Happy Peeps

September 1, 2011

What's in a Name?

One of the first things I wanted to do when our pullets were just little chickies, was to name them; yet months later, I still struggle with whether or not we have chosen the perfect ‘handles’ for our feathery bundles of joy.  For most of them, we had to wait weeks until they were grown to their full size before we could see their true colors. Only one was named early on by personality alone, and that was Napoleon -  our short , tough, in-charge banty rooster. Unfortunately, we had to give Napoleon to a woman who has more property (read: no neighbors), as his tireless crowing became well, tiring and we had promised our neighbors we wouldn’t subject them to that noise. (Napoleon, if you’re reading this, we still miss your tyranny!)

The Silkies were the next easiest to name. The world had just witnessed The. Royal. Wedding.  I couldn’t help but see a connection between our silkies and a couple famous wedding guests.  Our funky, silky white banties with poofs on their heads that stick up at awkward angles as well as hang over their eyes, and feathers on their toes and shanks, became Beatrice & Eugenie.  They totter around the yard like two chubby little girls wearing heels for the first time, but apparently their wild head accoutrements turned them into the chicken yard bitches (proven by Napoleon’s possessive and slightly rough treatment of them).

This left me with 5 “blacks” (4 hens and a non-crowing rooster), 4 “reds” (really the color of muddy clay, but in the hen world, that equals red), and later, the acquisition of one Buff (i.e., blonde) Chantecler and two Silver Laced Wyandottes.

The 5 black chickens became the Jackson Five (except the rooster ended up going to the same farm as Napoleon, so that broke up the group, and we decided the rooster must have been Michael).  I guess I could call one of them Janet, but they're all female, so I need to get off the Jackson Five thing and find some decent names for them.

The reds seemed even harder, until I thought of my grandma.  Because Grandma had red hair when she was a girl, I had the idea to name the reds after her and her sisters:  Grayce,  Pansy, Violet, and Rose. They are our best layers!

Our three youngest are the ones I chose specifically for their heritage breeds, good nature, and cold-hardiness. The Buff Chantecler (blonde) is named after my friend Cathy, who chick-sat for them the day they arrived at the post office (and who is a natural blonde herself). The two Silver-Laced Wyandottes became Oprah & Whoopie. They're girls with a lotta bling.

So that’s our clan of 13 hens – a baker’s dozen as they say. If you have any good ideas for naming the black hens, leave me note.

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