The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping, and my chickens are molting, which sounds as bad as it looks on the chickens.
Many of you know I traded my city-slicker life for a “Green Acres” life, which includes cutting and splitting wood to burn for heat, being amazed things really do grow in the ground and tending to our flock of chickens. We started with a group of 12 chickens but through illness, accidents and predators we’re down to 8.
Not sure why but I don’t ever remember the chickens molting before. They are literally “chicken”, afraid to leave the barn and wander the yard and woods as they usually do. They look terrible – feathers everywhere except on their bodies, looking as though a 3-year-old tried to give them a haircut.
But the most noticeable thing about the molting is the hiding and complete lack of desire to interact. Usually, I’ll call them for table scraps, and they come running, and pecking and pushing each other away from what they are sure are the best leftovers. During this molting however they don’t seem interested. They timidly peck at the stale saltine crackers and vegetables they normally love.
Many of us are going through a mental molting of sorts right now, a bit of lethargy or a lack of desire to interact. The reasons may be different, virtual everything, the pandemic exhaustion and we may also have the sense that we don’t want to leave the barn. I’m there too.
As we head into this week where we focus on what we have to be thankful for, remember our connection to each other and to those we love, even if we are unable to physically gather. This mental molting many of us are feeling will not go on forever, we look to the days getting longer and more hopeful as we continue replenish our feathers and build up our reserves.
Best wishes and gratitude for our connection.