They Never Even Asked Her Name


I just got back from the Foothills Learning Center where my kid has been studying birds all week. Yesterday someone brought in a parrot that talked. Today I brought in a chicken.

That's not really a fair matchup, by the way. Some kid's dad has a pair of talking birds and I have a little hen (I'm sure I could beat the parrot guy up, though). But the kids were into the chicken, a little cochin banty I picked up in the early spring at D&B Supply.


BW writer Tara Morgan is researching the resurgence of urban poultry and some other delectable treats for next week's BW. In the meantime, I'd like to make a point. Maybe it was because they were four and five year olds, but none of the kids asked the chicken's name.

Which is good. Because none of our birds have names. They are chickens, not dogs. They are pretty, soft and fluffy and the one I brought into the Foothills Learning Center summer camp (sorry mamas, all sold out for the summer, bawk) is the most docile of the flock.

But her brother, who has the beginnings of an adolescent sounding cock-a-doodle-doo and who also lacks a name, pecks at my feet when I bring him water and kitchen scraps. He is not long for the coop, folks. Thus, no name.

Many of Morgan's poultry obsessed-protagonists for her BW feature have named their brood, and that's fine. But it is the kind of thing that makes *real* farmers sneer. If we are serious about food production and adapting country ways to the city, we need to assume righteous stances toward livestock.

I'm not sure why these kids gave no thought to naming my bird, but it's a good thing I got the Friday slot. That other dude's parrot probably would have called her Polly and then I would never be able to eat her.