Lesson 417 – Winding down for the season

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.


1 Comment

Filed under All things chickens, All things local, Backyard Chickens, chicken care, Chicken fun, Life Lessons, New Hampshire, Personal, Project Chickens before the Eggs, The Family

One response to “Lesson 417 – Winding down for the season

  1. Perhaps Puget Sound is very boring, as it infrequently gets very hot or very cold. I attended six high schools in three states as a child. I remember waiting for a school bus one winter day in Wisconsin when the wind chill was about 30 degrees below zero and thinking, “When I get older, I am not going to live where it gets this cold.” Imagine this–now I don’t. Even so, it gets cold enough (especially since I lost a lot of weight), on cold winter days, I contemplate bringing our small flock of chickens into our bed to help keep me warm. However, though I’ve spoken to them frequently about house training, they just don’t see to get it.

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