Fawn and White Runner Ducks
Fawn and White Runner Ducks, Initially bred in Southeast Asia, all Runners have ancestry that dates back to Java over 2000 years ago. They were mistakenly named “Indian” Runners when first imported to England in the 1850s because they arrived on a ship from India; the importing family finally disclosed in 1909, that these runners were in fact from Southeast Asia.
The first Runners imported into England were Fawn, Fawn-and-White, or White. They were first exhibited in 1877 at the Dumfries Show in Scotland. Later in 1898, they were admitted into the American Standard Registry, though the Black, Blue, and Chocolate varieties were not recognized until 1977. These Fawn-and-White Runners breed true, so if you mate two of this breed together, all of the progeny will be Fawn-and-White Runners.
Runner ducks are hardy because they typically cover hundreds of miles in their travels over the course of their lifetime while foraging for seeds, insects, slugs and other bugs. However, they are light in weight, so it isn’t likely that they will trample your garden or yard. Their egg production is average now as opposed to a century ago, due to extensive breeding with an emphasis on coloration. They weigh 3.25-4 lbs and will lay approximately 100-180 large eggs weighing 65-80 grams per year. Runner females will lay either white or light green eggs, with some laying dark gray or even blackish eggs at the beginning of the season.
Our ducks will fully integrate with all the other breeds that we offer. If you want purebred ducklings hatching from your ducks, make sure you separate your ducks by breed during the mating season. Or you can let your ducks cross and see what different shapes and colors you will get with their ducklings.
As they are light in weight, there is also less chance of them trampling the vegetation in your garden or yard. Because of the high egg production of the native ducks, duck eggs are used in a variety of ways in Southeast Asia. Not only do they replace the typical chicken egg but duck eggs are made into two unique products, the balut (a partially incubated duck egg) and the salted egg (fresh eggs put in a salt solution or salt mud until the salt has permeated the entire egg). Due to the emphasis in coloration over the past 80 years in the breeding programs in England and the United States, the Runners no longer excel at egg production. They are very average at this point.
Why are they called Indian Runners? Tradition has it the ducks were first imported into England in the 1850s and were named Indians as the ship had proceeded from India and had traded with the “Indies”. It wasn’t until 1909 that the importing family acknowledged that they came from Southeast Asia – not India. But by then the name had stuck and the breed was extremely popular throughout the country. Until the Khaki Campbell was bred, Runners were by far the most productive egg laying ducks. Prior to the turn of the century there were many egg trials in England where representatives of different breeds and farmers were put on a common site and their egg production monitored and compared.
The first Runners imported into England were either Fawn, Fawn-and-White, or White in color. The first records of them being in an exhibition were in 1877 at the Dumfries Show in Scotland. In 1898 they were admitted into the American Standard Registry. The Black, Blue and Chocolate were not admitted until 1977. Though the Black and Chocolate breed true, the Blue do not as only 50% of their progeny are Blue. So that we produce 100% Blue colored birds, we have two pens of breeders. One pen has Black Runner males on Silver females. The other pen has Silver males on Black females. For more information on producing the blue color in poultry and our breeding program, see our page on Blue Swedish Ducks .