13 Facts about Runner Ducks That Will Surprise You

At a glance, you can easily identify Runner ducks. This is due to their unique posture and walking style. Besides, their striking appearance, charm, and high egg production make them popular among backyard duck owners. The Runner Ducks are considered the closest replica of penguins due to their walking wine bottle style. Certainly, Runner ducks are a sight to behold because of their beauty, pleasant personality, and slender body structure.

Historically, Runners have been featured in the ancient Javan temples’ hieroglyphics. This means they have been around for so many years. Aside from that, Runners are part of duck breeds considered to be the direct descendants of herding ducks whose origin is the Indo-Chinese Peninsula.

Duck breeders have always used them to create other breeds like the Khaki Campell. Their standard varieties include Black, Buff, White, Gray, and Chocolate. There are also countless non-stand colors available today. Here are 13 facts about Runner Ducks that may interest you.

1. Upright, Slender Stature

The Runner Ducks are easily identified by their unique appearance and the peculiar manner in which they position their slender bodies. They stand upright with their bodies assuming an almost vertical position.

Their strange posture makes them walk somehow similar to how penguins move around. Due to their upright, slender stature, Runner Ducks have long, straight back with their heads held high just about their bodies.

These spectacular ducks are extremely skinny with cylindrical bodies that earned them a nickname, “the bowling pin ducks”. Aside from that, the Runner Ducks have a short wingspan with their legs set further back in relation to their bodies.

The positioning of their legs allows them to walk or run almost upright with a unique but funny gait. The position of their legs also enables them to run faster than most duck breeds, hence the name “Runner Ducks”.

They have pink skin. Both ducks and drakes have straight bills that can be light orange, light yellow, or even black. Drakes are bigger with curly feathers on their tails while female ducks are smaller with no curly feathers on their tails.

2. Originate from Southeast Asia

The Runner Ducks have been in existence for more than 200 years. This is attributed to the fact that their images were featured among other creatures in ancient Javan temples.

In fact, this etched images date back more than 2000 years back. The first places where these ducks were known to exist are India and Bali.

Members of this unique duck breed spread from their native Indonesian islands to far places that include Europe during the 1800s. They arrived in the US during the early years of the 20th Century. Today, Runner Ducks are raised as pets due to their unique appearance and friendly nature. Some people use them for exhibitions and shows thanks to their beauty.

3. Variety of Colors

Aside from their unique posture and almost vertical body structure, Runner Ducks come in a variety of colors. The standard varieties include colors such as chocolate, white, black, buff, and gray. Some are brown while others are silver, cumberland blue, or penciled. They have duck brown eyes with light, black or light orange straight bills.

4. Friendly and Sociable

The Runner Ducks are friendly, and sociable but docile. For that reason, they are among the best choice of ducks to raise as family pets. Sometimes, they become a little more skittish than other duck breeds.

Despite this timid behavior, the Runner Ducks can easily be trained to get used to people. You can achieve this feat by having more hands-on relations with them during your free time. This is because they tend to have more human input in establishing a relationship with them than other duck breeds.

5. Highly Adaptable

Compared to other duck breeds, the Runner Ducks adapt to their new environment quickly. Their adaptable nature is derived from their ancestors which spent most of their time foraging for food in lakes, streams, and ponds in order to survive. Again, these ducks are known to adapt to various climatic conditions.

That is why they are found almost everywhere across the globe. For instance, the Runner Ducks can thrive best in cold climatic conditions as well as hot weather conditions. This explains why they are a popular breed of ducks for gardens, parks, farms, and backyards in different geographical regions.

6. Amazing Pest Control

Raising the Runner Ducks on your farm is a plus. The ducks will act as a source of meat and eggs. Beyond that, they will help control pests due to their foraging nature because they spend hours roaming the field in search of small insects, worms, and bugs.

Also, their food of choice while foraging may include mosquitoes, slugs, insect larvae, snails, wild grass, small crustaceans, and small fish. By constantly roaming the yard, they are likely to play a significant role in eliminating stubborn and destructive pests from your farm and around your homestead.

7. Fast Running (up to 8 miles per hour)

Although the Runner Ducks are often compared to bowling pins, they can run faster than most domesticated ducks. On average, Runner Ducks can run at a speed of about 8 miles per hour, especially when they feel threatened. Their peculiar posture and unique body structure allow them to run faster.

The ability to run better than other types of ducks is the main reason they got the name, “Runner Ducks”. This is so different from other domesticated ducks which are only able to waddle instead of running.

8. Excellent Swimmers

Even though Runner Ducks have a unique body structure, they are great swimmers. That is why you are encouraged to provide them with a pond or a place they can spend most of their time playing in the water. Their cylindrical body, long neck, short wings, and powerful legs help them move easily in water. Besides, their webbed feet are an added advantage to their swimming skills.

9. Go Well with Other Poultry

Due to their docile and friendly personality, Runner Ducks are able to co-exist with other poultry peacefully. They are wonderfully social with a timid nature. The only downside of keeping these birds with other poultry is their anxious nature. Keep them in flocks to help them get along better with other poultry.

10. Low Maintenance

Runner Ducks are a great choice for beginners and experienced keepers. This is because they are easy to care for and handle. They are also affordable in terms of feeding, housing, and keeping healthy. As a matter of fact, they are omnivores, so they spend most of their time foraging for small animals, insects, worms, and bugs.

Plants are also part of their diet when roaming the backyard. Despite that they are a low-maintenance duck breed, Runner ducks need a comfortable and secure coop, enough security, and a place to bathe or cool themselves during summer months. In this regard, make sure to provide them with fresh, clean water daily for drinking and bathing.

11. Good Egg Producers

The Runner Ducks are kept for their meat and eggs. Female Runner Ducks can lay an average of 300 to 350 eggs per year. Their eggs are usually jumbo-sized with shades of blue or white. Female ducks lay consistently for a period ranging from four to five years. Thereafter, their egg production starts declining gradually as they age.

12. Tolerate Cold Temperatures

Unlike most duck breeds, the Runner Ducks can thrive in all types of weather conditions. They can easily tolerate and adapt to cold temperatures, especially when raised in regions that experience extreme wintery conditions. These ducks are also able to withstand extreme heat conditions in summer.

Even though they tolerate cold temperatures better than most breeds of domesticated ducks, they tend to lay fewer eggs during the winter period. Regardless of their tolerance to cold temperatures, make sure to take necessary precautions in extreme cold weather conditions. Provide them coop that is well-lit and warm during the winter season. Install a good quality coop heater that keeps them warm in cold temperatures.

13. Highly Intelligent

Runner Ducks are highly intelligent. They can easily recognize common faces and even create a strong bond with their keepers. This is one of the reasons why these ducks are raised as ornamental birds in gardens, parks, and even at home.

Their intelligence is a plus to their unique appearance, pleasant personality, and gentle nature. All these characteristics determine the choice of the most suitable ducks for pets. Runner Ducks seem to fit in this particular situation perfectly well.


If are looking for a duck breed to raise as a family pet, look no further than the Runner Ducks. These ducks are not only good-looking but also friendly, docile, highly intelligent, and easy to handle. They also come in a variety of colors in addition to having a unique appearance.

On top of that, Runner Ducks are highly adaptable, get well with other poultry, and are efficient pest controllers on the farm. However, be sure to provide them with enough space in your backyard and a nutritionally balanced diet daily. Otherwise, Runner Ducks are usually loyal and great companions if you give them proper care, security, and attention.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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