Runner ducks molting in winter?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by tnd5, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. tnd5

    tnd5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 25, 2015
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    I have 2 of my 6 runners molting. It has been 20* at night for the last week, and about 40* during the day. Is this normal? I don't remember my muscovies ever doing this when I had them. This is my first year with runners. 4 of the 5 ducks were laying consistently up until it got cold at night. My question is: is it normal for them to molt this time of year? I do not use extra lighting, nor a heat lamp. I am a bit worried about them getting too cold. TIA
     
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    It is not unusual for them to molt in winter, and they are at risk if their shelter is too cold. We all have different setups, so I don't have any specific suggestions.
     
  3. tnd5

    tnd5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, Amiga. I was hoping you would see this. I appreciate your time and knowledge.
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    @tnd5 please please feel free to PM me. I have so many irons in the fire right now, I truly appreciate someone tapping me on the virtual shoulder. Really.

    So do please also watch those Runners - if they are shivering, scrunching up their necks, not walking around much, walking stiff-legged, they are too cold and at risk of hypothermia. Even if it's just a great big box in the laundry room, they need warmer shelter.

    A number of mine, even those not molting, were too, too cold their first winter and I eventually moved them permanently (for night time) into the walkout basement. I made part of the basement into the duck barn, and they thrive. No extra heat needed, just the insulation from the walls with the house on top - stays 40 F or above. They started laying again, and acting like normal, content Runners.

    I discovered that though they were technically mature, they were only about 80% of the body mass that they achieved their second year.
     
  5. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Overrun With Chickens

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    Ducks are eclipse molters. They molt twice a year. Before and after breeding season which is just before Spring and as Fall gets here. My Runners usually do their fall molt around October when it starts getting cold. Then they spring molt when the weather starts to warm up. My Runners just got done molting their wings, still molting some of their head and neck feathers.
     
  6. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Good information. My Runners do not molt twice a year, but there are exceptions to every duckie rule. Sometimes they'll go a little over a year between molts.
     
  7. tnd5

    tnd5 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 25, 2015
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    Thank you, both, @Amiga and Birdbrain92. They have a huge electric poultry fence run and a 12x12x6 dog kennel that they get locked in at night. It is covered on one side of the kennel by a tarp. There are also 2 extra large dog houses in the kennel filled with straw. I am thinking I need to tarp another side or 2 of the kennel. This is their first real molt and they are 1 year old.
     

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