I have some very strong opinions about birthdays. I think that birthdays should be a guaranteed paid day off from work. I think that alcohol should be served at all birthday gatherings, especially any gatherings involving young children. And I think that everyone deserves a birthday cake.
I don’t do anything for the cats’ birthday because I don’t like the cats and also their not mine. I also don’t do much for the tortoise, but that’s because he only eats greens and I just can’t, in good conscious, make a salad into a cake. My chickens, however, turned one-year-old over the weekend, and you can bet your ass we celebrated the shit out of their birthday.
Actually, three of the four chickens turned a year old over a week ago, but we only celebrated on the youngest one’s birthday because she’s my favorite. My mom says I shouldn’t have a favorite chicken because she’s really supportive and talks to me about how I’m raising my chickens.
Chickens change your perspective on things. When they were about six months old, a friend came over to meet the chickens and I finally got to explain my theory that people should have chickens instead of children. I’ll break it down for you. So you get to raise them from like a day old, and they recognize you’re their mom. At first, they’re really cute and helpless and make adorable peeping noises. They also get poop stuck to their butts and you have to clean it off so they don’t die. I actually think that needing to check their butts every couple hours to make sure they didn’t have poop stuck on their butt fluff really helped us bond, but unlike human children who poop themselves for years, this phase lasts like a week for the chickens. (I seriously considered trying to get chicken-maternity leave at first because I worried about them so much, but my boss had just had a human kid so I figured at best I’d get told no and at worst I’d offend my boss by asking.) Chicks live inside the house with you needing a good deal of attention for about two months, and then they move outside. It’s fucking perfect. It’s the exact right amount of time to take care of a creature you love before kicking them out, because it’s your goddamn house and you need your space. I feel so sorry for people who have human kids because they don’t move outside until they’re like 18 years old.
I think two months is a far more reasonable amount of time to invest in parenting. And the best part is, once they’re four or five months old they give you fresh, delicious eggs all the time! I haven’t checked yet, but I’m fairly certain that human kids don’t lay eggs.
Anyway, I love these chickens so damn much. I visit them outside multiple times a day to bring them treats, collect eggs, and tell them how much I love them. On their birthday, I knew I needed to make sure they got a much better treat than their usual greens and scratch grains, but obviously a chocolate cake would hurt their adorable tummies, so I had to get creative.
Serves 4 chickens
4-5 Frozen strawberries
Oatmeal (I made mine with currants, almonds and pecans)
½ a banana
Put the frozen strawberries in the bottom of a ramekin. Pour oatmeal over strawberries to cover (the ramekin should be about half full). Let set in the fridge for a few hours.
Before serving, loosen the oatmeal from the sides of the ramekin and then invert onto a plate (I generally use plastic plates when I’m serving chickens). Thinly slice the banana lengthwise and place around the oatmeal cake.
If using candles, be sure to blow them out before serving the chickens. Chickens aren’t very good at blowing on things.
Cut into four pieces and spread out across the plate to ensure each chicken will have access to the cake.
Then text a picture to your mom, if she’s not proud, she’ll at least pretend to be.
Love my chickens more than you