I know that is a pretty sad looking picture of a chicken with this post but, “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity.” (Ecc. 3:1 [NIV]) This is molting season. I learn so many lessons about God at my ranch, so I am going to share one with you now.
Chickens molt to naturally “turn over” their feathers, pushing out old ones and making room for the new. Some chickens may lose nearly all their feathers at once, while others may molt in patches. Timing can vary from chicken to chicken, thought molting is most often associated with the fall season. The decrease in daylight hours triggers the molting process to begin. Some of the chickens wait until closer to winter. The duration of a molt will also vary for each individual bird, and can range from several weeks to a few months to complete. Chickens usually take a break from laying eggs while they are molting. Not laying eggs is totally normal and part of their natural self-defense to conserve nutrients and stay healthy during a molt.
We had a huge snowstorm here in Colorado on September 8th, and it forced our chickens into an early molting season. Normally they don’t begin until late October or early November. Normally we get three to five dozen eggs a day. Now we are lucky if we see one dozen.
Since COVID struck, we humans have been molting, in a sense. It was like the snowstorm, unexpected and threw off our normal routines. It forced us into lock-down in our homes and we lost our “feathers” (street clothes) and only wore pajamas. No need to preen our feathers, as we couldn’t go to the barber shop or salon. Our world was tossed asunder and just like my chickens, we had to take a break from normal and acted in self-defense to conserve our sanity and stay healthy during this molting season.
But that’s just it. It is a season, and this too shall pass. It is time we start “laying” again. We are getting dressed, going to work if we can, and are getting on with life as best as we are able.
In doing so, we need to be on the lookout for others who are still “pushing out their old feathers” and need our help to realize that normal will never be as it was before. But it can be better, if we choose to make it so. Our production of joy can make the difference in our lives and in the lives of others.
So stop molting and start laying big ol’ eggs of joy to everyone you meet. Lay at least one egg of joy in someone’s life every day, which if we do the math, is over 30 dozen eggs in a year!
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