BackYard Chickens › Breeds & Supplies › Other Poultry › Ducks › Indian Runner

Indian Runner


Pros: Prolific layers, flightless, excellent foragers, easy for beginners

Cons: Easily excitable, non-maternal.

I got my first Indian Runners during the summer of 2012. I raised one as a duckling, and the other two were raised with the flock my friend owned. The first one I raised unfortunately died due to health defects. But the other two birds absolutely thrive and are healthy as can be. 
My two girls are absolutely unsocialized and that has made handling them tricky. However despite this the birds are easily herded and can be brought into the coop without too much trouble if they don't adhere to the usual schedule. 
I feed them on a daily basis, however they don't need to be fed that often as they enjoy and almost prefer foraging. Some days they will ignore the feed I leave for them altogether. They adore water, as all ducks do, and typically spend a majority of their time in the pond. 
Being flightless, we haven't been too concerned about them wandering off. The fence we use to keep them in the yard is between two or three feet tall. 
My friends flock lays eggs on a daily basis, and we are quite excited for ours to start this spring! Even when they lay fertile eggs, they are too flighty, excitable or uninterested to brood. So having a surrogate brooder or an incubator is typically necessary if you intend on breeding. 


Pros: beautiful ducks, great laying, friendly personality

Cons: noisy,

I had runner forever and I just love them, they are the funniest thing to watch run around the yard.  They also take care of our bug problem.  Always have had these ducks, and if your don't have them you need to get them.


Pros: Friendly, will stay within learned boundaries while feeding, an awesome example of animal adaptations.

Cons: Will trip over anything in their path!

I have raised a flock of 10 Indian Runner ducks and the three girls have just started laying.  Here are some of my favorite things about runner ducks:


1)  They give good duck hugs.  They will give a hug by leaning their head against me or by holding their head under my chin.  Awwwww.  But I do have to catch and hold them first, they're not really the kind to run up to me unless I'm holding green peas.  But what a wonderful, graceful long neck! It is fun to hold and pet a runner duck.


2)  They will feed within learned boundaries.  I can bring my runner ducks to the front yard and they will eat the crickets that make noise under my window.  Hurrah!  I sleep better now.  The runner ducks will feed in the front yard and they don't try to run into the fairly busy street.  I do stay with them the entire time they are in the front yard.  


3)  Ducks are an elementary school teacher's best friends to help teach about animal adaptations.  My runner ducks have six adaptations just on their tongue:  1.  a thin tip to feel the food in the mud, 2.  something that filters the water (looks sort of like a mesh) on the sides of their tongues right behind the tip, 3.  hard points on each side just behind that for cutting soft vegetation, 4.  a large bump in the middle of the back of their tongue to firmly close their nose while diving, 5.  a soft round of tissue behind the large bump that can raise to connect their lungs to the nose hole, 6. and finally at the very back of their mouth some semi-hard spikes pointing to their stomach to prevent slippery fish from going back out of their beaks.  That is just the tongue.  I have not mentioned the beak or the many adaptations on the rest of the duck.  Ducks are so awesome!  


4)  This is a con, but also really funny...   my runner  ducks don't look down and will trip over anything in their path.  Unless it's tall, they don't go around.  So if I leave, for example, a water bottle laying around... the first duck will step on it and may trip.  The following ducks, not learning from seeing their friend trip, will also go over the bottle and trip, rather than going around.  So four or five ducks in a row can trip over the same water bottle.  I have to manage their environment to make sure nothing sharp or dangerous gets left out in their path.  


Overall, I just love these funny birds with such awesome personalities.  


Pros: Everyday Layer, aren't getting out constantly (actually, they never have tried!), friendly and get along better with other birds then my Rouens

Cons: Not the 'come running when you call'type: don't brood

I love my Indian Runners! They are great birds. They tend to be not so human dependent once they get around other birds. My youngest was always begging for attetion until she left the brooder and joined the flock. Overall, great choice for anybody. I would highly recommend!


Pros: Friendly, excellent foragers

Cons: very talkative drakes (not exactly negative though)

I got 3 Fawn and white runners this June and they are really fun to have! Two of them have paired up with ducks of other breeds, and they seem very devoted to their spouses. One of the drakes gets a little aggressive if I come close to him, he will run up to me with his bill open, latch on to my leg and drag behind me for 10 feet or so until he gives up! It doesn't hurt at all and is actually really funny to watch. These ducks are also the easiest to catch, they are quite friendly (excluding the aggressive one) and don't mind being held. 


Most people say these ducks are flightless, but they are not all. The other drake can fly about 500 feet, and I think he could go farther if I took him away from the flock. He isn't awkward in flight and rarely crashes. However, he has never tried to fly out of the pen or anything, so that isn't a problem. 


Pros: nice, pretty, entertaining, good layer

Cons: talkative, excitable

I have 1 fawn an white, and 1 crested fawn an white an they are both talktive silly girls. They are not laying yet so cant comment on that but they are always goofing around. The crested one is just fun to look at lol. They can get spooked but being with my other calm ducks helps. They calm down pretty quick as long as they don't get "lost". I had one running in circles when everyone went into the coop an she couldnt figure out where they went. Definatly one of my favs out of the flock though.

***update*** One of my indian runners was the first to start laying right at 20 weeks an has laid 6 days a week so far. Great layer of pretty eggs!!


Pros: Comical, Low Maintenance, Flightless

Cons: None

Indian Runners Prefer Water Over Land, So They Only Need A Small Pond!


Pros: cute, kinda goofy, lots of colours, cant fly

Cons: a bit loud, dont go broody very oftern

I've only had my runner duck for a little while, but I hatched her out of my incubator.

shes very cute and goofy and I love her! she isn't full grown yet but im planning on getting more because I love this breed so much


Pros: Friendly, cuddly, playful, great layers

Cons: Can be noisy

Great breed! My absolute favourite 

Indian Runner

Indian Runners originated in the East Indies on the islands of Java, Malaya, Bali and Lombok. It is recorded that the first Runners were imported to the UK during the 1830s - but were then known as the " Penguin Duck" due to their incredible upright stance often compared to a hock bottle. Indian Runners have long been used in farming as a method of natural pest control.

Breed Colors/VarietiesWhite, Chocolate, Black, Trout, Fawn, Fawn and White, Harlequin, Blue, Mallard, Silver and many others.
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Breed Details:

Known for their egg laying abilities - Indian Runners can lay in excess of 200 white - or green tinted eggs per year, but are not reliable as broodies so most breeders rely on incubators or other breeds for hatching eggs. An adult male will weigh between 2 - 2.3 kg (4.4 - 5 lbs.) and a female from 1.6 to 2 kg (3.5 - 4.4 lbs.). Height in males is up to 66 cm- or 26 inches and the female 55 cm or 22 inches. With leg placement unlike any other duck- they do not waddle like others breeds and are capable of modest speed when running. They are know as a nervous breed and extremely flighty if cornered- but when hand raised and handled often can remain fairly calm. Indian Runners have been used in the breeding of a number of other common breeds including the Khaki Campbell and then subsequently the Welsh Harlequin. Indian Runners are a popular choice of duck for both a backyard pet and farmyard duck. The great variety of colours available are one of the appealing qualities of this breed.


BackYard Chickens › Breeds & Supplies › Other Poultry › Ducks › Indian Runner