Waterfowl, in general, are fun to raise. However, of all the breeds, the Runners are the comedians of the duck world. These ducks are perhaps the closest thing you can get to a walking wine bottle. A lot of time can be spent watching their antics as they patter around. Runners are good natured birds, but can be a little nervous.
I have read where they are famous for their egg laying ability. My Runners have not read the same article.
They maybe the “clowns” of the duck pen, but once settled from their scooting around, the transformation to graceful ballerina is magical.
A little history...
The Indian Runner Ducks are domesticated waterfowl that live in the archipelago of the 'East Indies'. There is no evidence that they came originally from India itself. Attempts by British breeders at the beginning of the twentieth century to find examples in the subcontinent had very limited success. Like many other breeds of waterfowl imported into Europe and America, the term 'Indian' may well be fanciful, denoting a loading port or the transport by 'India-men' sailing ships of the East India Company.
The breed is unusual not only for its high egg production but also for its upright stance and variety of color genes.
Pure breed enthusiasts, exhibitors and show judges wanted to establish standard descriptions. Standards were drawn up in America (1898) and England (1901) for the pied color varieties. These were largely the same until 1915 when the two countries diverged. The American Poultry Association chose a variety with blue in the genotype whilst the English Poultry Club Standard kept to the pure form. Other colors followed making use of black genes. These were to produce Black, Chocolate and Cumberland Blue. Later were developed the Mallard, Trout, Blue Trout, and Apricot Trout versions.
Aylesbury and Rouen ducks were famous throughout the nineteenth century, and these were supplemented or replaced, after 1873-4, by importation from China of the Pekin Duck. As soon as the Indian Runners became fashionable, a demand for egg-layers and general purpose breeds developed. Using Runners crossed to Rouens, Ayesburys and Cayugas, produced Orpington ducks. A Mrs Campbell crossed her Fawn-and-white Runner Duck to a Rouen drake to create the Campbell ducks. Later, she introduced wild mallard blood and managed to create the most prolific egg-layer, the Khaki Campbell (announced in 1901). Other breeds followed, some of which emerged as direct mutations of the Khaki Campbell, along with crosses back to Indian Runners, the most famous being the Abacot Ranger and the Welsh Harlequin.