Naming Your Chickens

kjanda

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
49
1
31
Central Texas
I'm new to BYC but have to say I'm really surprised at how many folks on here have named their chickens. I haven't even thought of naming any of our chickens, goats, or guineas. The closest I've come is the one hen that follows me everywhere, lets me pick her up, etc. and I'll just say, "There's my buddy" or something. I'm guessing most people who have them named have them as pets. Not very many people I know with chickens name them. Does this surprise anyone else or yall think the majority name their birds?
 

Domestic_goddess

Songster
10 Years
Mar 26, 2009
1,747
23
173
Utah
I do see a lot of people that name their birds, to each his own. I personally have way to many birds to keep track to name each. I do have a horrible nickname for a rooster that is mean. I also have 4 goats, and they have names sort of...just so we know who is who.
 
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bobbi-j

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Mar 15, 2010
14,337
26,918
982
On the MN prairie.
I don't know if it's the majority or not. Some have chickens as pets, those get named. Some have chickens as livestock, those generally don't get named, although some do. I don't name my chickens as a rule, because I don't want to name my food. For me, it's easier that way.... I do have a couple with names right now, though. I have Betty Blue the BLRW who for the past two years has been my first broody of the spring. She's also very tame and has almost made a pet of herself. The other is Pigeon, and that's only because she looks like a giant barn pigeon with her coloring. Oh, and there's Blackbeard the rooster. That's all.
 

olderoo

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
58
8
38
Leesville sc
Not a namer, but my wife is.
Everything, from the car to the chickens gets a name. It's her tender nature.

I will call the critters by whatever name she bestows.
 

distincthead

In the Brooder
12 Years
Apr 24, 2007
63
5
41
Central CT, USA
We don't name our birds but I have nicknames for a couple that are unique in their flock. One hen has no foot so I vacillate between calling her stumpy or Eileen (I lean... *sigh* so cheesy), and like the poster above, a not so affectionate nickname for a roo who loves to be overly aggressive. My wife doesn't name them because she's not so very interested in our birds most of the time, but my ex named every last one of them and insisted they stick around until they passed away naturally. I didn't mind, to each their own! :)
 

Spangled

Songster
8 Years
Jan 12, 2012
865
96
158
Serenity Valley
I'm new to BYC but have to say I'm really surprised at how many folks on here have named their chickens.

Does this surprise anyone else or yall think the majority name their birds?
You know, I am surprised when people don't name their layers, even by numbers or something. For me, I name them so I don't have to describe them when referring to them ... like the dark speckled hen or the Black Copper Marans with black eyes. I can write down* or say, "Summer and Cosette." That's much easier than describing them.

I have one rooster that keeps taking the hens over into a dangerous location near a distant portion of the "woods" and then leaves them there and comes back to the feeder. I've sort of changed his name to Dummy (to put it nicely), but his real name is Sherlock since he's got the same color of plumage as the current Sherlock Holmes has hair. He's really an irresponsible cock; I just shake my head. Maybe the rooster, though, is just evil, wanting the hens to be taken by a predator, and not a dummy, and I should rename him "Moriarty." How's that for a twist?

Part of naming them is also to amuse myself. Like naming a Bantam Cochin "Queen Victoria" and her little Bantam pal gets named "Gladstone." It's a little obscure reference, but sorta fun.

Maybe only people with too much time on their hands name their chickens???
But what else can you do while scrubbing out the waterer besides come up with names for your chickens. Cleaning the coop, etc., is such mindless work.

*When collecting eggs, I mark on the egg the name of the cock and the hen for breeding purposes. Sometimes I can then follow that chick throughout life, but usually they all get mixed up anyway. But at least there's a good chance I know what the down looks like for that breeding pair/trio.

ETA later since folks are mentioning it: I do not decide one way or the other if the chickens are pets or livestock, and naming them or not naming them doesn't make them either "pets" or "livestock" or even "companions" around here. I just think our chickens deserve a name if they're going to let me continually reach my grubby hand under their keel and steal their eggs.
 
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Sarevan

Songster
6 Years
Sep 30, 2013
448
49
103
White Swan, WA
When we first got our laying hens as chicks a year ago my Niece named every one of them. I only use the names for 5 of the 12, Digger a black EE lays pink eggs, Dimitri a California grey she has eyesight problems, You a white EE (say hey you and she looks), Carmie a white and caramal EE, and Dino the buff orpington roo he sounds like a dinosaur I think. The others are head hen, or something else to describe them.

Our 9 buff orpington chicks are going to have to get leg bands as there only some variations in coloring or feathers to tell them apart. Oh wait only one had a name my Sis gave her, Itty Bitty but I called her Hulkette. She is the smallest, puts her head down and runs through the crowd bowling them out of her way. Knocking them over and making them squawk, looks like she does it for fun. She will do it several times while they are all active messing around in their run.

I don't really name them, they all come running when I say chickie poo doos, usually when I toss in weeds or grass clippings. It would be easier to use names, but in my head I know who they are. I had a notebook with a picture of each to a page to keep track of health, egg problems, meds etc, however Niece took it to school and it never made it back home. That was the easiest way I had to track them.
 

kjanda

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
49
1
31
Central Texas
I agree with domestic goddess, if somebody has a whole bunch of birds it'd be real hard to name them. I've only got 27 total but don't think I'd name them even if I only had 3 or 4- I know which are which and have leg bands. But I guess to me when I see so many people naming them it reminds me of my buddy's wife. Every day she's posting several things on Facebook about animal cruelty and stray dogs and cats and save this or that... If I kicked a child she wouldn't care as much as if it were a dog. And on here I've seen so many people butchering their birds and 'thanking them for their sacrifice' and such. The chickens, goats, guineas are livestock to me, not pets. When a neighbor's rooster killed mine I was more angry than sad. Same thing the other day when a 5 ft chicken snake killed my guinea and ate they eggs. If folks keep a few as pets for companionship I can see the sense in naming them. Our 6 week old daughter will probably end up naming them after Disney characters one day, anyway.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,898
581
Southern Oregon
That's the spectrum of BYC! Folks that keep birds for pets, and name them.....and folks that keep birds for livestock, and don't name them.

I'm in the livestock camp, myself. If I do refer to a hen, it's something by breed. Barred Rocks are Barbie, Buff Orps are Buffy, red birds are Annie...things like that. Very original, right?


I do on occasion name a rooster who is going to be around a while. Doesn't mean I won't eat them eventually, but I really like roosters and apparently if I really like you, I'll name you.

I'm currently running two dozen birds, have had up into the 50s. I'm not sure how I'd name 20 different barred Rocks--how on earth do you tell them apart?

But I can totally see the other end, if you have 4 hens of different breeds in a little coop in your yard, those birds have a much higher chance of getting named.
 

olderoo

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
58
8
38
Leesville sc
This is from journeytoforever.org:

"You can get very fond of these birds. Distinguish at an early stage between birds for breeding and birds for eating: you can give the breeders names, but DON'T name the meat birds, and don't let them charm you too much. Keep it in mind what fate you have in store for them!

Children can accept this as long as you're completely honest and forthright about it right from the start. Don't euphemize.

If you don't eat them they'll breed you out of house and home. If you can't stand the thought of killing them, then don't let them breed, just take all the eggs. Or get someone else to do it for you. You can learn slaughtering from a book, though it's better to get someone to show you."

Just thought it might be of interest.

If you've never checked out J2F, you're missing out - www.journeytoforever.org
 
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