Chicken Lingo of the Uneducated

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by mburpo, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. mburpo

    mburpo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2010
    Paragon, IN
    Someone I recently had this discussion with told me, "Maybe chickens are just chickens to some people."

    I frequent Craigslist looking for particular breeds of chickens and also for people wanting to rehome poultry for various reasons. Now, when I see an ad for "Laying Hens for Sale" or "Banty Hens for Sale", I always like to inquire first about the breed.

    The typical conversation with the owner goes something like this:

    Me: Hi, I was calling about the Bantam chickens your have. What breed are those?
    Owner: Banny hens...
    Me: Well, yes, but what breed specifically?
    Owner: They are bannies.
    Me: Thanks, well I'll call back and set up a time to come see them.

    Sometimes, you can just replace the word "bannie" with "layer"...

    Please tell me I'm not the only one who runs into this and gets very aggitated. I would really like to know what breed I'm driving 2 hours to see and spend my money on! I don't mind so much if someone is giving the birds away, because well, they're free. [​IMG]

    Also, don't get me started on the CL postings of "Aricanns" for sale... [​IMG]
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I know what you mean. You can try to ask what color they are, but for most people, that's about as much information as you're going to get. I think the only people that know what breeds they have are usually the ones that already have it in the ad. Not many of those, though. Some people can e-mail you a picture, even though they are clueless on the breed.

    I find that a lot of the people that don't know what breed they have ordered one of those cheap mix of breeds specials from a hatchery, got them from someone else or have a hybrid sold for laying.
  3. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Well, yeah. And that's alright too. I understand if you want to know before you drive a distance, or pay much for them, but I'm thinking you've already figured this out for yourself too. You can't make others fit your mold about it. If they don't know, or don't want to know, that's just the way it is. If someone just has "bannies' or 'layers' and that's good enough for them, there you go.

    I know what I have, but I have friends who don't know and don't care. They got them from a friend who got theirs from a friend who hatched theirs from some yard birds a neighbor gave them. They get eggs, and an occasional pot of soup and they're happy. Honestly, they're chickens. It's not rocket science, some people love all the details and some just want eggs. Move on! And I don't mean that in a mean way, I really don't! There's just better things to worry about! ... I'm going to go solve the whole world peace issue now ok? ... well, that and mow the grass, finish weeding the garden, then do some canning and make dinner, then after I finish the dishes and mop the floor, I have some sewing to do.
  4. mburpo

    mburpo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2010
    Paragon, IN
    I'm not expecting to change anyone or anything. I was just needing a little vent time. [​IMG] I keep my chickens for the enjoyment of them, the production of eggs, and I'm fascinated with genetics. I completely understand some peoples chickens are chickens attitude. My grandparents are that way. Chickens are chickens, ducks are ducks, and geese are evil. [​IMG]
  5. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Yeah, like I said in there, I thought you figured that out...

    When you think about how the various breeds got going, it really IS interesting! When farms were few and far between, and a farm wife would care for her flock for both eggs and the occasional Sunday dinner, she'd take whatever hens she could beg, trade for, swap eggs with others, and even borrow a rooster from others for awhile maybe(?) keep the best rooster for her flock, fricassee the rest and then start her own breeding program without probably even being aware of it till she got a few she really liked a lot, and culled the flock down till she had a flock she liked especially well. It does make for some interesting thinking huh? Of course, there were still probably plenty of people who paid no attention then too! I think our best ancestor birds probably came from that occasional farm wife who paid close attention after taking a good look at her hens.

    Well, that and those rich hobbyists who had the time and money to take things a step further too. [​IMG]
  6. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Yeah, if the ad doesn't specify a breed, you can probably figure that the owner is clueless. That may or may not extend to the "how-to's" of caring for them, as well! I breed rabbits, five different breeds (pedigrees and all that), and I can't begin to tell you how many people have called me looking for "just a rabbit." [​IMG] Or learned to call a breed by some fabrication that means nothing, or maybe has an animal that was sold to them as a certain breed, but I can tell it's a mixture of whatever the breeder thought was cute! Sometimes, it's hard to be tactful; you don't know where to begin, what you can possibly say without giving offense!

    "I'll have to get back to you on that . . . ."
  7. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    A lot of older folks in my area who grew up on farms with a mixed flock seem to refer to them as "banties." As a result, I usually translate the umbrella term "banties" (as in the use in the OP's post) as meaning a mixed flock that isn't necessarily breed-specific.

    This is similar to, "Oh, what kind of cats did you have?" "Just some barn cats." "Barn cats" meaning "mutts." [​IMG]

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