Naming the Chicks

I usually bestow old-fashioned names on my hens, like Agnes and Prudence. There have been notable exceptions (Twinkydink, Snowball and Siouxsie come to mind) but as a rule I think the frilly names fit the girls (rather like hats are appropriate at a royal wedding!)

But, since I have a whole batch of chicks, I thought I’d do something different this time. I thought I’d name them after gemstones. Pearl, Ruby, Jet, Sapphire, Opal. Steve has a degree in geology so he likes this idea a lot.

Then my younger son suggested I name that after ice cream flavors. Peppermint, Pistachio, Blackberry Chip, Cherry, Vanilla.

Then my older son suggested that I name them after Transformers. He said I’d get more traffic to my site.

Or, he said, I could name them after the female characters in Harry Potter. I like the idea of a chicken named Hermione but do I want one named Moaning Myrtle?

What do you think?


  1. We’ve named ours after spices – Cinnamon, Pepper, Ginger, Minty, Saffron and Chilli.

  2. oh my gosh, too funny, you and i are in the same boat :) i’m trying to find names for my girls, too!! my sister-in-law insists that one be named miss may peeps (adorable) and my roommate wants one to be named henny penny. there’s no theme there, but they are cute names. i was thinking originally about naming them after foods you make with eggs: frittata, aioli, quiche, meringue, etc. then i thought about old time movie actresses i adore: lauren bacall, ingrid bergman, etc. then i thought about naming them after famous women chefs: alice waters, ruth reichl, etc. it’s such an exciting time, the naming time. i think you kind of have to watch them awhile and “see” what their names are. good luck to you!

  3. How about goddesses — Hera, Minerva, Athena etc. Or the muses. Surely there will be chick personalities to fit the muse for dance, music, drama, comedy etc.

  4. I like the gemstones idea. We didn’t name ours until after week 1. Their personalities were starting to shine through. My DD named one Lucy because she ‘loose-d’ her feathers first..rofl

  5. All the ideas are good but I like the gemstones the best…I usually name mine something that has to do with their breed/history -like for the Speckled Sussex something very British sounding as in a place or name.

  6. We’ve named our new ones… OPRAH (she’s black), ANNIE & MARILYN (the Buff Orpingtons), LUCILLE (Rock Island red) and the rainbow layers are ELLEN & MELISSA. The little one that just hatched is named APRIL since that was the month she was born.

  7. Well, I did convince a lady who is breeding showgirl silkies to name them after skeksis from the film The Dark Crystal. Because they look just like the Muppets by Jim Henson. So one is called Skeksis One and other Skeksis Two.
    I don’t know if you are a Doctor Who fan but Lis Sladen who played Sarah Jane Smith recently died. I have always big a fan of her, she was one of my favorite companions. You could always name them after the famous female companions of The Doctor.

    • I saw something the other day that reminded me of Skeksies but I could not recall the name of the movie. It was driving me a little crazy the way inconsequential things like that can. Thank You!!

  8. i like the gemstone idea best as icecream & transformer names are tough on the tongue when trying to get a hens’ attention (pearl..knock it off! vs. ‘blackberrychip…what are you doing?’)

  9. I definitely like the gemstone idea as well, though a hen named Optimus Prime would be pretty funny! Our 6 chicks are also named after spices: saffron, anise, tamarind, masala, curry, & sesame.

  10. I like the gems idea – and the ice-cream flavours too! Good point about names to increase traffic on your web site ;-)

    My first hens were named after iconic women: Queen Victoria (a Black Cochin in a black silk crinoline) Fergie (that’s Sarah Ferguson, Buff Orp red-head) Vivienne Westwood (a Partridge Cochin in a tweed couture bustle) and Nina Simone (gorgeous Black Orp who sang like a diva Beeeeurrk!!!)

    Then came the funny feisty ladies… Ruby (Wax), Dawn (French)
    together with by two old fashioned girls Sylvie and Phoebe

    And the latest trio, The Spice Girls: Saffron, Ginger and Nutmeg.

    Have fun!

  11. I wouldn’t do this personally, but you could name them after the royals in honor of the royal wedding today.

  12. I know what you are going through because I have been naming characters for my novel. I bet you will find you will go back to your gemstones, if that what you liked first.

  13. I like the gem stone idea as they all are beautiful creatures. Some of mine are named after food…..breakfast, lunch, dinner, black, pepper, brownie….we are eating their eggs in all our meals, lol.

  14. I grew up with three sisters. Last year after my four chicks started showing their personalities I reconized me and my sisters as kids. The biggest one that the others won’t leave alone for a moment, the curious one always getting into trouble, the blond, mellow one(me), and the little, cutest, favorite one! I was tempted but didn’t give them our names!

  15. P,S. I just found out that I’m going to be a Grandma!! The first thing I did? Ordered ‘Tillie Lays an Egg’ of course.

    • Viki – congratulations on the grandchild!! Thanks for getting “Tillie.” Get those babes started right :)

  16. Given that its around the same time, I’d have to name at least one Catherine, or Kate ;)

  17. So many different themes you could use. State capitals from viewers who view your site on a frequent basis. That could give your viewers a sence of some type of ownership or a favorite to follow. Royal wedding is popular at this time, past and present royal names would also be fun. But I like the capital names. Just make it fun…

  18. I love the gems. Garnet and Ruby for any of the RIR’s, Pearl, Opal, Sapphire for one of the blues :). But it would be great to name one of the Sussex Little Lulu to keep the fun alive!

  19. We’re naming our crane chicks after different kinds of breads. So far we’ve got: Beignet, Crumpet, Pumpernickel, Crouton, Matzo, Brioche, Babka, and Sticky Buns. :)

    We thought desserts would be a cute theme, too (since breads and desserts often overlap): Muffin, Tiramisu, Scone, Bonbon, Mousse, Strudel, Puddin’, Shortcake, Souffle, Praline, Pumpkin Nut, Dumpling, Baklava, Cobbler, Truffle, Meringue, Parfait, Ambrosia, Puff, and my personal favorite though I’ve never heard of it before: Blueberry Grunt. :)

  20. The gemstones idea is old fashioned….so for that namespace you get a set namespace for the batch, which is interesting, AND the hens will have names that suit your usual style….Agnes, Prudence and Pearl, and Ruby all go well together!

    • Don’t forget Opal! I agree – there’s a fair amount of overlap between the gemstone names and the old-fashioned ladies names. I would personally avoid naming the girls after anything food-related, and I don’t know any transformer names, so I’ll reserve judgment there! :)

  21. I always find ‘Idiot’ a good all purpose name. Pixie and Dixie are known as Dumb and Dumber. Doesn’t seem to matter what I call them, the nicknames always creep in….

  22. 8 of my students like the gemstone names.
    5 liked the ice cream names.
    2 liked the transformer names.
    (the others are in Bookclub)

  23. My vote would be Harry Potter characters-
    Minerva, Hermione…
    -rats, my memory pooped out.
    Aren’t Harry Potter characters are 90% male?

  24. Yes, gemstones. Fewest syllables with visions of beautiful colors!

  25. I am voting for gemstones! So many good ones to pick from….!

  26. I am loving all of these comments! If I name the chicks after gems perhaps I’ll name one Tiara in honor of the wedding. Good idea?

    • Perfect name for one of the fuzzy feet ones. Dang…would be great name for a baby Polish too :)

  27. Nothing wrong with the name Myrtle.

    You could always go with supermodels… lots of personality range there, from Twiggy to Tyra.

  28. Love the gemstone idea- and “Tiara” in honor of today’s festivities!

  29. I thought I commented, but I can’t find what I said! Anyway, take two: I love Hermione, but not because of Harry Potter, because of the way if sounds. Both gemstones and ice cream flavors are great. You’re going to have some tough choices! Your names now fit the girls so well; I’m sure you’ll get just the right names for this new batch!

  30. I love the names of my grandmothers and their sisters. So I have Hannah and Lena. I also had Gladys and Muriel, but both turned out to be roosters. Ah well. I think my Welsummers will be Coco and Chanel, my Buffs will be Silk and Satin, then I need names for the 4 Golden Sex Links. I love hearing all these ideas!!

  31. Good Ideas, I once had a kitten named hazel, and my mom had a guinea pig when she was little named Gertrude. hope i helped :-)

  32. There’s a British comedy on PBS where the girls are all named after flowers – Hyacinth, Daisy, Violet, Petunia, etc. Lots of choices there, and they sound like “girl’s” names as well.

  33. While I like the gemstone and spice/herb ideas, you could always go with the obvious. Chick Corea, Cluckaroo Banzai, Chick Norris, Chick Taylors (of Converse fame), Cluck Rogers (in the 25th Century), Darles Chickens, Chick E. Cheese, Chick Berry, Chick Yeager, (Saving Private) Ry-hen…

    BTW, Linden – the show is “Keeping Up Appearances”. Patricia Routledge is a hoot in that!

  34. Hi Terry, first time commenting on your blog, but not time first time visitor. Yours was the first site I found when doing my research on buying chickens a couple months ago. Anyway, we just bought our first batch of chickens and we gave them hillbilly names collected from old shows like The Beverly Hillbillies and The Waltons. If one of the little gals turn out to be a boy, we’ll probably change her name to Jethro! :)

  35. I have 6 four week old girls and am naming them after the “Ugly Betty” characters! Betty, Willie, Christina, Amanda, Claire, Hilda! Of course Willie will be the one at the top of the pecking order!
    Thank you for your blog Terry. I carry my iPad and show everyone who will watch the HenCam!

  36. Terry, the gemstone theme gets my vote, however if you have a spare nameless girl, could you please consider Minerva, or better yet, Minerva Louise?
    Hope all is well. Isn’t it a joy to be busy with such rewarding work after this past long hard winter?
    The milking doe is a joy and Anna is learning how to show her at the fair. Sheep, as always are a challenge, but one we enjoy.

  37. LOVE everyone’s comments! Supermodel chicks! Clever wordplays. Sweet nostalgia. Makes me want to place an order for 25 more chicks just to have more to name. But I won’t. I’m going to go with the poll taken in Miss Reynold’s 1st grade class and use gemstones. Chicks grow amazingly fast and in their adult feathers are already coming in. In another week, when I can tell who is who and get a better sense of their personalities, I’ll bestow names. Stay tuned!

  38. Rowan (aged 3) and I are huge fans of your blog and cams. If I had chickens (someday…) I would name them after the Golden Girls: Blanche, Rose, Sophia, Dorothy, and Rue, Betty, Estelle, and Bea. Rowan says “I would name my chick Flannel, because chicks are so soft.”
    Enjoy your beautiful gemstone girls! Thank you for your writing. It brings us so much joy.

  39. Fun post and comments! I have just 3 new chicks this year, all bantams, and I am afraid to name them since I already suspect 2 of them are roosters and will have to Go Away. My first batch, last year, I named them for all kinds of things. Lucy, after my mom, seemed spunky from the first. Alas, she turned out to be rather unfriendly and a bully. Olive, a silver-laced Wyandotte, I named after the olive company. Interestingly, she turned out to be rather dull, like a childhood friend I once had. Priscilla, our barred rock head of the flock, became Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (we live in the desert). Betty, a Brit Red, went through a number of names, starting with Pinky (a red-headed aunt), morphing to Elizabeth (after the Queen, the red-headed aunt’s monarch) and ultimately to Betty, an all-purpose beloved family name. Happily, she turned out to be the friendliest, the mellowist, and the first one to lay an egg (on my birthday last year). Go, Betty. Hawkeye, a partridge Ameraucana, was named for her eye markings, which I thought were hawklike. She is our ‘bolter’ — always the first to escape the pen. And lastly, poor little Babe, my much-pecked bantam cochin frizzle.

    These are my first chickens, so I’m not sure how I will weather their future aging and demise (compared to cats). Nor how I will keep them in my small space, but still be ale to add new hens in a couple of years when the egg-laying slows down. Chicken names are so much fun. I love the gemstone theme, and the idea of naming a whole set of peeps with matching names — it will allow you to ‘track’ that whole generation.