Why name chickens?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by ChickenCanoe, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    This is something I've wondered about for a long time.
    Why do you name your chickens and is there a good reason to do so?
    I've had cows, horses, pigs, chickens, pheasant, turtles, lizards, snakes, dogs etc., etc., etc. and never named anything but dogs and that was only so I could call them. Am I weird for not naming anything?
    Everyone I know has names for their chickens but me. I have 3 or more flocks with individuals that come and go so I just don't have time to worry about it. I know what breeds I have and count them when they come out in AM or in the evening. The flocks that have indiscernible individuals get leg bands based on weight/egg color/productivity/ancestry whatever but names?
    I took an eggbound girl to the vet and they wanted to know the patients name and I said Bar-b-que.
    When it was her turn the assistant called out "bar-b-que". I pick up the cage with the chicken and walk through the door.
    Don't know what other clients thought.

  2. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    I hear you loud and clear! I can't name all of the birds on my farm.

    I took chickens to a 1st grade class today to show them different varieties of chickens. The first thing the kids ask: "What's their name!"... Ummm. Spot, Fluffy, Lacy... ((Totally off the top of my head.))

    Yeah, I don't name my birds either.
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    There was a thread on this a while ago, and it's probably 50/50. Most people with pet chickens have names for them and why not? Then there's people who breed chickens and most don't name theirs at all, if anything, maybe a random rooster or something.

    I breed chickens, and I have a lot of them, but I still name them. Not all have names though because some are too young for me to give them a fitting one, and some I just plain haven't named yet, but, I do name them. Why? Because to me they're more than just a food object. Plus it helps my family remember which ones I'm talking about. And I often set a system too, such as the Ameraucanas get names of dieties, and each color variety goes to a different culture. The BBS were Greek, the Wheatens were Hawaiian, and the Buffs are Egyptian. My Marans get names of Chocolatiers, the ones beginning with a G go to my parent generation Black Coppers, the ones starting with W got to my parent generation Wheatens and Blue Wheatens. From there, the first and second generation and so on will probably move away from Chocolatier names.

    It helps keep some organization going on, but it also helps making the bird a little more important than just "that hen." Some of them fit their name very well, and giving them a name allows more connection.

    But, again, not all mine have names. Some purposefully, some I just haven't yet but mean to at some point. In the mean time I usually refer to them as a characteristic such as "The Easter Egger cockerel" (we only have one right now) Or "the darker duckwing Araucana hen"

    To each their own [​IMG]
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I know most people name them because they're pets. It is understandable, especially if small children are involved. But I don't refrain from naming them because they're a food item. I certainly didn't eat my horses and lizards. To me, a name doesn't make them any more or less special.

  5. Sleepy71

    Sleepy71 In the Brooder

    Oct 25, 2011
    Jacksonville, FL
    Since I have young children, our first few birds will have names. (they already had names when we bought them) But, once we start taking on more, I'll do my best to NOT name them. I'll also need to have that "death talk" with my kids, too, so it won't be too crushing for them when these critters move on to a better place. [​IMG]
  6. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    Some of my more memorable ones are named, most are not.

    They get named if they have a trait that's obvious...

    Tonya Harding Chicken was known in her youth for being a ruthless leg pecker to get the roosting spot she wanted.
    Runty is the smallest "large fowl" chicken, ever. She's about as big as my bantam.
    Carmen went missing for a couple hours in my basement when she was a chick... where in the world is Carmen?
    Hoppy arrived as a chick with a broken leg.
    I have a turken named Marge because she is constantly looking at me and raising the hairs on her head straight up... a la Marge Simpson
    All of my RIRs are named Martha (after Ms Stewart). All of my red stars are named Ginger (after South Park - redheads).
    FatOne was the biggest chick, ever.
    Wry Tail has a messed up butt.

    Everyone else is not named. The chickens I've named mean more to me than the others. To me, naming a chicken means they stand out in the crowd. They're unique. And totally loveable.
  7. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    I guess I should add:

    The birds I name either promptly get eaten or die.

    They live longer if they're not named!! [​IMG]

  8. Criskin

    Criskin Lost somewhere in a book

    I name the ones I know I'll keep for personal and practical reasons. It helps me remember things about them like where they came from, who their parents are, any health issues, etc. I also consider most of them my pets so naming them just seems natural to me. When I have a batch of chicks I usually wait to name them until they are grown in case I need to cull...it is much easier to eat or sell just one of a nameless flock instead of knowing it's Francoise or George in the pot!
  9. Davian

    Davian Chirping

    Sep 8, 2010
    Vermont, USA
    Why not?

    They're not for food (other than eggs) so they get names. And they have interesting personalities.

  10. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

    Aug 3, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    Just makes me feel better when I yell at them. Sounds much better yelling "Shut up, Clyde! Or else someday you will get eaten!"
    Instead of bla bla bla YOU bla bla eaten. Or when you are running thru the yard trying to catch one. JMO

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by