The art of hen-naming: Your creativity for a cool one dozen

The very first day my father-in-law introduced chicks to our hen house, our middle child, Eiley, began to name them. She decided on television characters. The Office was popular at the time, so we had a Dwight, a Phyllis, a Jim. There was a Mary and a Bob, too, even though we told her there was likely just one male in the flock. She penned the names in earnest block letters on a sheet of notebook paper and tacked it to the coop wall. Eiley was the co-force behind this endeavor, and her act humanized the downy creatures.

We currently have a number of hens in our midst who came to us by way of our nephew Josh. He and his wife, Katy, were moving out of state and didn’t want to haul the brood to the mountains of Colorado. They were focused on finding a stable coop, so they turned to us. We accept all strays and unwanteds, so their decision was logical. (Over the years this has included rabbits that outlived their cuteness and a cat with one eye that our children insisted no one else would adopt.) Plus, we have a coop and, at the time of Josh and Katy’s departure, a dwindling brood.

IMG_2369
Alpha hen on a bully pulpit protesting the indignity of collective nouns.

The flock included, among other breeds, a scrappy leghorn, a Buff Orpington and a few Rhode Island Reds. Problem was, they were nameless. Our numbers had swelled to 30 and our resident namer was at college, so they just became the chickens. Inglorious. Just take a look at the image in the masthead. This desperate hen is no doubt thinking, My comb has fallen over, my feathers are dingy. Will someone at least give me a name?

Honor that hen

Perhaps you would be interested in naming some of the hens. I have included a few possible contenders below. You’ll notice a theme of, shall we say, heritage names, but we’re open to any ideas.

We need 10 names in all. Those with the most votes will prevail. If you have a killer idea of your own, write it in! If that name is selected by the judges, you will receive one dozen of the finest, freshest, free-range eggs in three counties. Of course if you live in Tuscaloosa or Schenectady, a coupon will be forwarded in place of the fragile dozen.

 

 

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