I mean, when you think about it, the idea of naming a chicken at all is pretty silly. Think about your grocery store. Were the chickens you see shrink-wrapped and ready for roasting called anything? Did anyone say, “Been nice knowing you, Feathers!” before bird #12865432 was turned into a Chick-fil-A sandwich? Unless you live in Portlandia, you aren’t tracking down the surname of the drumstick on your plate.
But when they live in your backyard and there are only four of them and you eventually want to thank them for laying some mighty fine eggs, you have to call them something, right?
Should we name one Something?
Shorty. Ginger. Madison. Minnie. Flora. Posh. Prince. Lucy. Nugget. Chester. Parmesan. Lemon. Marsala. Dixie. Drummie.
When we brought our new flock home, I asked the wonderful world of social media…what should we name these four birds?
Vanilla Ice, Chocolate Shake, Salt ‘n’ Peppa and Chilly Willy. Stinky, Brownie, Blankie and Pepper Jack. Nacho, Tortilla, Margarita and Churro.
The suggestions came pouring in. But nothing stuck. Jay and I might have been fine with no-named birds living in the yard. But we have a toddler to think of! She needs to call these hens something.
And no, we’re not naming one Something.
As happens all too fast in the summer, the weeks are quickly and quietly ticking by. The birds are losing their sweet baby fluff and replacing it with small feathers. Their short, stocky builds have thinned and lengthened. Instead of holding one in my palm, I have to grasp her with both hands.
And they still had no names.
Until Sunday. When my father-in-law showed up with Bernie’s three cousins. And I knew immediately that my problem would be solved. Because there was no way that these three little ones came all the way from the suburbs to visit nameless city chicks.
Audrey and Sofia can clearly remember our first flock of birds. They fought over who got to clean out the chicken coop during visits (children=excellent farmhands). Lucas is two years (to the day!) older than Bernie and couldn’t wait to get his hands on a hen.
And that’s how I ended up with four children and four chickens all inside the coop.
They observed the birds. And pet them. And picked them up. And talked to them. And shrieked when they flapped their wings. And cried if they couldn’t catch them.
And eventually, they named them.
Ready for it?
Our Americauna shall be called…Stormy!
**because she’s gray. And so are storm clouds. Obviously.**
The Black Australorp will only be referred to as…Penguin!
**as suggested by Audrey from Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply. The kids loved that idea.**
If you see a Buff Orpington in our yard, yell…Goldie!
**She won’t come when you call her, but you should yell it nonetheless.**
And finally, our very first Rhode Island Red is…Ruby!
**Fitting, because she’s the most feisty of the group and every little girl named Ruby I’ve ever met has personality for miles.**
There you have it! No more nameless chicks. And just in time, because at 5 weeks old, they are just about ready to leave the basement brooder and live in their coop in the backyard, as God and the city of Minneapolis intended.
Now I need to go clean the basement.