Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pet names

Before you start thinking about cute little nicknames people call each other, that's not what I'm writing about.  The other day, when I gave one of my chickens away, I was asked what her name was.  What do you mean what is her name?  It's a chicken.  One of 30! 

I name my pets.  My cats and dogs get names.  Girl does not name her guppies.  Nor do we name the goldfish in the stock tank in the front pasture.  We had goldfish in the stock tank in the back pasture until the ducks discovered them. 

I used to name my sheep though I don't anymore.  This was when I only had a few.  Their names were Olive Ewe (I love you), Olive II (I love you too), Girly Sheepy, Boyly Sheepy, Bo (Rambo), Rod (Ramrod).  My favorite was Goat Goat.  She was a goat.  We've raised a couple of steers - Chuck and Dinner.  We were always warned: Don't name the animals you are going to eat.  Your kids won't eat their "pets".  Sure they will because they weren't pets.  We have food animals and pet animals.  One of my goats was a pet but her offspring, food.  They all had names.   

I stopped naming the sheep when the herd got up to 24 a couple of years ago.  That was before the mountain lion took away almost all of them.  We don't name the ducks or the chickens.  I've been given chickens several times.  I think people like the name Ginger because I've been given two Gingers.  When I was given this latest group of chickens...Nutmeg, Rosemary, and something that I can't remember, I swapped and gave my friend one of my hens.  She wanted to know what her name was.  How should I know?  The chicken never told me her name so I just called her a chicken.  The grand kids don't normally name the chickens.  Every once in a while they will.  Like the time we were given one chick.  We didn't know if it was a girl or a boy.  The kids named it Robin.  Now I don't think they could pick out that chicken from any of the others. 

We still only have the one set of twins from the sheep.  They aren't named.  We are waiting impatiently for the rest to be born.  They won't be named either.  I keep saying the weather is too nice.  Just wait for rain, wind, or cold and we'll have half a dozen more lambs.

I was just wondering if it's normal to name your animals or not.  If we only had one or two then maybe we'd name them. But with a farm full of critters.  No. 

The new chickens finally found each other.  One was hanging out at the front of the pasture and the other at the back.  They spent a couple of days being 200 feet apart.  This morning they discovered each other!  They spent the day not more than 10 feet apart scratching at the dirt and eating bugs. 

I seeded the front "lawn" today.  Not that the grass is going to grow without any rain to water it but I'm hoping that some grass grows to choke out the puncture vine. 

Didn't get much prepping done today since I had to work all day.  But working pays the bills so I guess it wasn't much of a prep day.  Maybe I'll get to squeeze something good in tomorrow.


  1. I grew up on a farm and there were always a few favorites (cows, pigs) that had names but were eventually sent to market. Farmers can usually remember the difference between pets and livestock even with names.

    I have a small flock of ten hens and a rooster. They all have names and distinct personalities and I love talking to them while doing chores. Their jobs are to lay eggs and make manure for the gardens.

  2. We have almost 20 goats, and they all have names, my chickens only a few. My rooster names are Napoleon (a fancy little banty), Patton, Diva (thought he was a girl)and Buff Jumper, one black sex link called Betty, and the rest are nameless.

    Our goat names are kept in a family group so that I can keep track in my farm journal who belongs to who...Bluebonnet's babies all have flower/plant names; Hera (mythology); Mariama (African names) But the kids know they are all for food...