincts, though, so if ducklings do hatch, you should act swiftly to protect them.

Q8: What are the favorite foraging foods of Indian Runner Ducks?

The Indian Runner Duck is a voracious forager. Its preferred prey includes grass, wild greens, tiny fish, snails, slugs, mosquitoes and their larvae, and small crustaceans. They can supply the majority of their food when given the freedom to roam.

Q9: Are Indian Runner Ducks prone to health issues?

Runner in India Ducks are regarded as a sturdy and resilient breed. The most prevalent health concern is worm infection, which may be managed with regular worming.

Q10: Can Indian Runner Ducks fly?

Indian Runner Ducks are not able to fly. Indian Runner ducks cannot fly, in contrast to many other domesticated duck varieties.

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