Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Name Game for Chickens

Rebecca's Chickens - In honor of Rebecca's Birthday today                          Photo by Nancy Shobe
Really. Someone ought to start a name registry for chickens.

Unlike moms and dads to-be who spend hours poring over baby name websites to find the perfect match, (one that doesn't remind them of anyone they don't like and  doesn't evoke ire from either side), the chicken owner usually waits to name the chicks until they're hatched. At least, that's what I did.

Normally, I'm rather clever at the name-game. As a former advertising copywriter, "headlines" and "names" usually pop right into my head and onto the page. But, the naming of my chickens had me perplexed. And, confused. It wasn't what to call them. It was how would I EVER remember the names of six chicks?

I took the easy way out and ended up calling them, for the most part, a name derived from their breed. For instance, Jersey is a Black Jersey Giant chicken; Coachie is a Giant Partridge Cochin. I know. I know. Not exactly clever...No CLIO Award Winner here...

There are some differing opinions on whether to name your chickens. After all, chickens are livestock, not pets, and some would argue it's best not to get attached. Personally, and I'll stand by this, I enjoy the challenge of naming my chicks and having something to call them when I bring their morning treat.

Below is a vignette I received from Jaki of Portland, Oregon--a thirty-or-so year veteran of chicken farming--on naming chicks:

" So, are you naming your chickens now?  I had one I named Lily for a while.  She was a beautiful white chicken.  They are rare here, because I don't buy leghorns.  But, as a wee one, she lost one wing somehow.  I suspect a feral cat or a rat reached in through the wire fencing that separated my babies from the grown hens.  Someone was able to pull her wing off. I was very worried.  To care for her. I ensconced Lily in a rabbit cage here in the kitchen.  I put a mirror in the cage with her so she would remember she was a chicken. She healed nicely, but remained my pet.  I did so love that bird.  Finally she was large enough and well enough to be put in with the other hens.  She did fine until a neighbor's dog dug under our fence and got into the chicken yard.  The only chicken the dog could catch was Lily, because, with only one wing, she couldn't fly.

I haven't named a bird since.

The neighbors got rid of the dog.


In just one month, I'll be acquiring another six-pack of baby chicks. Anyone have some ideas for chicken names?

P.S. I just discovered an on-line chicken naming website. Check it out at Pet Name Zone. The Internet never ceases to amaze me.

1 comment:

  1. We named our chickens after female country artists -- Patsy, Reba and Dolly :)