Indian runner is the most prolific duck in the world. It can lays up to 300 eggs in a year. It is more productive than domesticated layer hen. It begins to lay at six month age. It can lay up to two years effectively.
Yet, the domesticated duck is not originated in modern labs. Ancient people have domesticated the bird from mallard duck. Indian runner is slimmer and higher than the ancestor.
The egg is 80 gram weight. It is light blue color. The yolk sac is bigger than the domesticated Chicken egg. Some duck lay red yolk sac egg. It is because the duck eat prawn or dried prawn. It is more expensive than common duck eggs.
The farmer usually salts this egg with salt and burned hay. In Philippine, the farmer sells embryo duck eggs. They hatch the eggs for 18 days only until the embryo grow inside the egg shell.
The Indian runner drake is almost similar with mallard color duck. The drake head's is light green color. Indian runner has variety color like buff, brown, black, black blue, and white.
Like the ancestor, they can fly high. In West Sumatra, the farmer organizes flying duck competition yearly. The duck are forced to fly to the finish line. The winner is the duck that arrive in finish line first.
Indian runner is the bad mother. It cannot incubate its egg moreover other fowl eggs. Some breeder use chicken or Muscovy duck to hatch the duck eggs. Alternatively, they use incubator machine to hatch it. In Bali and Borneo, the farmer incubates the eggs with paddy skin.
The sexing is quite easy. The drake differs with the hen from its tail. The drake has curly tail. The drake sound is also louder than the female. Some farmer can differ the duckling by pinching the feet. The farmer can differs the duckling sound. To be honest, I am not good at it.
Indian runner are distributed at South East Asia. In Indonesia, There are so many various strain of Indian runner such as Itik Bali, Itik Magelang, Itik Cirebon, Itik Tegal, Itik Bali, Itik Alabio and others. The most beautiful is Bali duck. It has crest in hand and is white color.
Most the duck is risen in beach region. The farmer feed the duck sea fish or dried fish. The farmer just uses simple diet for this bird. They mix rice, paddy, and dried fish.
In Bangkok, people raise it with fish. The duck is allowed swim at fish pool. Off course the, the farmer will not allow the duck swim at the small fish pool.
Photo: From Steve 2008
The duck is useful for pest control too. The farmer often releases the duck at paddy rice to kill golden snail that is paddy rice pest.
Read Also :
Bali Duck : Crested Duck From Bali
Cayuga Duck: A Native American Duck
Ancona Duck: English Duck
Anatomy of Duck
American Game Fowl