Indian Runner Ducks


These ducks are the clowns of the water fowl.  I am so happy to find this breed and now have a great habitat for them to thrive.  I first aquired these ducks when I started herding with my border collies.  I lived in a location where I couldn't have sheep but wanted to practice at home and ducks were a little easier.  I started with six little babies many years ago and my appreciation and fondness has grown stronger for these guys.  I am careful which dogs are allowed to work the ducks as they are very exciting to the dogs.  Only the best mannered dogs get to drive them around.  Ducks are also very transportable to travel for herding demonstrations.

Indian Runners are an unusual breed of domestic duck. They stand erect like penguins and, rather than waddle, they run. The females lay typically 250-300 eggs a year, or more depending whether they are from exhibition or utility strains. They were found on the Indonesian Islands of Lombok, Java and Bali where they were 'walked' to market and sold as egg-layers or for meat. These ducks do not fly and only rarely form nests and incubate their own eggs. They run or walk, often dropping their eggs wherever they happen to be.

Indian Runner Duck Videos


For herding purposes they flock together very well which makes it easier to move around.  This can be helpful for simply moving the flock or for practice purposes for herding.  Indian Runners love foraging. They also like swimming in ponds and streams, but they are likely to be preoccupied in running around grassy meadows looking for worms, slugs, even catching flies. They appreciate open spaces but are happy in gardens from which they cannot fly and where they make much less noise than call ducks.  Only the females quack. All drakes are limited to a hoarse whisper. Runners eat less in the way of grain and pellet supplement than big table ducks. Of course, they should be given calcium and protein-rich food, especially during the extensive laying season.

They come in a variety of colors and most common commercial breeding is the fawn and white.  Most of the runners will not sit on nests and I a few that will.  To me, those ducks are very valuable, as I don't incubate.  I want my babies to grow up with mom, learning where the good food is kept.  She can show them the grain tub, the swimming hole, how to forage in the pastures, and how to watch for predators and hide in the barn.  I have purchased babies many times and it takes a long time to teach them to be comfortable in their environments.  Babies growing up with Mom, learn much faster.

The eggs are delicous and they are prolific egg layers.  They must be locked up by dusk and not let out before dawn.  They are susceptible to predators as they have no real defense. Raccoons, coyotes, hawks, stray dogs, and fox are a huge treat to the adults so you can imagine all the little creatures that could take a duckling.  Snapping turtles in ponds also have capabilities of pulling an adult duck under water and drowning them.  My ducks know their routine and "put themselves away" every night.  I just have to go along and lock the door and do a head count. 

I sometimes have babies and adults available in many colors.  Just ask and if I don't have what you want, it might be on it's way.

line spacer

Herding demonstration with Indian Runner Ducks
"Jaff" owned and handled by Heather Russell

line spacer