Monday, June 27, 2016

Naming farm animals

I read about people not naming the animals they raise to eat or naming them after foods to remind them where they end up. People who cannot eat animals they raise at all and I used to be somewhat unfeeling toward them. I have read that it is harder to butcher named animals and of course the term graduate is often used for butchering, to soften the imagery I guess.

Well on some of these things I have had a change of heart or at least am sympathetic. The poultry we have raised here has won us over and we love them. I really struggled with butchering the turkey's and was so glad when we found a good slaughter house. Once they are packaged I have no problems with using the meat. We give them a very good life and spend far  more time with them that we probably should.

This brings me to names. We name by circumstance as I call our process. The first example of this is my favorite Chocolate Tom....Trainwreck. He was a survivor of the horrible accident on the road when  a truck hit a group of the turkeys.

This one Chocolate turkey limped off the road and went and lay down in the outer stairwell of the house  in obvious pain.  I have always hated to have animals die from injury so I picked him up and took him to the utility building and set up a hospital pen. Poultry vets are few and far between so I applied cattle knowledge to him. Washed and disinfected a horrible cut and gave him a children's aspirin, and dripped electrolyte into him. It was a slow recovery and he survived, hence the name. He is my turkey and will come to sit by me on his own. He was slow to grow but now is almost as big as Spike.


Roosters have earned their names so we could tell each other which rooster we were referring too. Shoeless Joe is so named because he has one toe without a claw....I have no idea why that made me think of Shoeless Joe the baseball player but it did and thats what we call him.

 Shoeless Joe

Gentleman Jim....was the smallest Rooster we kept and is just that, a real gentleman.

Mr Attitude....was all attitude and it ended up costing him. He was Hen aggressive and rooster aggressive and then attacked me. It was no problem putting him in the roaster! He was a magnificent Rooster but just plain nasty. It took the hens a week to come out of hiding in the chicken house after we butchered him.
Mr Attitude

Lefty....the Buckeye. He got his name because he was the only Buckeye left, we kept three and one we just found dead and the really good one we had carefully selected was killed by the wild dog. Lefty is turning into a lovely rooster but when he was young "Mr Attitude" was his buddy and Lefty was a bit hen aggressive. The broody and mother hens have taught him a lot of manners!


The Duck flock is generic.....they are all "Duck Duck Go" but the ducklings have been named by circumstance or color.

Look at that has since changed to a silvery gold and we don't know what its going to look like in the end. He is Khaki X Blue Swedish.

What can I say, he is a dusty color!

Underbite has had a small underbite of his bill from day one. It has not bothered him eating or drinking and he is growing like a weed.

The first home raised duckling and he spent time in the house until he was adopted by a Khaki. He would nibble on anything and especially your fingers or ears!

 There you have it...names for our critters.....we have fun with it and some names make sense and some are just odd but all seem to suit the wearer of said name.

There are others named for circumstance or event....Limpy, who was lame for a bit, Lumpy who had a lump on her head from the horrible roosters, Super 8, the hen who has 8 chicks. Lone Wolf McQuade, the chick who's mother gave up on him.

Blackback the Royal Palm Tom who has black feathers on his back without the white trim.

We still use the term butcher instead of graduate and we will still use our own chicken and birds for our table. We feel quality of life is the key, our poultry has shelter when they want it and freedom to graze, bug hunt or sleep wherever they choose in the heat of the day. Water access in close proximity in this hot weather and lots of places to dust bathe. They love the windfall apples in the orchard and are currently feasting on Japanese beetles.  The ducks can enjoy the wild thunderstorms and all the water from them, drinking from the downspouts of the house is a favorite thing. The turkeys have the tobacco barn to get out of storms in and that big old barn is well used for shade.

Now have fun with your animals and name them if it suits you to. Take the time to enjoy the small things they can offer.

God Bless you all...

Little Lord Fluffy Pants!
Attitude and those fluffy Buff was a given!


  1. Your method seems imminently practical. :)

  2. My Mother named a Hereford Bull "Princess Margaret" (her British heritage). It used to drive my "French" Father around the bend when she would go out and call the bull in for grain! Thank you for stopping by.

  3. Little Lord Fluffy Pants. Made me smile! Had a rooster a long time ago named 'Sticky Butt'. Alas, he went to live with Colonel Sanders... :o)

  4. We rarely name the livestock. We do have a few ewes who have earned names, like Lucy and Ethel (troublemakers) and our Rams always get names for some reason.
    When we had a few they all had names :)
    We use the term butcher, I have never heard the other.

    1. I had never heard Graduate as in reference to butchering until I started researching small livestock. Ralph and I prefer the real terms but at least if people are "graduating" their animals they are using them for better eating, self sufficiency and health. I used to breed Purebred stock...herd sires have to have good names. Take care.

  5. Your mother named a bull Princess Margaret? LOVE it! I name those who have distinctions - but the meat chickens are all called Nuggets. I tend to use the term 'process' rather than butcher, but it's all the same. I have always sent my birds to a processor, but this was the first time I butchered them myself. It means a lot to me to know they were well-care for. Little Lord Fluffy Pants is SUCH an individual! I am assuming he will continue to be a mascot?

    1. My Father and I were lucky to have a place called Foothills Processing to butcher and "process" our beef and pork. As you know it is darned hard work to butcher your own but incredibly satisfying to do so. Especially when you get a lovely roast something out of the oven.
      Yes Little "Lord" Fluffy Pants is a fixture. Calling him to come in sees us repeating fluffy fluffy fluffy....and then seeing the little golden blur come from wherever. He is growing well and will come in the door or go out when asked....we are weird!

  6. This is such a cute post! I love it, and I love the names you've given the animals. We name all our animals too.