Indian runner duck eggs are a great source of protein (9.5 grams) and other nutrients. They come in white, off-white, blue, and light green. These the same as a large hen’s egg that weighs 60-70 grams.
If you are planning to bring the Indian Runner Ducks home to make a profit with the eggs they lay, you should be informed about the care necessary to maintain and collect these eggs.
Some of you may also be interested in raising a flock of Indian runner ducks in your backyard. In that case, you should know how to hatch the eggs and properly care for the hatchlings that are produced. Let’s take a close look at all the important facts associated with the Indian Runner Duck eggs.
- Protein per egg: 9.5 gms 108-130 calories
- Cholesterol: 619 mg
- Fat: 7.3 gms
- Vitamins: B6, B12, A, D, E
- 8 essential amino acids
- Phosphorus and calcium
Collecting The Eggs
In the breeding season, each hen will lay 8 to 10 eggs per day. This means that you will get an average of 150 eggs every year. One thing to remember about Indian Runner Ducks is that laying the egg is not restricted to the nest.
For those who are interested in an egg business, this is a matter of great concern since eggs must be collected immediately after laying. If you do not, the eggs are likely to be damaged before collecting them.
Usually, ducks lay eggs either late at night or in the early hours of the morning. If the duck still lays eggs, you may want to wait at least two hours for the eggs to have enough time to rest. When collecting eggs, be sure to do so in a plastic egg tray. Separate dirty eggs from clean ones to ease your job.
If the eggs you are selecting are specially intended for incubation, you should also check the weight of the egg. If it is even cracked or molted, you should choose another egg for incubation. Eggs with even the smallest deformities are less likely to become hatchling.
Once the eggs have been collected, the next thing you should do is clean them. Remember that there are several microbes on the surface of the egg. If the egg is not cleaned sufficiently, there are chances that they will creep in through the shell to spoil the egg. Be sure to get rid of all the mud and manure with steel wool. You can even wipe the eggs.
Remember that washing the eggs is not an option, since the content may be damaged. Choose fumigation if you think the egg needs a thorough cleaning.
After collecting the eggs, the next concern is about storage. If you want to incubate the egg, you must have a decent number. You must wait until you have some eggs before starting the incubation process.
It is possible to store the eggs for a maximum of seven days to control humidity and temperature. The ideal temperature for Indian runner duck eggs is 13°C when the humidity is maintained at 75%.
How To Deal With The Eggs?
Shortly after the female begins to sit in the nest, she will start laying an egg every day. Your next step will depend on your goals.
The simplest course of action is to let nature simply take its course. Leave the mother alone and allow her to brood her eggs and hatchlings as she sees fit. Some hens will prove to be better mothers than others, and you may lose eggs or hatchlings along the way.
If you want to harvest the eggs to eat, you can simply remove the new egg every day. The female duck may continue to lay eggs for some time in this way.
Alternatively, you can remove the eggs once she has finished the laying process. Eggs do not begin to develop until the last egg is laid.
Other keepers prefer to remove the eggs and incubate them inside. Indian Runner Duck eggs are somewhat difficult to incubate, but it is possible.
If you don’t want to breed ducks, and you don’t care about their delicious eggs, you should make them unviable. To do this, wait until the female leaves the nest every day to eat, drink and bathe. While she is gone, shake each egg vigorously and return to the nest.
Shaking the egg will break the blood vessels inside, preventing the egg from becoming a chick. It is important to return the eggs to the nest after shaking them, or the female will simply go to another place and start to deposit another group of eggs.
Indian Runner Duck eggs are quite large, as you would expect from such large ducks. Indian Runner Ducks produce eggs that contain approximately 3% more yolk and 1% more shell mass than other Ducks
Some keepers like to place protective structures around the females to prevent predators from attacking her or the eggs.
While the female often leaves the nest when she confronted by a large predator (which will then eat most or all of the eggs) occasionally they stay and try to defend their nest. When this happens, females often suffer serious injuries and may not even protect the eggs.
Snakes, weasels, raccoons, and dogs are frequent predators of duck eggs. Most will attack the nest at night, so you can consider allowing the mother freedom during the day so she can get food and water and stretch her legs a little. Then, shortly before nightfall, you can place a kind of “tent” on the female to provide some protection.
If you find that predators are a frequent problem, you may have to enclose the entire area that contains the breeding females. The only other reasonable course of action is to employ the talents of a well-trained watchdog.
Hatching The Eggs
Usually, the Indian runner ducks will start laying eggs when they are approximately 7 months old. They are layers of prolific eggs and will lay around 150-200 eggs each year. Collecting these eggs and incubating them successfully is a challenge. There are two options for hatching eggs:
- Natural Incubation
- Artificial Incubation
Breeding is the process when a female sits on the eggs to hatch them. There are some obvious signs you can look for when your hen is ready to brood.
To start, she will stop laying eggs. She will also make a very different quaking noise. She also sits on the eggs without moving. There must be more than 15 eggs in each nest to increase the hatchability of the eggs.
Once the hen begins to brood, she will provide the eggs with the moisture and heat necessary for the eggs to hatch. There are some things you should keep in mind when you have a broody hen:
- The hen should be kept close to food and water.
- The nutritional requirements of brooding ducks must be met.
- Check ducks regularly for parasites and infections
After the first week of brooding, you should check if the eggs are fertile. All you have to do is hold them against any bright light. If you can see a dark form in the egg, you can be sure that it is fertile. If the egg is clear, it is infertile.
Indian runner ducks will not become broody if eggs are collected regularly. In such cases, you must opt for artificial incubation. You can use commercial incubators to incubate the eggs.
The capacity of these incubators varies and most often depends on fuels such as gas or kerosene and even electricity to provide heat. The temperature of the device can be controlled with the help of a thermostat that comes with the incubator.
The Indian Runner Duck egg will take about 28 days to hatch when kept in an incubator.
When removing eggs from storage, make sure they are kept at room temperature for at least 6 hours before transferring them to the incubator. The temperature should be 37.5°C and should be reduced by 0.2°C in the case of hatchers.
The humidity must also be perfectly maintained. If it is excessive, the eggs will not be dry enough to hatch. If the humidity is lower, the eggs dry too quickly. There are special humidity trays to control
humidity. Ideally, it should be set at 70% relative humidity.
The eggs in the incubator should be rotated every day to ensure that the contents do not adhere to the shell. In general, it is recommended to rotate the eggs at an angle of 90 degrees. This process can be done automatically with the help of a spinning machine that will turn the eggs every hour.
Be sure to constantly verify the fertilization of the egg by lighting them. Fumigation is an important process in artificial incubation. Use a mixture of formalin and potassium permanganate to ensure that harmful bacteria, especially salmonella, are completely eliminated.
How To Remove The Hatch From The Incubator?
Prepare a brooder with the required heat source when the eggs are near the hatching date. The average hatchability in Indian runner ducks is usually 70%. The hatch must be transferred to the brooder almost as soon as the process is completed.
Even if the eggs are incubated by natural incubation, brooders are necessary. When the eggs approach the hatching date, you will see the hen sit on them for shorter periods of time. The hen will spend maximum time away from the nest.
When the ducklings have hatched, special grower’s pellets should be administered as food to fulfill the nutritional requirements. These pellets contain the necessary nutrients and minerals that ensure the proper development of ducklings. When the ducklings are around 5 weeks old, you can introduce wheat with the grit. The grit usually consists of oyster shells and helps provide the fiber needed to break down food while digesting.
Should You Avoid Artificial Incubation?
Several breeders prefer natural incubation even though there are no problems registered with artificial insemination. Sometimes Indian runner ducks can stop brooding. In such cases, you can reintroduce them to nesting and brooding using model eggs and even rocks.
Eggs can be naturally incubated using certain chicken breeds as well. Be sure to check the brooding and maternity history of the chicken you choose as a brooder.
Will Indian Runner Ducks Stop Laying Eggs?
For those whose main interest lies in earning through the eggs that are available in the breeding season, this is a matter of great concern. Although Indian Runner Ducks are known for their incredible egg-laying abilities.
However, there are some occasions when they simply don’t produce eggs. If this happens, the first thing you should do is take your Indian Runner Duck to an expert in waterfowl.
Very often, reproductive disorders and other health disorders will cause your Indian Runner Duck not to lay eggs. However, there are several other factors that could have led to stop laying eggs:
Age Of The Duck
The number of laid eggs will be reduced as the duck ages and eventually come to a halt.
If your duck suffers from a problem related to parasites and ticks, she may not be able to produce healthy eggs. In some cases, the entire egg formation process is hampered, which leads to stopping the egg-laying.
Condition Of The weather
Ducks can produce eggs only when they are warm enough. In case the weather is not suitable for your duck to produce eggs, you can expect her to be unable to do so.
Change In Diet
If you are contemplating a change in the duck’s diet, it should be done gradually. You should also ensure the duck have enough time until the breeding season gets used to a certain type of diet. If the nutrition is not adequate different from what your duck is used to, there is a hindrance in the production of the egg.
New Birds In The Flock
When you introduce new ducks in the flock, it is a big change for existing ducks. When ducks interact in a group, they tend to be extremely social and also form a pecking order with the other ducks. When you introduce one or more new ducks, this equation changes. The ducks are severely stressed at that time and will stop laying eggs for some time until this pecking order is restored.
Change In Routine
Ducks are very disciplined birds. They must be fed at a certain time and must also be allowed to rest at a particular time. However, if you make any significant change in any part of their routine, this leads to severe stress, which causes them to stop laying eggs.
If the pen is not clean or overcrowded, the number of laid eggs will be significantly reduced. On top of that, if the conditions of the pen are too dark or cold, it can cause stress and illness to the ducks. As a result, egg-laying is considerably reduced and can even be stopped if bad conditions persist.
Too Much Handling
If you need to transport your ducks, you must do so very carefully. During the transfer, they should not be handled too much or handled roughly. Egg laying is hindered if the transfer is stressful. In addition to that, a change of location also requires that the duck get used to the new conditions, so the laying is significantly reduced.
Predators Or Pests
As I mentioned in the previous chapter, ducks are at the end of the food cycle. As a result, they get scared easily. If your duck has been tied by a predator or even feels threatened by one, you can expect a decrease in egg-laying. Very often, even pests such as rats and rodents will cause stress to the ducks.
The Hen Is Broody
This is a phase that most new owners do not know. Sometimes, if your duck suddenly stops its prolific laying of eggs, it is because it is ready for brooding, it is ready to nest the eggs and hatch them. Brooding reduces significantly when collecting eggs is frequent. Brooding is usually a habit with younger ducks.
As you can see, even if egg-laying stops, it doesn’t mean your duck is a bad investment. It just means that you may have to review your handling practices or make your duck good health check-up.
How To Increase Egg Laying?
There are some things you can do to maximize egg production among your Indian runner ducks. Some steps are extremely simple and will help keep the egg production cycle and keep it constant. These simple measures are also very important to ensure that your eggs are healthy and of high quality.
Improve Feeding Quality
When you buy food at pet stores or at the supermarket, you will see that there are several options available. You should ensure that you do not compromise costs and other factors and only choose the recommended duck feed pellets. Ensure the food is fresh, has no insects and mold, and also meets the recommended nutrient levels.
Make Sure Your Duck Gets The Right Kind Of Food
The type of food you choose for your duck should be appropriate for its age. For example, if you have chicks, be sure to feed them with grower pellets instead of normal pellets. Also, keep the right quantity of food. On average, a duck ready to lay eggs should undergo a controlled diet. She should not be given more than 0.35 pounds per day. If your duck is overweight, then there are chances that it will develop problems with fertility and egg production. The food should be removed at the end of each day, making sure it is available to them for the rest of the day.
Provide Plenty Of Water
Ducks are waterfowl and definitely require a wide supply of fresh water every day. Ducks use this water not only for drinking but also to swim in it whenever they want. If you can’t make sure the water is clean, you will see that egg production is hindered.
Ducks need water to regulate their body temperature. This body temperature is essential in the egg-laying process. If the water is muddy or messy, your ducks will get stressed and depressed to some extent.
Ensure Adequate Lighting
The duration of the day is an important concept for ducks that are breeding. Usually, a duck becomes sexually mature only when the duration of the day begins to increase. This is between the months of January and June. When the duration of the day begins to reduce, egg production also stops.
If you want your ducks to continue laying eggs despite the duration of the day available, you must compensate for the lack of natural light with artificial light. Your Indian Runner Duck must have at least 17 hours of sunlight every day. This, of course, is greater than the natural light available as well. So, that your duck feels comfortable with the duration of this day, be sure to add 72 hours of light every day before sunrise and after sunset every week until it reaches 17 hours of light
Keep Your Ducks Calm
Ducks require a routine. In fact, they really like the concept of routines. You must give them the same food every day, provide them with the same type of bedding, the same space to rest, and also the same lighting conditions. If you want your ducks to produce eggs regularly, it is recommended that you even put on the same clothes each time you go out to collect the eggs. Any change in the routine stressed by the ducks and will reduce their ability to lay eggs.
Don’t Have Too Many Males In The Group
In general, the recommended ratio of females to males is 1:5. This ratio must be maintained. However, if you add more males to the group, they will become violent. In many cases, females are seriously injured due to sexual aggressiveness in male ducks. As a result, egg-laying skills decrease and can even stop in severe cases.
Brooding and caring for ducks is a matter of great care and responsibility. However, it is quite easy to adapt if you can understand what is best for your ducks. You can also get a lot of help from waterfowl experts who can provide you with medical attention and advise you to raise healthy ducks.
If you are ever unsure of what to do with your ducks or if you witness recurring health problems, you can check with your local waterfowl expert. He/she should be able to help you make the right decisions for your duck.
The number of eggs your Indian Runner Duck lays depends entirely on the conditions prevailing in your home. You must make sure the ducks are calm and healthy. If you are sure that the duck has nothing to worry about during the breeding season, you can be sure that you will be able to make huge profits due to the number of eggs you will get.
No matter what you do, be sure to prioritize the health and safety of your duck. Keep the environment and other farming practices at their best. That way, you can breed healthy ducks that will thrive in almost all conditions. All you need to do is establish a base that is friendly to your ducks and that reproduces. After that, you can enjoy the benefits of having Indian Runner Ducks on your farm.
If you bring Indian runner ducks home for an egg business, you must be patient. It is not something that will bloom overnight. You must be prepared for some losses initially. Once you learn to handle eggs correctly, you can run your business without any problems.