Sunday, December 16, 2012

Indian Runner Ducks

Indian Runner Ducks.  Click for photo credit.
Last night, the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability had the annual holiday party hosted at the home of my friends Brett and Gail Bennington.  Brett is a professor in the Department.  He and family have three Indian Runner ducks as pets that they keep in their backyard.  They give the duck eggs to folks who like them (I understand they are a bit strong) and they are rather sociable, although sometimes aggressive, creatures.

They are about the most interesting suburban pet I've seen in a long time, so I did a bit of research on them.  They do not fly and are often used in gardens to control pests.  Take a look at the video at the bottom of this post to see how effectively they can be used as part of a garden's ecosystem.  

They are indigenous to Indonesia but are used all over the world as egg producers.  They are not really a meat duck, although they can be eaten.  Commercially, they can be used for egg production because they can lay over 150 eggs per year.   They like to be in groups, and resemble schools of fish in their group movement behavior.  They walk upright and look like a bowling pin or penguin.  

There is even an Indian Runner Duck Association that looks after the interests of these animals.

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