Naming the Chickens

Well, I gave in the other night and agreed that we should sit down and name our rainbow flock of laying chickens. The Ladybug is setting up quite a little egg enterprise over here to raise money for missionaries and, well, it seemed like the right thing to do. (Mr. Fix-It thinks it’s ridiculous.)

free range chickens at The Lowe Farm, Virginia

I decided that I would name the chickens, but everyone was allowed to submit names, in case there was some filtering necessary.

There was.

Free range chickens at The Lowe Farm, Virginia

We named the Reds Henny and Penny.

We rejected Gravy, Graily, Sally, and Pecker.

We named the Buffs Sunny, Lady, and Peaches.

We rejected Brownie, Goldie, Blackie, Greenie, Reddie, and Chicken-Woman.

Free range chickens at The Lowe Farm, Virginia

And we named the Blacks Star and Bright (after Almanzo’s oxen calves in Farmer Boy)

We rejected Pecky, Vicky, Midnight, Red, Fluffy, Puffy, and Pouffy.

It was an interested 30 minutes in the truck, to say the least. The Ladybug and the Cowboy had an extensive argument about naming chickens after cows–which is how we discovered that apparently the Cowboy has taken it upon himself to name Molly’s most recent calf, Peter.

Since Peter is destined for hamburger, I’m not sanctioning that naming.

But he’s out there hanging with the cows for 20-30 minutes every day while he fills water buckets, so I see how it happens. I mean, I’ve mentally dubbed my favorite ewes Bug-Eyes, Fatty, Curls, and Fur-Face. (Perhaps not as classic as Molly and Peter, but I understand how you have to call them something when you talk to them every day!)

Free range chickens at The Lowe Farm, Virginia

We’re pretty strict about not naming animals until and unless we are sure they are staying for a while. And the few times we’ve broken that rule (usually under the influence of non-farming folks) I have lived to regret it with the kids. They accept what we do, but they still have to come face-to-face with hard decisions regularly. There’s no need to make it harder by making them deal with sending “Little Tony” for “the long walk.”

But we don’t mind naming the breeding stock that we know is staying around for several seasons or years. (Well, Mr. Fix-It doesn’t care one way or another, but the crew and I enjoy it.) We’ve named all the cows and most of the laying chickens (I was late with this group because I was still a little traumatized by that illness that swept through last summer). We’ve always named our rams. The ewes tend to get nicknames based on how we recognized them more than “formal” names like Spotted Legs, Ripped Ear, Fat Tail, etc. (Kinda reminds me of American Indian names, the kids will love that angle!)

How do you go about naming your pets or farm animals?

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Comments

Naming the Chickens — 9 Comments

  1. It seems like our kids always an.e our animals. We don’t have farm animals but we do have three backyard chickens. Our Americana is named Helga and our two leghorns are “the big one ” and “the little one”. I should probably get the kids on to giving them names too! Ha! Named or unnamed they sure lay good eggs! :)

    • My daughter really loves them having names now. She’s started talking to them a lot more, and even tries to match up the eggs with the chicken. “That must be Peaches egg, that big one. She was sitting on the nest when I came in.”

  2. We are 50/50 here with naming the chickens … we have eight RIRs that are “the big girls or the lucys”, our 2 roosters have names, Zeke and Charlie (who I threaten to get rid of on a daily basis!), then we have an americana named cutie pie, and of cource cutie pie’s sister (yep thats what she’s called!), we have two golden americanas we refer to as the goldies, one chicken that I’m not sure what it is (it was suppose to be a cuckoo marans but isn’t) that we call blackie, then we refer to the Black Copper Marans as daddy’s chickens, and the 2 Cuckoo Marans as just the Cuckoos. Ahhh. and it truth be told I think our 4 year old named all of them … except for the roosters.

    • I think it’s funny how they don’t sound like names, but they ARE names. That’s how you refer to them, know them, recognize them, and talk about them. Just like all our sheep have numbers and a lot of times we’ll use their number as a name. It’s not that they are “just a number” it’s that THAT NUMBER is who they are. “You know old 32 out there…” Our ewes are about half number-named and half physical-feature-named.

  3. I named my first hens after strong women. Aretha (Franklin), Maude (Harold and Maude), Scarlett (O’Hara), Sarah (kids book Owl Babies), Thelma and Louise, Hermione, Cindy Lou (Who), and Scout (from To Kill A Mockingbird). The next chicken was hatched thanks to a broody hen. He/she was named Liberty (born on the 4th of July, and was a rooster). The next five Black Copper Marans that arrived were Disney princesses – Cinderella, Belle, Rapunzel, Jasmine, and Snow White.

    Found you on Farm Fun Friday!

    • What a cool way to think about it! I love using old fashion names for our farm animals (although a lot of them are coming back IN fashion!) like you would find in old books.

  4. My kids always want to name everything! We are keeping a list of the names we are currently using and assign names based on letters of the alphabet we haven’t used yet. I think we have pretty much every letter. I also love old fashioned names for birds! We named our trio of female ducks Jemimah, Petunia, and Delilah.

  5. This blog brought back lots of memories for me. Growing up on a farm, we always knew not to name certain animals. However, my cousin Terri & I named one of my Grandaddy’s pis Fred. Fred was a playmate. My grandaddy had pictures of the goat standing on Fred’s back. Fred was intelligent and loving– a great friend. Let’s just say it didn’t end well…Lesson learned.
    I do love your blog!

    • Thanks for stopping by! Yes, I slipped up and let someone that was visiting us give a lamb a name recently that stuck. And I lived to regret it last fall! The kids were fine with everyone but THAT ONE getting sold. I heard about it for weeks. :/

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