Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chickens: Pedro

As a rule, we do not name animals unless they live in the house with us. Pets get names, livestock does not. Our 19 chickens do not have names. Our 3 breeder pigs do, since they will be with us for quite a while, but they are an exception. We refer to most of the pigs by color (white, black & white, brown, rainbow), heritage (Mamas' "Tiffany Jr." , or Wilma's "Tiffany Jr." to differentiate between a couple piglets that look like their father), or purpose ("breeders" vs. "feeders"). Sure, we used to joke around, referring to our first three pigs as New Year's Eve, Super Bowl, and Fourth of July (followed shortly by Freezer and Dave's Pig, etc.), but naming animals is really only a recent change since our pig-partner's girlfriend came on the scene.

When we got our first set of day-old chicks, the children immediately wanted to name them. We tried to explain that some might not live, and that they were not pets, but they insisted. The two names that I remember from that first batch were Dirty Butt (there seems to be one of those in every batch of chickens) and Pedro.

The chicks were kept under cover to protect them from the elements and given a nice lamp to warm themselves under, but sadly, Pedro did not survive. The children were not to be deterred, however, so when we purchased our next set of chicks, they named another one Pedro.  Alas, poor Pedro did not survive. By the third set of starter chicks the children had learned their lesson, and they named none of the chicks that time.

It is common for day-old chicks not to survive. After all, they could have come with illness or injury already. They could be pecked to death by their cage-mates. They could be too stupid to stay under the light, or eat, or drink. So, when Mr. Farmer came in the house one chilly morning and announced that a young chick had died, the children, of course, asked, "Which one?" to which he replied, "Pedro, of course!"

All dead chickens are now called Pedro.

I'm Pretty Sure that One of These is Pedro...


  1. OMG is it bad if i say this is too funny! lol

  2. I'm just getting started! The hubby and the kids reminded me about Pedro... but just wait until you hear the story about Lazarus! Stay tuned...


  3. Pedro! Too funny. So true....but too funny.

  4. It is a bit sad, but a part of mini-farm life, I'm afraid. I guess it is a little easier for those of us who raise animals for meat - you learn not to get as attached. Some people say it's cold-hearted, but somethings in life just aren't pleasant. :(

    Mr. Farmer asked me last night if we had ever "lost" a pig (to illness, injury, theft by wildlife). It wa a rhetorical question; he knew the answer was no. And it is a little surprising, since the death of baby animals is almost to be counted on. One of the piglets was sick, but we are nursing him and it looks like he will survive!