Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Roll Call

I've been thinking about new names for the youngsters we'll be having on the farm this spring.  Sometimes, an animal "speaks" to me and tells me its name.  Sometimes, they're quiet about it.  Sometimes, something just fits.  Most of our animals do have names.  Some of the chickens don't have names, and the white Pekin ducks don't have names because there is really no way to tell them apart.  I refer to them mostly as "Duckle" when I'm interacting with them. 

So, I thought I'd talk about some of our critters' names and how they came by them.

Here are 3 of our 6 goats.  The front goat is Coffee - a mini Nubian.  She came to us already named, with her sister Cookie.  Her sister survived an infection with deer meningeal worm, but it left her with a limp and a weakness in her hind quarters.  She was never entirely the same afterwards and sadly, last fall she died.  She had white ears (like cookies and cream ice cream) and Coffee has brownish ears.  That's what the kids in her former home called her, so we kept it.  Behind Coffee is Puffin.  Puffin came to us from an animal sale in Missouri.  I'm not sure that I would buy animals from that kind of sale again.  I didn't really like the atmosphere of it.  Still, Puffin, Muffin and Stuffin were a trio of goats we bought then, and we named them.  We started with Muffin, and decided the other two should rhyme.  You may remember that Stuffin gave birth to Luna, our first baby goat.  Subsequently, Stuffin, Luna, Muffin and our mini goat wether, Buford, all went to live with one of my coworkers.  Puffin is a Pygmy goat and she's due in April.  Behind those two is Valentino (Val for short) and he is our angora buck.  He came to us named, and we kept it!

Here is Opal, our first Nigerian Dwarf goat, who has been on a few other blog posts before.  She came to us named also, and I really liked her name, so we kept it.

This is the lovely Lotus, who is also a Nigerian Dwarf goat.  She came from Black Cat Creek Farm.  She is very affectionate and sweet natured.  We hope her kid(s) will be also!  She has a very cute beard, doesn't she?!

Our sixth goat is Pebbles, who also came with her name.  She is the elderly lady of the bunch, and she has never been fertile to our knowledge.  She came from a farm that was getting rid of their goats and they said she had always been with a proven buck but had never had kids.  She is also very friendly and sweet, even if she does moan pitifully when she repeatedly gets her head stuck in the cattle panel openings.  Silly Pebbles.

Then there are our 2 miniature donkeys.  They are Sicilian donkeys.  They didn't come with names, so we named them Willow and Springfield.  Willow is so named because she is dainty like willow leaves, but very strong, like an immense willow tree trunk.  Springfield is named after a racehorse from long ago in the UK, with whom my family has a connection.  He is so named because he likes to run at high speed around the pasture, kicking out his heels.  He is a gelded donkey and Willow is his mother.  Willow also gave birth to Onyx after we adopted her, and we don't know who the father was, because it obviously wasn't Springfield.  Onyx now lives with some sheep and another donkey in southern Iowa!  Here are Willow (grey) and Springfield (brown/black) with Onyx behind them.  In this picture, Springfield had just about finished molting his wintery coat, and he was still shaggy on the bottom.  He changes colour entirely when he molts!

Moving on to the llamas, we have five of them.  We have our herd sire, Kahlua, along with his ladies:  Dolly, Hazel and Cabernet.  We also have Cesar, and he's a gelded male who is an excellent sheep guardian.  We named Dolly because her other name was "Black Eyed Pea" and we didn't really like that.  Kahlua, Hazel and Cabernet all came with their names.  Cesar was adopted from the animal rescue league and he was named Smokey Spots, but Kelly decided to call him Cesar, in honour of his new leadership role as a sheep guardian.

Here's Kahlua:

And here's Cesar:

Here, from left to right, are (a chicken), Dolly Llama, Cabernet, and Kahlua (flanked by yet another chicken).

And here's dear Hazel, sort of hiding behind Dolly...Hazel had a skin infection and is re-growing her fleece but she's looking so much better than she was. 

So, next blog post, I'll do the sheep's names, because there are a lot of them. 

Right now, I'm thinking about goat names.  When we choose the names ourselves, we tend to go with non-human types of names.  I think I'll keep that tradition up.  We are expecting kids from Opal, Lotus, Puffin and Coffee this year.  I think I might choose gemstone names for Opal's, flower names or Egyptian style names for Lotus', bird names for Puffin's and perhaps coffee types like Kona or Java or something like that for Coffee's kids.  What do you think?


DebH said...

Wow!! What a big and diverse bunch of pets you have!! I like your themes on all your names and I especially like hearing about other peoples animals. It gives a really good picture of what others care for and I am glad there are so any animal lovers out there! What a wonderful post! :)

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

For some reason, names for my animals is a big deal to me, I have a little notebook, which throughout the year I add possible names to it. I may read a name, hear one on TV, or makeup a name then add the entry. Recently, Mike had me add an entry to the notebook - PeePee LePew!

Mary Ann said...

I love the names and I'm sure the right names will occur to you as your animals give birth.

I want a few sheep, but I have to stop reading this blog--I've also got a hankering for donkeys, llamas and goats now too :) Lol.

Claire said...

Thanks Deb! Your new little calf is such a cutie!

Joanna - I do that too! I have written down as possible sheep names this year: Peregrine, Galahad, Niblet, Baldrick, and Ladyhawke. Last year I wanted to name one Wooloomooloo but Kelly said that was too silly, but it's a real place name in Australia!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Thank you for the name post Claire! I love hearing about all the wonderful friends you have at your farm! You have to tell me about your chickens too! hee hee Did your goat Tulip find a new home? I thought she was very pretty!

Mom L said...

And to think I had trouble naming Emma, my ONE cat! I wasn't crazy about the name she came with, and was determined to find something that suited her. Turned out she coos to me with an "mmmmm?" sound.

So many new babies to look forward to this year!


Anonymous said...

Okay, how do you do it?! All those critters, school & work?!?!? You are amazing!

Da Bean said...

Lots of critters!!

Michelle said...

I like your proposed themes; we used gemstone names for the two litters of bulldog puppies we raised (their mother's name was Ruby) so I have lots of ideas in that department if you need them. I, too, keep a running list of name possibilities for the sheep, which all have to begin with "B" to go with Boulderneigh (my quirk).

Flartus said...

I love hearing other peoples' names for their pets; I always feel others do a much better job than I do at naming animals! (Rosie came with the name, and I didn't think it suited her, but Miss Chef wouldn't let me change it.)

The owner of the goat farm where Miss Chef works is thinking of using cheese names for her new kids...y'know, Brie, Fontina, etc. I even researched and printed out a list for her. We'll see how it goes!

taylorgirl6 said...

This reminds me of when we named our youngest dog last year. He came to us from the local animal shelter, and at three months old his wrists were the same size as my own. He had a gorgeous lab face from his nose to his forehead, and then this enormous fro took off at his ears. He was so shaggy! We tried Beau, which rhymes with "no," we tried Henry, but my partner rolled her eyes when I kept saying, "Oh, Henry!" We considered Hairy (like Harry), but we settled on Aengus, a slightly more traditional Irish name (since we are an Irish household). As it turns out, little Aengie (what a horrid nickname!) is most likely an Irish Setter, Golden Retriever cross.