Susie and poultry go together for me. I grew up on a turkey and chicken farm. As this was many years ago, our turkeys and chickens were free range, so in the fall we had to collect them for the end. There was always one turkey who would roost so high in the trees she could not be caught. The last turkey was always a small turkey, so that may explain why she got so high. We always called that turkey Susie. She was always the last one to go. Hence the name Susie, for the wee little one.
I have a sister in Hawaii who has considered raising hens. Moa is Hawaiian for chicken. In Hawaii there are many chickens (including roosters) that roam freely. Due to our love for Hawaii and because we couldn’t raise our own hens we decided to name our hen Moa.
I named my chicken Alice because you described her breed as ‘curious’ – so the name popped into mind from Alice in Wonderland.
We named our chicken Benedict after Eggs Benedict.
We have always read to our children. When our daughter was born we names her Jennifer. Very soon her dad was calling his little princess Jenny Penny. We drove across the country to visit my family the year Jenny turned two. My husband called our daughter Jenny Penny one day and my mother misunderstood him. She thought he had called her Henny Penny so that is what my mother called her for the rest of our visit and periodically afterwards for years. It always made us laugh and we did not have the heart to tell my mother that our little angel was not nicknamed after a chicken. When we finally purchased a heritage chicken, almost 25 years later, there was never any question but that we name her Henny Penny.
I named my chicken Henriette for somewhat obvious reasons (Henriette easily shortens to “hen”) and because it made me laugh. But I also named my chicken Henriette because it’s one of my grandma’s middle names, and she grew up on a farm, like her parents, and probably a lot like the great aunt from whom she gained that middle name.
When I turned 14, my grandma told me over my birthday supper that I was now officially “old enough to be plucking chickens and cooking dinner for the threshers”. My grandma’s young life was farm life, through and through. Chickens were an intrinsic part of that, and continued to be a part of her life when she moved into the city and married, keeping a coop in the back yard for birds and eggs (a responsibility a number of Edmontonians seem to want to resurrect). While I grew up in the city, we still had connections to family relations who raised livestock and grew hectares of cropland. Chickens remain a part of that, and we occasionally got to bring home some delicious birds from the farm, after driving up to the barn during family visits, and taking our pick from the freezer out back.
Choosing to give a chicken the name Henriette is probably not something my grandma would have appreciated! BUT for me, it brings me somewhat closer to connecting with the farm life she once had, and the memories of family and delicious food brought in fresh from the fields and chicken coops. I relish every bi-weekly trip to the farm, for those moments of walking on dusty roads and catching whiffs of freshly turned earth, manure, and the brittle, dusty smell of a field-hardened crop… things my grandma was all too familiar with growing up. Luckily I don’t have to cook for the threshing machines, too!
There is a “calm and curious” Light Sussex over there named Yum-Yum. Is is because I am incredibly cultured and named her after the beautiful soprano in the opera, The Mikado? Or is it because I have a recipe for chicken soup that I plan to try? You’ll never know!
I would like to name my chicken “Babs” after one of the delightful chickens in Wallace & Gromit’s stop-animation movie Chicken Run. Babs has a perfect body … perfect for sitting comfortably on her nest for as long as it takes to lay her eggs. Babs is a talented and clever chick. Although she has been described as dim-witted, don’t be fooled. Babs has learned how to knit, so she can knit while she sits, thereby keeping herself entertained as she creates her delicious contributions to the Heritage Chicken Program. Babs is very happy to have this opportunity to earn her keep at the Farm.