A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara
When we first started raising chickens, we named each one. The first were Ameraucana chickens so we named them things like Liberty, Freedom and Bell.
As the flock grew, we only named those with distinguishing characteristics – like One Eye and Hurt Foot.
Some earned their names with their personalities. Napoleon was a bantam rooster who thought he was much bigger. The black frizzle we named Frizz was a favorite among my nieces and nephews. Kaboodle reminded me of a rooster in a book. Lily is the pale D’Uccle who follows me around in the mornings. And, of course, Custard the cowardly rooster was introduced recently in the blog.
Then we have the Welsummer pen. None of them have individual names. Or at least they didn’t until last week. Here’s what happened:
I pulled into the driveway Wednesday and discovered two hens in the side yard. I quickly ascertained they were part of the neighbor’s flock and tried to shoo them into their own backyard.
Meanwhile our flock was loudly protesting the fact that these hens got to truly free range. After a few short minutes, I decided the young neighbor children were much better candidates for the “shoo the chicken into the backyard” game and knocked on their door.
A few minutes later, one of the girls opened our front door and announced “I think there was a hawk in your chicken yard. It flew away when I walked back there.” Apparently our birds were not protesting the neighbor birds but the hawk appearance.
I quickly went to check on our birds. A head count of the smaller birds assured me all were present.
Then I looked into the Welsummer pen and saw a hen lying on the ground. I figured the hawk had killed it in the process of trying to carry it off. As I bent to pick it up, however, it jumped up and ran into a corner.
I chased it, picked it up and examined it for injuries. There appeared to be blood on the side of its head so I took it to the infirmary, aka laundry basket in the bathroom, and texted Dr. Rachel. She found the gash in the back of the hen’s head and cleaned it up. The bird spent a few hours in the bathroom then tried to escape so was moved back into the pen. She seemed to be disoriented for a couple of days but is fine now.
I named her Hawkeye.
The only problem is she has healed so completely, I can’t tell which one she is.