Saturday, March 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Critter Farm Chickens

Just one year ago, twelve chirping, busy, fluffy handfuls became a significant part of my life (3/07/08):

In less than three weeks, they preferred my lap to their brooder box (March):

Roxy took her role as guardian very seriously (April):

Fieldtrips outside were a cause for great excitement (April):

Then came the dawning realization of a rooster in our midst (April):

A milestone moment was the first roosting in the new coop outside (April):

Roxy did her best to keep everyone in line (April):

But the bigger they got, the bolder they became. This was a time of teenage chicken mayhem (May):

The month of May brought the first glimpse of new arrivals to the farm (May):

It also marked their first time being seen (May):

The first face-to-face meeting was a tentative one (June):

But the furry new guys were quite forward and became frequent visitors (June):

July brought the joy of the first egg (7/03/08):

And also a really big egg (July):

A really small egg (July):

A terribly dirty egg (July):

And those odd, spongy eggs (July):

Sparrow developed a bad habit of nestbox sleeping that needed breaking (July):

Our first goodbye was to Pip when he was rehomed to a farm with no other roosters (August):

The small perch over the window was a great idea...until everybody gained so much weight (September):

A chicken-sized door from the coop to the run was finally completed (September):

Which further increased young chicken independence, though my lap continued to be enjoyed at times (September):

The chicken door ramp was the completing piece to the coop (October):

Though Dottie still likes to try to fly in (October):

Their first fall brought the joy of tasty grape leaves (November):

Then came the scary white stuff (December):

Very few were brave (December):

Roopert the rooster has become a steadfast and diligent protector of the girls (January):

The older they get, the more helpful they become (February):

Already, a full year has gone by. The girls can be called pullets no more (3/07/09):

As of today, they are officially hens (3/07/09):


  1. Happy Birthday to your sweet hens and to Roopert. Happy Birthday to you too, Danni!(a couple of days late)

  2. Happy Happy Birthday to all you lovely ladies and, of course, Roopert too! Time truly flies when we're all enjoying those gorgeous feathered friends.

  3. Have I been reading your blog for a year? Wow. My favorite picture is the one with the girls all looking out the door at the snow. That's hilarious!

  4. Happy Birthday to you and your hens! It has been such a pleasure reading your blog! Thank you so much. You are such a dear.

  5. Great photo journal!

    What, NO CAKE ???

  6. Oh Happy Birthday to you all. I feel like I'm a part of the family from all the familiar scenes!!
    XXXOOO to all!

  7. Oh my word, a year already. They've grown and changed so much. Can't wait to see what year two brings.

    BTW, I've yet to get any of those squishy eggs. What's up with that? I was hoping for a few to freak my boys out with. ;0)

  8. You have such a wonderful way of making me fall in love with whatever you are posting about. I am actually afraid of birds in general, but your posts have made me think that maybe a few hens one day might not be such a bad thing.

    Happy birthday to you all! I'm looking forward to the whole next year too.

  9. Aww! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ladies! :D

    I can't wait until our new chicks are a year...they grow up so fast. *sniff*.

  10. What a cute chronicle. I relate to the helpfulness of your hens.

  11. Thank you for this wonderful post! I love my chickens too, and it's so fun to look at photos of them that 1st year. They sure change.

    That's one HUGE egg, and quite possibly the smallest chicken egg I've ever seen! Awwwww.

  12. Happy Birthday to the Chickens!
    What an exciting first year they (and you) have had!!
    Loved the post!
    Tracey :)

  13. You have enough material here for a whole book - "My Year with Chickens." I think it has the makings of a best seller.

  14. Happy Birthday! But NO Peanuts! Those must be saved for the goats.

  15. Mommas babies are all grown up!
    Do you realize you grew your very own chickens with no casualties on your first try! Good work, chicken mom.

  16. That's a great look back post Danni. What a year you've all had!
    By the way, thanks for commenting on the Poppy post, you make me laugh with most of your posts. I wish I could do as well! I'm very thankful I found you through Evie's blog.

  17. Oh yep...We too share the very similar experiences of raising chicks to hens.
    We have had the full gamut too of eggs,all weird and some wonderful!!
    Your rooster is a good looking chap.
    I have 12 week olds at the moment 7 of them and am still madley trying to work out who is a hen and who is a rooster.
    Sneaking suspicions we have 4 roosters.
    Your flock are gorgeous lil chahracters

  18. What a wonderful thread! I loved looking at all the pictures over time. Happy birthday to all your two footed, feathered friends! I'll have to give grape leaves to mine this fall - didn't know they would like that!

  19. Congratulations girls! You're all grown up now.

  20. Hi Farmer Jen - The chickens and I both thank you for the birthday wishes and I thank you for the sweet e-card you sent me. I had a lovely day. :-)

    Hey CalifoniaGrammy - It's so amazing to me that they're a year old already!

    Hi Sarah - I know, it's crazy. A year of you watching my chickens getting big and me watching Hannah, Ains, and Grayson growing up!

    Hey Pat - thanks for the bday wishes and your very kind words!

    Howdy GreyWolf - No cake, but the chickens did get some festive leftover rice. From the way they reacted, this was at least as good as cake!

    Hi Eve - We've been reading each other for a long time now, haven't we? We're building quite a history!

    Hey Mim, I can't believe you never got those squishy things! If I ever get another one, I'll be sure to stick it in a jar and mail it to you. :-)

    Hi Tara - I wish you hang with chickens for a day or two - I think all your fear of birds would be gone. Roopert can be a bit of a puffed up dweeb sometimes, but the girls are gentle sweetie pies. They do jump for treats sometimes, though, so you have to be ready for a shoulder-level hen every now and again. lol

    Hey Mellimaus - Isn't it funny, last year at this time, I had the chicks and you had the big hens, now it's the reverse!

    Hi Egghead - So do your hens help you with basic carpentry around the coop, too? :-)

  21. Hi Tammy - Thanks for stopping in! Believe it or not, that small egg weighed in at .4 ounces. A few weeks later, I actually found one that was only .2 ounces! It's sitting in a basket now on my kitchen sill - it is SO small!

    Thank you, Tracey!!

    Hi the7MSN - Would that this were true. I could sure use the cash from a bestseller right now. :-)

    Hey Marigold - Yup, I'm saving all my peanuts for my goats...or a visit from you!

    Hi CeeCee - I know! I feel so fortunate - and lucky...many more experienced chicken owners lost a number of chicks/pullets over the last year.

    Hi Jenny!! Your Poppy is quite the photogenic one. I think that picture should be entered in a contest or made into a poster! It makes me happy that I make you laugh! :-)

    Hi ABCC: Uh oh...4 roosters? I don't know what I would have done! Do they offer sexed chickens in Australia or do you get straight-run only and keep your fingers crossed?

    Hey Claire - Thank you!!

  22. Great it's really an informative blog post I like it Thank you so much..

  23. Mine are a year old today! Love your chicken posts. I just lost a hen yesterday to an owl! She was in the driveway and the owl was on the fence when i got home and i had to chase him off! Poor Katie :(

    Are you planning on more this spring?

  24. What a great journey. I love the photo of the chickens meeting the donkeys for the first time. Very Westside Story. They grow up so fast, don't they?

  25. What a lovely tribute to your girls and Roopert. ( I do miss Pip ) Did they receive a special birthday mash! I guess I didn't realize how quickly they grow.

  26. Happy Birthday Wynonna, Princess, Cowgirl, Rose Uppity, Coral, Spongebob, Sparrow, Bippity, Boppity, Dottie, Roopert, (and Pip)!

    I hope your chicken mama made you a tasty oatmeal cake.

  27. Happy Birthday, one and all! Don't they grow up fast. Can't wait to see what the next year brings.

  28. Happy Birthday Hens!!! We got our chickens last March also. I love them so much! Great pictures!

  29. Wow...what a great photo journey throught their first year. They are some very lucky hens! Kim

  30. Wonderful post and your girls (and guy) are fantastic. It's been terrific watching them grow. Cherish them!


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