Bestowing of Names

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Some people name their chickens. I guess I name my chickens too… There’s White Chicken, Black Chicken, Barred Rock Chicken, Other Black Chicken. But then there’s Other White Chicken.

You might recall that last fall I incubated my first-ever chicken eggs. A soggy carton of blue-green eggs that I had picked up for $12 at the poultry swap. You may also remember that I couldn’t make my egg turner work with both chicken and quail eggs, so the chicken eggs needed to be turned by hand. Three times a day for 19 days. 57 times. Was that all? Felt like 5700 times.

Out of those dozen eggs, three chicks hatched. Of those three, two were roosters who are now enjoying the festivities at freezer camp. What was left was a chubby, speckled white chicken with no comb or wattle, fluffy cheeks and green legs. Other White Chicken.

I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the fact that I turned her egg myself three times a day or what, but OWC is like a little puppy dog. She has had a lot less socialization as a chick than my other current hens did, and her brothers were nothing special personality-wise. But from the very beginning she had attitude. As a day-old chick she would charge your hand if you put it in the brooder. She was aggressive and fearless and I always assumed she was the rooster and the other two were hens. Here’s a tip: If your chicks have lovely colors, they are roos. Kind of drab? Hens.

OWC is also a guard chicken, as my farm sitter can attest. Apparently she will fluff up and charge anyone but me who enters the coop and stare them down until they surrender. With me she runs at a perfect heel everywhere I go and begs to be picked up and petted on the head like a kitty. She refuses to sleep in the coop even in winter and instead flies up to sleep with the pigeons in the rafters. She’s also at the bottom of the pecking order, but she’s the youngest after all.

OWC is definitely a special chicken. I’ve had friendly chickens before, but nothing compared to her. It may be time to give her a proper name.

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