Naming Birds, the ultimate dilemma!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by duluthralphie, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler extrodinaire Premium Member

    Jul 11, 2014
    Orrock township, Minnesota
    How many of you name your birds?

    I have resisted naming mine. Of course, I have JJ and Ethel which were my first birds this time around, and they came with Myrtle as a trio. But in my defense I did not name JJ. He had that name when I got him. It seemed unfair that the other two not have names so I named them.

    I did not name the babies I got this year. None of them turkey, guinea, goose, or chicken. I grew up on a farm, this farm in fact, I learned early on not to name animals you might eat. I know some of you raise birds simply for pets, and are appalled at the idea of eating them. I understand that and make no judgment one way or another on why a person has birds.

    I bought mine with the intention of eating them, and keeping a few for eggs and reproduction. Thus I have followed the golden rule and not named them. I do enjoy my birds still, I pamper them, treat them to treats, I have more pictures of them than I do of my grandkids. I sit with them every night talk, talk to them and have a beer. My day is consumed by them.

    Yet, I never named them because all except a lucky dozen will become food. I held tight to this rule. Then last night, I realized I named a dang rooster. He was the biggest chick of my lot, he is even larger than the CX's I already have in the freezer. I showed his picture on here last week, to see what breed he is. The consensus was he is a production red. He is not a special chicken.

    The other night my wife and I were watching them and I commented on his size, we always comment on his size. I told her he reminded me of Brutus, from Popeye not ancient Rome. I have implemented a color coding for my birds, similar to what Southwest Airlines has. I code the birds scheduled to depart earliest with blue bands, the 2nd batch has green, and the last batch is pink. I will pick the birds I keep from the pink group.

    I caught "Brutus", of course he was nameless then, the other night and gave him his blue band. I have never touched him before that I know of. I released him after a few calming strokes and feeling his drumstick. However, since then he has been friendlier. I have given him a couple pets on the back and he has not ran in fear. Last night, as I was sitting with them drinking my Corona, he was along side my chair, where he has been every night since he got his blue ring. I reached down to pet him and he sat down, while gobbling his wild bird seed. I said " how you doing Brutus?, Life treating you ok?".

    Then it hit me, I named him! Now what do I do. He is not a great breeding stock, He is too large and lumbers when he walks. He is beautiful to look at, but with his size can he even breed? He is a pet, I do not want to be his demise. Pets are part of my family.

    So 2 questions,
    The first one being do you name your birds?

    What do I do with Brutus?
  2. Demidog

    Demidog Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2014
    Well I've only just started out with chickens this summer and I've kept in mind not to name them because we will be eating any that turn out to be males. I'm really fond of them too and can spend hours sitting in the garden watching them and collecting things to throw into their run for them to eat. My biggest one i suspect is a rooster because it's getting a big red comb but it's still too early to tell, for me anyway as a novice. I'm trying not to get attached to the ones that i think are males. I'm not looking forward to having to kill them, but I'm trying to take a 'matter of fact' attitude to it. For me at this point, even if i did name them I'd still kill the boys because that's the way it's got to be. Our chickens are for eggs and the odd pot of soup, and we're planning on getting broilers for meat at some point. We've got to eat. Death is a fact of life. I'm much happier knowing that we're giving our chickens a good life and that they will be killed humanly to feed our family, as opposed to buying a chicken from the supermarket that's likely factory raised in a less ethical environment.

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