Indian Runner Ducks are used for two main purposes:
- Duck Forming
The origins of Indian Runner duck farming can be traced back thousands of years. Most breeders believe that runner duck farming started in Southeast Asia. Although ducks have not gained the same popularity as chickens in Western agriculture, a steady increase can be seen in this industry.
In terms of the type of meat and the convenience of farming, the Western world prefers to raise chickens. However, runner duck farming is extremely popular in countries like China, where they are raised for their eggs, meat, and also for their ‘down’. Down, for those of you unfamiliar, is the fluffy coat you find underneath the duck’s feathers. It is used to make warm clothing in many parts of the world, promoting duck farming in those regions.
Ducks can be raised in cages, barn, and batteries. The free-range is obviously the healthiest and kindest option, especially breeds like the Indian runner duck. For those looking to make a profit raising ducks for eggs, this is an elaborate process that requires you to pay close attention to the egg-laying patterns of female runner ducks.
Unlike chickens, runner ducks are not really reliable when it comes to laying their eggs and hatching them. In most cases, incubation is mandatory.
Runner Ducks As Pets
Many people simply love having Indian runner ducks as pets running free in their garden, farm, or backyard. If you have a big enough space then trust me they will thank you (and your life will change forever)
Indian runner ducks love indoor life too, so bringing them into your home is a serious option if you can cope with their daring demands.
Due to the ornamental value of these runner ducks, various breeders have worked to make the crest and tufts of these ducks more attractive. Much has been done with plumage color to give you the ideal ornamental duck.
It is this quality of the Indian Runner Duck that also makes it suitable for shows and competitions. If you have an Indian running duck, you can enter your pet in open contests that are not restricted by memberships.
Of course, if you are a member of associations specialized in the breeding of ducks, you can enter your beloved Indian runner ducks in more prestigious contests. Indian runner ducks are fantastic pets because:
- They are not as messy as the other breeds
- Indian runner ducks are also much easier to handle
- They love to snuggle up in the warm corners of their home
Basics Of Keeping Runner Ducks
Whether you bring home an Indian runner duck for duck farming or to keep as a pet, there are a few things that are absolutely mandatory:
- Ducks should have plenty of water around them. Having a duck pond is a great idea as your pets will hunt frogs and slugs.
- It is best to bring home pairs or groups of runner ducks. Indian runner ducks prefer to be in the company of other ducks. They feel safe and will stay active when they have the right companions.
- A coop or shelter is mandatory as ducks are always in danger of falling prey to wild beasts and even your other pets. If you must leave your ducks unsupervised, getting them a coop is a must.
- Escaping is often the leading cause of death in Indian runner ducks that are kept as pets. They leave the encloser, ‘run’ away from their usual source of water, dry and die, either that or running towards a busy road. Since runner ducks are great escape artists and don’t realize they are likely committing suicide by doing so, a secure, fenced-in environment is an absolute must.