A year can go by in a blink of an eye. It’s hard to believe that my hens were delivered to my local post office from  the Murrary McMurray Hatchery one year ago on June 15. They were cute, fluffy, yellow baby chicks then just waiting to conquer the world.

These hens will always have a special place in my heart because they were my first flock of little girls. I can still see them like it was yesterday. Their constant little chirps melted my heart like a stick of butter. I checked on them every minute of the day. I cradled my baby chicks in the palm of my hand and gently caressed their powder-puff bodies. There is nothing cuter, in my mind anyway, than a baby chick.

My pearl white leghorns have been the apple of my eye since day one. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a farmer and raise chickens. I had to wait a long time, but the wait was well worth it.

At times, my little girls and I have been on a roller coaster ride of excitement — some good and some not so good. Heh, that’s life in an eggshell. We would never appreciate the good times if there weren’t some bumps along the way. My girls and I have lived through a vicious pecking order, sweltering heat, frigid temperatures, snow storms, cleaning the chicken coop, etc. And now, I am trying to figure out how to gather the eggs fast enough before they break them all. There have been memorable moments along the way including finding my first egg on my grandma’s birthday in October. Now, that was cool. My egg was like having a small piece of heaven in my hand.

Since my chickens arrived, I have become known as the “chicken lady.” I don’t mind; I love the nickname. I’ve had people walk up to me in the grocery store and ask, “Are you the lady from the Herald who raises the chickens? I just love reading about your girls.” Through all of our ups and downs, you, the readers, have been along for the ride. I have received numerous phone calls, letters and even gifts from readers who enjoy reading about the wild chicken ride I have been on this past year. For some, these experiences have brought back happy childhood memories from a simpler time on the farm. I’m glad all of us could experience this together.

My chickens have blessed me with visitors from as far away as Kentucky, Ohio and Chicago to those living just a few miles away from my home. My life has been made so much better because of two dozen pearl white leghorn chickens. I love to visit with friends and relatives when they come by to pick up eggs. I can remember my grandma visiting with her egg customers when I was a kid and it makes me happy that I can do the same thing too. My girls have made a lot of people happy — most of all me. I can’t think of a life not raising chickens. It would be like living in a world with no “Donna Reed Show.”

I have dreams of expanding my flock and raising other breeds including the Americana, who lays pastel-colored eggs, and my beloved Golden Polish. My Golden Polish rooster, Snickers, will always be my favorite chicken; he was my pet. Even though he is living with another family now, I will always remember him.

I would love to raise 50 or more hens in my backyard someday. If I ever win the lottery, watch out. I can just see myself talking about my massive chicken operation as a guest on “This Week in Agribusiness” with Orion Samuelson and Max Armstrong. Man, I would be livin’ the dream. I could even be on the cover of “Backyard Poultry.” I may be jumping the gun, but I recently named my small operation, Klucker Farms. My motto is: “Raising happy hens since 2009.”

Chicken farming is not for everyone. If it was, we would all have chickens running around in our homes instead of dogs and cats. Through all of the hard work, trials and tribulations and above all the rewards, I can’t imagine a life without raising chickens.

“Happy birthday my girls.”

Angie Bicker is the Clinton Herald’s Lifestyles Editor. She has been with the Herald since 2001. She can be reached at angiebicker@clintonherald.com.