Hatching February to November
Runner Ducks are fun and whimsical but with a solid purpose for the farm or homestead. These Blue Runner Ducks are a deep, dark charcoal gray color, and look simply gorgeous as a flock. Males tend to be a slightly darker shade of slate gray than females. Bills and feet are also gray in color. Runner Ducks hold themselves in a very upright, penguin-like position. They are active and energetic and keep to a tight flock, which accentuates their funny vertical appearance.
Production: Runner Ducks are great garden companions - they were originally raised in Asia for their insect controlling abilities in rice paddies. They would be herded each morning to the paddies with the human workers and then return each night back to their home. Beyond their sustainable and organic insect control, Runner Ducks have also been used for control of spiders and pests from playgrounds and picnic areas.
And to top off their usefulness, Runner Ducks also are very good egg layers. They have been known to lay up to 180 eggs per year. Eggs are lightly tinted and are quite large in size.
Temperament: Runner Ducks are ducks with a purpose. The word that probably would best describe them is industrious. These birds forage with enthusiasm and lots of energy. They seem to have a plan for effectively covering the yard in an organized and thorough manner. They are a bit skittish, but do make good pets and are popular for exhibition as well. Despite their tendency to be a bit nervous, they have a very strong herding instinct and are thus quite easy to manage.
History: Runner Ducks are an ancient breed. They were imported from Indonesia into Great Britain and Europe in the fourteenth century but have appeared in Asian records for hundreds of years before that. In Indonesia and Asia, Runner Ducks have been raised and bred specifically for egg laying abilities and for the controlling of pests in rice paddies. Blue Runners were admitted into the APA in 1977.
Conservation Status: Recovering
Weight: Males 4.5 lbs; Females 4 lbs.
APA Class: Light Duck