Ankle Weights on Chickens

This spring and early summer, an unusual amount of rain fell here in Central Illinois. Rivers were swollen, fields were flooded, and farmers had to delay planting.

Even our property on high ground was affected, especially our chicken run, which turned into a chicken wallow, rather than the dusty stretch of bare dirt it usually is.

The mud had a most unusual effect upon our chickens, who spend their days striding back and forth in their run. Dried mud ankle weights formed upon their legs, layer by layer, until each chicken had heavy balls of dried mud around her ankles.

Image by klimkin from Pixabay


My daughter and I tried to break off the stuff with our fingers, to no avail. It was like concrete! So we set each chicken in a dishpan of water and let her feet soak until we could loosen the softened mud.

The chickens loved the attention, seeming to look upon the whole thing as a spa treatment – except that they decided to drink their bathwater as well as luxuriate in it.

After each chicken was relieved of her cement booties, we returned her to the run. Fortunately, the rain tapered off soon after, and our chickens haven’t suffered from the problem since.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of the weights that the Bible speaks of, weights we Christians carry about as a result of dragging our feet through the muck of the world.

Image by ariesa66 from Pixabay


Though the solution is as simple as a soak in the clean water of the Spirit, we sometimes neglect to take care of ourselves in that way. We forge on, bearing burdens of worry, stress, or forgotten or ignored sin, when all we have to do is a bit of daily maintenance: prayer, self-examination, and eliminating from our lives those things that would drag us down.

But let a man examine himself. – 1 Corinthians 11:28a

I encourage you, even when time seems short and your days are busy, take a moment to refresh yourself in the Spirit. Turn over your burdens to Jesus. Ask him to forgive your sin.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. – Matthew 11:29

And both physically and spiritually, remove from your life anything that would slow you down in the race for Christ: media, entertainment, false friends. You know what encumbers you.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. – Hebrews 12:1

Image by engin_akyurt from Pixabay

How do you make time for spiritual self-checks? Are there things you’ve had to remove from your life because they affected your spiritual race? I value your thoughts.

because home wasn't built in a day

6 thoughts on “Ankle Weights on Chickens”

  1. I’m downstream from you, in west Kentucky, with the Mississippi maybe 40 minutes away, and the Ohio less than that. Glad your flooding issues were manageable.

    I’ve come to realize that I must make spiritual self-checks part of the weekly routine (being a creature of habit). Usually on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday, I will schedule nothing and disappear to a nearby park, or slip away to Murray or Paducah, I use the time to exhale, remind myself especially that I am not alone, and recall the good things that are happening, even if dark moments are raising their annoying heads. Thanks be to God, I usually come back refreshed, and ready to take on whatever awaits. — Mike

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is an excellent idea, Mike. I love the idea of getting away and setting aside time to do that. I may only go as far as my front porch, but it serves as a quiet place of reflection as well.


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