The Indian runner duck is a breed of duck native to England, probably imported to this country from Asia. Selected for the first time for egg-laying, which is why these ducks have a high yield and produce an average of 200 eggs per year, this duck is now more and more common in the world as an ornamental duck. This popularity is due to its particular approach, which is almost vertical and gives the impression of always running.
In very rare cases, you can fly by taking off from a steep place or starting from your flight stand to fly but you won’t get very far. Finally, the Indian runner can be used to control the slugs and snails it likes to eat.
The Indian runners are a breed of Anas platyrhynchos domesticus, belonging to the domestic ducks. They are upright like penguins and, instead of waddling, they run. Females typically lay 300-350 eggs a year or more, depending on whether they come from display or utility strains. They were found on the Indonesian islands of Lombok, Java, and Bali, where they were “brought” to market and sold as egg layers or for meat. These ducks do not fly and rarely form nests and hatch their own eggs. They run or walk, often dropping their eggs wherever they are.
Characteristics of the Indian Runner Duck
The weight of Indian running ducks varies between 1.4 and 2.3 kilograms (between 3.1 and 5.1 pounds). Their height (from crown to tip of tail) ranges from 50 centimeters (20 inches) in small females to about 76 centimeters (30 inches) in taller males. The upright stock is the result of a pelvic girdle that lies more towards the tail region of the bird compared to other domestic duck breeds. This structural feature allows the birds to walk or “skip” instead of the duck gait, as seen in other breeds of ducks.
The placement of the eyes is high on the head. Indian running ducks have long, thin necks that slide smoothly into the body. The body is long, slender but round in appearance, and the eggs are often greenish-white. Indian running ducks have tight feathers, they also have a small curl on the tips of their tails, while females have flat tails, however, it is difficult to determine their sex until they are fully mature.
They often swim in ponds and streams but are likely to worry about looking for worms, slugs, and even flies in grassy meadows. They appreciate open spaces but are happy in gardens from which they cannot fly and where they make much less noise than other types of ducks. Compared to large table ducks, they eat less grain and pellet supplements.
Indian Runner Duck Lifestyle
The only partially fightable race duck was introduced to Europe from Southeast Asia around 1850 and was bred primarily in England. The Indian Running Duck, with its neck tilted upward, has a long, slender body. He has a lively character, he is very attentive and agile.
In Europe, fattening ducks are frequently kept in gardens as they kill snails and their eggs with greater preference. In Asia, animals raised for laying were mainly kept as egg providers. Eggs are usually slightly larger than chicken eggs and have a larger egg yolk.
How long do Indian runner ducks live?
Indian running ducks can usually live an average of 12 to 15 years, there are also records of animals, which reached up to 20 years of age.
Origins of the breed
Indian running ducks are domesticated waterfowl that live in the East Indies archipelago. There is no evidence that they came from India itself, attempts by British breeders in the early 20th century to find examples on the subcontinent had very limited success. Like many other breeds of waterfowl imported into Europe and America, the term “Indian” can be quite imaginative, as it denotes a port of loading or transportation by “India-men” sailboats of the East India Company. Other misnamed geese and ducks are the African geese, the East Indian black duck, and the Muscovite duck.
The Indian Runner became popular in Europe and America as an egg-laying variety towards the end of the 19th century, largely as a result of an undated booklet called The Indian Runner: Its History and Description published by John Donald de Wigton between 1885 and 1890. The publication of Donald’s is briefly announced in The Feathered World, 1895, under the title of “The Indian Runner Duck”, where Donald describes the variety tells the popular story of the importation to Cumbria (North West England) by a ship captain about fifty years earlier.
This breed is unusual not only for its high egg production but also for its upright posture and variety of color genes, some of which are seen in 17th-century Dutch paintings. Other references to these domestic ducks use the names “Penguin Ducks” and “Baly Soldiers.” Harrison Weir’s Our Poultry (1902) describes the penguin ducks belonging to Mr. Edward Cross in the Surrey Zoological Gardens between 1837 and 1838. Darwin describes them (1868) as elongated, contrary to Tegetmeier’s claims.
Cumbrian imports, according to Matthew Smith in 1923, included all-fawn racers and all-white racers, as well as the fawn, white, gray, and white varieties of ducks. The most successful attempt to import fresh bloodlines was that of Joseph Walton between 1908 and 1909, accounts of these ventures can be found in Coutts (1927) and Ashton (2002). Walton shipped birds from Lombok and Java, revolutionizing breeding animals that Donald said had mixed poorly with local birds. Additional imports of Miss Chisholm and Miss Davidson in 1924 and 1926 continued to revive the breed.
Indian and Pekingese running ducks carried unusual mutations in plumage color. These included the genes for the dark and restricted mallard, the light phase, the harlequin phase, the blue and brown dilutions, as well as the famous varieties named by geneticist F M Lancaster as the “Runner’s Pattern.” Much of the proliferation of new color varieties in domestic duck breeds begins with the importation of these eastern ducks. Original research by R. G. Jaap (1930) and F. M. Lancaster has enabled breeders to understand the effect of genotypes on the management and creation of color varieties. Simplified information can be found in the writings of Dave Holderread and Mike and Chris Ashton.
How to differentiate it from other ducks?
Indian running ducks are distinguished from other domestic ducks by the unusual staging of the torso: they lift their bodies high and pull their necks up. In addition, they are distinguished by their short beak, 18-pointed tail, bent upwards and comparatively longer fluff, in addition, they have several varieties of colors.
The Indian running duck in the cinema
It was a white Indian running duck who played the role of Fernando el Pato (witness to the madness of the world) in the movie Babe (1995). In this movie, the webbed tries to make himself useful so as not to end up as an orange duck like his companions. He replaces the rooster to wake up the farm, which surprises and annoys its owners and accompanies the pig on his adventures.
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