Indian runner duck

Anas platyrhynchos

Indian runner ducks are native to Southeast Asia but have long been domesticated and now exist in many parts of the world. With an upright carriage and bottle-shaped body, the Indian runner duck is one of the world's most identifiable duck breeds.

Did you know?

  • The Indian runner duck is nicknamed the bowling pin duck because it shares the same shape: upright and long, with a small head funneling into a thin neck and larger body.
  • Like most domestic ducks, the breed was developed from the mallard.

Duck lingo

  • drake: male duck
  • hen: female duck

Runner duck behavior and facts

  • It does not fly or waddle; its leg position allows it to run.
  • It can be a variety of colors: black, white, chocolate, blue, fawn, mallard, white and trout.

From birth to death

  • Although the Indian runner duck lays a large number of eggs, it does not usually sit on them. Breeders sometimes place eggs under a broody duck to hatch them.
  • A hen can lay up to 180 eggs in one year.
  • Incubation: 28 days.
  • Unlike some duck breeds, the Indian runner does not need water to breed.
  • Ducklings are best raised in small flocks.

Vital statistics

  • Height: drakes, 26 to 32 inches; hens 24 to 28 inches
  • Weight: drakes, 3.75 to 4.4 pounds; hens 3.5 to 4.2 pounds
  • Wingspan: too short to fly
  • Lifespan: mallards live 5 to 10 years in the wild, longer in captivity.


Watch status by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy with fewer than 5,000 breeding birds in North America and 10 or fewer breeding flocks.

Runner ducks, the Oregon Zoo and you

The zoo's ducks, Huey and Luey, hatched in 1999. They are part of the zoo's Wild Life Live! shows. Their daily diet includes duck pellets and lettuce leaves.