Fun names for chooks

Calling your chook Meryl Cheep, or Yolko Ono might be going too far for some, but there is plenty of fun and nostalgia to be had when naming your chooks, writes Jessamy Miller.

From left to right: My Hamburgh, Spangles, Lulu the Langshan and Spare Spangles, another Hamburgh. Buffy the Silkie is hiding at the back.
Photo: Jessamy Miller

There’s one minor warning I’d give when it comes to naming your chooks – think of the neighbours! It can be embarrassing calling out to your chooks at the top of your voice if you’ve given them particularly silly names.

Having said that, naming your chooks can be a lot of fun and create lasting amusement. 

A good name suits their nature, vibes with the rest of the flock, and reflects your approach to life, be that artistic, practical or humorous (or all of these options!).

I have kept so many chooks, coming up with new names is challenging, so I consulted my chook-keeping friends for advice. 

Fiona Scott-Norman, from Footscray, Victoria, is the author of This Chicken Life. “This is a big decision,” she says. “I wait for their personalities to emerge before deciding on a name. If you choose too early, and based on a physical trait, it might not suit later.” 

In contrast, our horticultural editor Penny Woodward goes for the literary touch and hopes her chooks grow into their characters.

“I always name my chooks after book characters,” Penny says. 

“My current girls are Lizzie and Jane (Pride and Prejudice), Anne (of Green Gables) and Galadriel (Lord of the Rings).”

Personally I like names ending in ‘y’ that roll off my tongue well, especially when I find the fowls pecking at my new seedlings: “Dolly, get out of there now!”

Purebred benefits

When you keep purebreds, you open up a world of opportunity; avian alliteration. 

“I have Annie Ancona, Susie Sussex and Fifi Faverolles,” says breeder Margaret White from Newcastle, NSW. “I like a theme, it helps me keep track. I’ll often reflect the breed’s heritage by choosing names from its country of origin; my Dutch Bantams are Lotte and Heidi, while my White Faced Spanish hens answer to Lucia and Sofia.” 

The descriptive

Call me basic, but I can’t tell you how many chooks I’ve had named Fluffy, Buffy, Spotty, Dotty or Ginger. A descriptive name nails it every time. Clare Luehman is a CFO and my neighbour in Northcote, Victoria. She keeps a flock of four hybrids in her suburban backyard. “I might have gone too far calling this one Pooper,” she says. “But really, it is what she does all day. Like droppings on the deck, the name just stuck.” 

Pairs

The real challenge is naming multiples: when you buy birds together, and they are similar looking, they all suit the same name. I’ve had Spangles the Hamburgh and her sister Spare Spangles, while my two Langshans are Lulu and Other Lulu. 

Therese Grinter runs an upcycling business, Chooktopia, and named her current twosome Sars and Parilla. “My Lavender Araucanas were Ultra and Violet. Fun names are always good for chickens, otherwise the kids choose something cute like Fern and Acorn.” 

You and your chooks

Do you have chooks in your backyard? We’d love to see a photo of your chooks along with their names. Send them in and we’ll send out a book to the winner! It's easy to enter!

For more of Jessamy's naming games and to read about a chick that enjoys the surf, get a copy of our latest issue!

OG 134 Cover

 

By: Jessamy Miller

First published: June 2022

Related topics

Sustainable Living, Backyard, Chickens, keeping chooks, Issue 134 -- June/July 2022, Poultry & livestock