One of the real pluses to being retired is that you have the time to lay about and consider the "why" of things. So the quackers started molting this week, as well as the attendant loss of eggs. Quite naturally I came to BYC for info since the weather here just turned cold. (Okay, cold for here, down into the 30's at night and 60's during the day.) I discovered that while many had reported that their ducks were molting during cold weather no one could explain why this was so since it seemed counter survival. I think I have the answer. It is Darwinian behavior and is not counter survival. Think about it. An adult duck holds it's body temp at about 107 degrees and therefore stays warm. Now consider why ducks lay eggs. An egg is a duck's way of making another duck. They don't care if we get eggs or not. Now, even though an adult can tolerate cold weather, as we all know a duckling can't! In order to survive they must be kept warm (about 90 degrees for the first week). See? Why make ducklings that have a lower chance of survival?