Crested Runner Duck: Profile, facts, Eggs, Ducklings, Care

crested runner duck

The Bali Duck stands as a feathered jewel within the realm of avian diversity, captivating hearts with its unique blend of elegance and utility. From its distinctive crest to its practical laying abilities, this breed embodies the harmonious fusion of form and function. Whether gracing gardens with its ornamental allure or fulfilling practical needs through egg production, the Bali Duck continues to enchant and enrich the lives of those who welcome it into their midst.

Crested Runner Duck: Profile, facts, Eggs, Ducklings, Care

The Bali Duck, known by various monikers such as the Balinese Crested Duck or Crested Runner Duck, stands out as a captivating avian specimen within the realm of domesticated ducks. Primarily cherished for its aesthetic appeal, this breed often finds itself adorning ponds and gardens, serving as both a delightful ornament and a source of companionship. Despite its ornamental role, it also boasts commendable laying abilities, contributing to its practical utility beyond mere decoration.

Crested Runner Duck: Profile

  • Breed Name: Bali
  • Other Name: Balinese Crested or Crested Runner
  • Breed Purpose: Eggs, Ornamental, Pets
  • Special Notes: Active, Excellent Foragers
  • Breed Class: Light
  • Broodiness: Poor


  • Drake: About 2.25 to 2.75 kg
  • Duck: About 1.8 to 2.25 kg

Climate Tolerance:

  • All Climates

Egg Characteristics:

  • Egg Color: Blue-Green to White
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Egg Weight: About 65 grams
  • Egg Productivity: Medium

Flying Ability:

  • Poor


  • Common


  • Brown, Mallard, and White varieties are common.

Country of Origin:

  • Bali, East of Java

The Crested Runner Duck, also known as the Bali or Balinese Crested, is valued for its egg-laying abilities, ornamental appearance, and suitability as pets. With an active nature and excellent foraging skills, these ducks thrive in various climates. While they are not known for their broodiness, they are prolific layers of large eggs, ranging in color from blue-green to white. Despite their poor flying ability, Crested Runner Ducks are common and come in various color varieties. They originate from Bali, located to the east of Java.

Origins of the Crested Runner Duck

The Crested Runner duck, also known as the Balinese Crested duck, emerges as a captivating and lightweight member of the domestic duck family. Originating from the serene landscapes of Bali, this breed holds a rich history, tracing its roots back to the picturesque island nestled to the east of Java. Despite its antiquity, the Crested Runner duck remains a relatively uncommon sight beyond the borders of Bali, adding an air of mystique to its existence.

Historical Significance and Comparative Success

As one of the oldest known breeds of domestic ducks, the Crested Runner duck occupies a storied place in avian history. However, its prevalence beyond the confines of Bali pales in comparison to the widespread success enjoyed by the Indian Runner. Despite sharing a lineage steeped in antiquity, the Crested Runner has not attained comparable acclaim or commercial success, a phenomenon attributed to factors such as limited breeding efforts and the inherent challenges posed by its genetic predispositions.

While it boasts commendable laying capabilities, the breed has not undergone the same rigorous selective breeding for egg production witnessed in its Indian Runner counterpart, owing in part to concerns surrounding elevated mortality rates among crest-bearing individuals.

Characteristic Description
Purpose Primarily raised for ornamental purposes or as pets, though it also exhibits commendable egg-laying capabilities.
Meat Production Not favored as a meat duck breed due to its smaller size.
Foraging Abilities Excellent foragers requiring ample space to roam, akin to Indian Runner ducks.
Pest Control Exhibits prowess as a pest controller in gardens, akin to Indian Runner ducks.
Egg Production A prolific egg layer, averaging between 120 to 250 large eggs per year. Eggs range in color from blue-green to white.
Temperament Gentle and friendly, making them suitable as pets.
Flight Capability Non-fliers, similar to other domesticated duck breeds.
Rarity Relatively rare outside of their native habitat, lacking the widespread success of Indian Runner ducks.

This comprehensive breed profile encapsulates the multifaceted characteristics of the Crested Runner duck, delineating its role as both a decorative addition to domestic settings and a reliable producer of quality eggs. While its smaller size renders it less suitable for meat production, its adept foraging abilities and pest control prowess underscore its utility in maintaining balanced ecosystems.

With its affable temperament and non-flying nature, the Crested Runner duck emerges as an appealing choice for enthusiasts seeking avian companionship. Despite its relative rarity beyond its native habitat, this breed’s unique attributes and endearing qualities ensure its enduring appeal among discerning poultry enthusiasts.

Unique Characteristics and Appearance

Characterized by its distinctive crest, the Crested Runner duck stands out as a spectacle to behold. With its upright posture, it captivates onlookers with its graceful demeanor. The genetic anomaly responsible for the crest enhances the bird’s allure, yet it comes with a somber caveat. This peculiar gene, though visually striking, carries a lethal aspect.

When two ducks bearing identical bloodlines breed, the outcome can be tragic. The resulting eggs often fail to hatch, or if they do, the ducklings may suffer from various deformities. These abnormalities, ranging from arched necks to balance issues and cranial malformations, often culminate in premature death before hatching, painting a poignant picture of the fragility inherent in nature’s creations.

Distinguishing Features of the Bali Duck

In the tapestry of duck breeds, the Bali Duck emerges as a distinct thread, closely related to its cousin, the Indian Runner Duck. However, what sets it apart is the striking crest crowning its head, an embellishment that adds an extra layer of allure to its already captivating presence. This crest, akin to a regal adornment, elevates the visual appeal of the bird, making it a prized possession among enthusiasts of avian beauty.

A Fusion of Elegance and Utility

Beyond its role as a decorative element in pastoral landscapes, the Bali Duck holds its ground as a practical contributor to the homestead. Despite its delicate appearance, it demonstrates commendable laying capabilities, ensuring a steady supply of eggs for those who raise it. This fusion of elegance and utility renders the Bali Duck not merely a feast for the eyes but also a valuable asset in domestic settings, where both form and function hold significance.

Genetic Inheritance and Breeding Strategies

A notable aspect of Crested Runner duck breeding lies in the hereditary transmission of the crest trait. Remarkably, approximately one-third of offspring from crest-bearing parents will lack this distinctive feature, adding an element of genetic unpredictability to breeding endeavors. To mitigate this outcome and maintain the crest lineage, breeders often employ strategic cross-breeding techniques.

By introducing Crested Runner ducks lacking the crest, or even incorporating Indian Runners into the breeding pool, breeders aim to curtail the incidence of crest-less progeny. While this approach enhances overall survival rates, it inevitably leads to a reduction in the proportion of crested ducklings, underscoring the delicate balance between preserving genetic diversity and upholding breed standards.

Utilization and Purpose

Despite the complexities associated with breeding, the Crested Runner duck remains cherished for its ornamental appeal and companionship value. Primarily cultivated for aesthetic pleasure or kept as cherished pets, these ducks are enchanted with their graceful presence and distinctive features. While they may not match the prolific egg-laying prowess of their Indian Runner counterparts, their intrinsic beauty and gentle demeanor endear them to enthusiasts and aficionados alike, reaffirming their status as cherished members of the domestic waterfowl community.

Crested Runner Duck: Profile, facts, Eggs, Ducklings, Care

Nurturing the Bali Duck: Care and Considerations

For those considering welcoming the Bali Duck into their abode, certain considerations must be taken into account to ensure its well-being. As with any domesticated bird, providing adequate shelter, access to water, and a balanced diet are paramount. Additionally, attention must be given to safeguarding the bird’s crest, as its unique feature requires delicate handling to prevent any harm. With proper care and attention, the Bali Duck thrives as a cherished member of the household, enchanting all who behold its graceful presence.

Challenges and Ethical Considerations

While the Crested Runner duck’s crest adds to its allure, it also poses ethical dilemmas for breeders and enthusiasts. The desire to preserve this unique trait must be balanced against the welfare of the birds. Breeders grapple with the responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of their feathered charges, navigating a delicate equilibrium between conservation and compassion.

As the allure of the Crested Runner duck continues to capture the imagination of avian aficionados, so too does the imperative to approach its breeding with sensitivity and foresight, mindful of the intricate interplay between aesthetics and ethics.

Physical Characteristics and Comparison with Indian Runner Ducks

Weighing in at approximately 2.25–2.75 kg (5–6 lb), the Crested Runner duck boasts a slender yet robust physique, distinguished by its upright stance. In contrast to its Indian Runner counterpart, the carriage of the Crested Runner’s body exhibits a subtle difference. While Balis typically carry themselves at an angle of 60–70 degrees to the ground, Indian Runners display a broader range, spanning from 45 to 75 degrees.

Notably, the Crested Runner duck showcases broader shoulders and a more substantial build compared to the Indian Runner, along with a distinctively coarser head and bill structure. However, the hallmark feature setting the Crested Runner apart lies in its unmistakable crest adorning the crown of its head, a defining trait that sets it apart in the avian world.

Diversity in Coloration and Standard Varieties

The Crested Runner duck presents a visual feast with its array of standard colors, adding a vibrant touch to its allure. While various hues grace its plumage, the most prevalent shades include white, brown, and the classic Mallard coloring, each contributing to the bird’s unique aesthetic appeal. This spectrum of colors reflects the breed’s versatility and adaptability, showcasing nature’s artistry in crafting diverse and captivating avian specimens.

Prolific Egg Production and Unique Characteristics

Renowned for its fecundity, the Crested Runner duck is a prolific producer, yielding an impressive haul of 120–250 eggs per year. These eggs, ranging in color from blue-green to white, stand as a testament to the breed’s reproductive prowess and utility in domestic settings. Beyond its egg-laying capabilities, the Crested Runner’s distinctive traits, from its striking crest to its robust physique, underscore its multifaceted role as both a functional provider and an ornamental marvel within the realm of domesticated waterfowl.

Variety in Coloration

The Crested Runner duck boasts a diverse array of standard colors, with brown, mallard and white varieties being among the most prevalent. This kaleidoscope of hues adds a vibrant touch to the breed’s aesthetic palette, enriching its allure and captivating onlookers with its visual diversity.

Average Body Weight

With an average body weight ranging between 2.25 and 2.75 kg, the Bali duck strikes a balance between agility and robustness. This moderate weight, captured in the lens of A Fowl’s Dwelling, underscores the breed’s suitability for various domestic environments.

Early Detection of Crest Quality

The quality of the crest in Crested Runner ducks becomes apparent from the moment of hatching, offering breeders valuable insights into the genetic traits of their progeny. Vigilant observation at this critical stage enables breeders to make informed decisions regarding breeding stock, facilitating the propagation of desirable traits while mitigating the risk of hereditary defects.

Breeding Considerations and Defect Management

In breeding Crested Runner ducks, meticulous attention must be paid to the quality of the crest. Off-center crests, considered a defect, pose significant challenges in breeding endeavors, necessitating careful selection of breeding stock to minimize the prevalence of such anomalies. Despite the dominance of the crested gene and its potential for widespread propagation, breeders must navigate the intricacies of genetic inheritance to ensure the continued health and vitality of the breed.

Impact of Crest Gene on Fertility

While the crested gene confers visual distinction upon Crested Runner ducks, its presence carries implications for fertility rates. Approximately 25% of fertile eggs fail to hatch due to the influence of this gene, with an additional 25% of hatchlings lacking the crest. This dual effect underscores the complex interplay between genetic traits and reproductive outcomes, shaping the breeding landscape for Crested Runner enthusiasts. Health books, guides, exercises, habits, Diets, and more

Vocalization and Behavior

Known for their placid demeanor, Crested Runner ducks exhibit minimal vocalization, with females vocalizing primarily when seeking attention. This tranquil disposition adds to their appeal as companions, fostering a serene atmosphere within domestic settings and endearing them to enthusiasts seeking avian companionship.

Genetic Implications and Defects Associated with the Crest Gene

The gene responsible for crest formation in the Crested Runner duck also harbors a host of deleterious effects, manifesting in various physical abnormalities. These defects encompass back and stability issues, arched necks, and cranial malformations, often proving fatal before the ducklings even hatch. Amidst the intricate interplay of genetics, approximately one-third of surviving offspring will lack the crest, underscoring the complex inheritance patterns at play.

However, a grim statistic looms over the breeding process, with a quarter of ducklings falling victim to the devastating consequences of inheriting a double dose of the crest gene. Such occurrences, characterized by severe skull deformities, culminate in tragic outcomes either before or shortly after hatching, casting a shadow over the delicate dance of genetic inheritance.

Breeding Strategies for Maximizing Viability

In the pursuit of cultivating robust duck populations, breeders in Bali employ a strategic approach aimed at optimizing survival rates. By strategically crossing crested and non-crested specimens, breeders seek to bolster viability while managing the incidence of crest-related defects.

This method yields a higher survival rate among offspring, albeit at the cost of reducing the proportion of crested individuals to approximately 50%. Balancing the imperative of preserving genetic diversity to enhance overall health and vitality, breeders navigate a nuanced landscape fraught with genetic complexities and ethical considerations. Bird accessories on Amazon

Physical Distinctions and Comparisons with Indian Runner Ducks

While bearing a resemblance to the Indian Runner duck, the Crested Runner duck distinguishes itself through the presence of a crest atop its head. Sporting a slender yet upright physique, it shares similarities in body type with its Indian Runner counterpart. However, subtle differences emerge in their body carriage, with Indian Runners displaying a broader range of angles from 45 to 75 degrees to the ground.

In contrast, the Crested Runner duck maintains a more consistent posture, typically ranging from 60 to 70 degrees. Despite these disparities, both breeds exude elegance and grace, each contributing its unique charm to the rich tapestry of domestic waterfowl diversity.

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