It is amazing how a flock’s egg production drops so drastically in the fall (just as amazing at how it seems to pick up so quickly in the spring). Cold weather and dark days are a signal to the chickens to lay low, give their bodies a rest, recharge for the coming season.
We’ve gone from 19 eggs a day (from our roughly 30 laying bird flock which includes half a dozen bantams who are not daily layers to maybe 20 eggs total every other day. Nothing has changed in the diet, the birds are healthy, it’s all just nature slowing things down a bit.
I see this happening in our family, how we’ve changed from the quick, quick, cold tuna salad dinners served on the porch to the slow simmering beef stews that take time and leave you full and warm as you sit around the table, preferring to discuss the day rather than go away to the cold.
In the winter, I am always sluggish. I get up later (just can’t do it in the dark.) Our house is freezing so our bodies really feel the seasonal difference. We wear multiple sweaters in the house, wrap ourselves in blankets when we settle down to read a book or watch TV. When I write, I have to wear those Bob Cratchit gloves in an effort to keep my hands warm.
We slow down, we conserve energy, conserve heat. We regroup from the frenetic pace of summer followed by endless fall soccer games to the muffled quiet of cold.
I’ve often thought about how it would be to live in one of those newly constructed houses, so air tight, a vacuum is created when you close the front door. I’ve seen my kids’ friends greet us wearing shorts and tee shirts in the dead of winter. Their homes too warm to wear much more.
I wonder if the people in those houses feel the seasons as much as those of us with winter wind blowing the curtains in the renovated summer cabin portion of our house. Do they eat the stews, the roasts, the heavy meals of the season or do they prefer the eternal grocery store fruits and salads always reminding them of a summer yet to come.