Chicks Get Names

July 26, 2010

I surprised myself and went for over a week without naming the new baby chicks. I had a couple of suggestions from all of you, a few of which were under serious consideration. I’d try them out on each bird as if I were trying on shoes—seeing how they fit and whether the chicks snuggled comfortably into the name. For some reason nothing seemed right. In between trying out names—anything from Eunice to Dottie to Violet, Loretta, Aurora and more—the new chicks were known simply as the babies.

It’s a funny thing, but without names I felt no attachment to them. Because they were already two months old and I hadn’t reared them from day-old chicks, I wasn’t bonding and felt untethered to them. Of course it didn’t help that they ran shrieking every time I approached. Even my shadow seemed to scare them and off they ran to the other end of the run each time I came near. I kept waiting for their personality to emerge before I chose their names, but it’s hard to detect personality in a whining chick you have no personal contact with.

Today it all came together and names were bestowed and I instantly felt more emotionally attached. The Rhode Island Red has been named Ruby. My friend Barbara gets the credit for naming Ruby as she sent it in as a suggestion early last week. But they’ve been an unmatched pair until today when I had a sudden inspiration for the Silver Wyandotte, my black and white hen. I’ve decided to name this chick with the designer-style feathers Coco, after the famous designer Chanel. Barbara indirectly deserves credit for this name too as she’s the one who’s taken M. and me to not one, but two recent Coco Chanel films (I may not be able to afford the clothes, but I now know her history).

Anyway, Ruby and Coco are my new girls and this evening there was a change in how I responded to them. I even got Ruby to sit with me and eat corn out of my hand. “I think this is beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

Although, now that I look at all four names, I have a flock with Roxanne and Ruby and Coco and Cleo. Alliteration here we come!

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