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The following information may be of interest to breeders or those who keep Runners as pets. All these files are presented as PDF documents and may be read or downloaded by clicking or touching the document image and doing so will open a new page in your browser. To view these leaflets you will need to have a PDF reader installed on your device which is a free download at External link image.

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Indian Runner Duck Colours

The original Indian Runner Duck varieties, reported by John Donald in the nineteenth century, were White, Fawn and pied (Fawn - & - White and also Grey - & - White). White is a commonmutation in birds (white blackbirds, white Aylesbury ducks, etc.) whereby no coloured pigment is produced on the feathers. Fawn and pied varieties, on the other hand, are special. They seem to have evolved in the Runner. Wherever a similar colour crops up in other breeds, it is always subsequent to Runner connections. It is almost certain that these Runner colour genes came from the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia. Runners do not come from India. Where the other Runner duck colours come from – for example the black, blue and silver genes – is less certain, but they are certainly in Runners today...

Working Birds at Vergenoegd (South Africa)

John Faure is a waterfowl keeper with a difference: his show birds double up as a working flock at the vineyard. Situated in South Africa, his waterfowl collection at Vergenoegd includes several breeds of geese, Indian Runners, Call ducks and wildfowl as well...

Appleyard Face Markings

Put simply, the Appleyard plumage in ducks is a modification of the Rouen Clair colour form. The main differences lie in extended areas of white on the body feathers, wings and, most strikingly, on the faces of both duck and drake.


Indian Runners at National 2017

Ninety-five Runners were entered for the National this year, plus four Junior entries and two trios. Runners are the most difficult breed to exhibit in the ducks for several reasons. Their active behaviour in foraging can spoil condition; they cannot be too closely inbred because they lose size and viability; and crossbreeding can ruin the finer points of the traditional colours. This generally makes whites the healthy, outstanding birds because there is less pressure to inbreed for colour purposes. White is simply a masking colour

Whites at this year’s show were an excellent type (which is 60 points, including 20 for the head/bill/neck). James Rigby’s adult drake was a real eye-catcher. Bred from a very successful line, he lost on condition points and scored 96 instead of potential top score of 97. He nevertheless went on to be Reserve Champion Waterfowl. He was closely followed by Charlie Bourke’s 2017 male and Mark Rubery’s 2017 female (95 points). Thomas Moody’s Trouts were also excellent, taking 5 of the 6 top cards: Moody’s attention to the colour detail is paying dividends because this colour has been ruined in recent years by the race for size—hence the low scores of 90-92 for several of the other Trout exhibits...

2013 - The Year of the Trout

Indian Runner Round-up 2010


Indian Runners

A bowling pin on legs - or even a soda water bottle. That's the way Indian Runners have been described in the past. These upright birds are built for ranging and foraging in the paddy fields of South east Asia (not India)...

Anthelmintics and Wormer Resistance

When we first started keeping geese in the early eightes, I don’t think Flubenvet (flubendazole) had been invented and we were advised to use piperazine citrate as a wormer (i.e. as a vermifuge, or anthelmintic). It might have been sufficient for controlling some types of worms, but it did not kill gizzard worm in geese. So, we had to look for a more effective solution, which turned out to be Panacur, containing Fenbendazole. It was not then licensed for birds, but zoos had been using it on geese and it became a good back stop for making sure that goslings were reared without problems. Panacur had to be used twice, we found, because although it killed the adult gizzard worms, it did not kill the worm eggs. Before the life cycle of egg to worm was complete, you had to kill the new batch of worms before they bred again at their cycle of as litle as 21 days. It is, however, very safe, and it has been licensed in recent years for use with poultry. Vets have been using it as a convenient way to control worms in chickens, particularly when a single bird is taken for treatment...

Eclipse Plumage in Domestic Ducks

In summer, something very strange happens to the ducks. They appear to change sex! Don’t let it worry you, but it happens to most species of ducks in the northern hemisphere. Shortly after the breeding season, the male moults and takes on a plumage similar to the female’s. Even the youngsters do it—all of them. When they have lost the fluffy down and feathered up for the first time, it is very hard to tell which are the young ducks and which are the young drakes. In their ‘juvenile’ plumage they all look much alike. With a bit of practice, you can spot the males by the slight difference in the bill colour and slightly darker patches on the rump. So what’s going on here, and why do they do it?

It begins in the early summer and lasts until the second moult of September (for the adults). They call it the ‘summer’ plumage or the ‘eclipse’. The drake ceases his posturing and fighting. He loses his bright nuptial livery and he skulks in a drabber than drab feather form. In fact, he deserts the female, who is now preoccupied with her brood, and retires into seclusion, either by himself or with a gang of male cronies down the river. I almost said ‘down the pub’. He has lost it. No sex appeal. Nothing to strut about. All he can do is sulk and try to stay out of trouble...


Silver Ducks in Perspective

Page last updated: 27th October 2023