Chicken naming ceremony: “Xesca” means “girl” in Catalon

I have a very dear friend who raises a very rare breed of chicken called a Penedesenca.  They are from the Catalonian region of Spain. They are very unusual in one regard.

Usually the colour of the ear lobe dictates the colour of the egg – a white ear lobed chicken lays a white egg, a red ear lobed chicken lays a brown egg. The Penedesenca chicken is a dark black chicken with a white ear lobe that lays the second darkest brown egg, second only to the Marans.

I have a little Silkie/Serama/Cochin cross that is a rescue from Georgia, who was originally named after me, but I got her confused with another chicken and thought that her name was Cuckoo, so she has always gone by that name. She is a very pretty little bird, sort of a cinnamon brown stenciled feathers look.  Seramas are the smallest chicken in the world, from Malaysia, and are often kept as apartment pets, so you get an idea of her small size.  She went broody, which means that she sat herself down on a nest that she made and took it upon herself to hatch a clutch of eggs. Since I don’t have a rooster and she doesn’t lay eggs any longer, you can see there was rather a conflict of interest.

So, rather than breaking her brood, I brought over some of my friend’s fertile Penedesenca eggs, and let her go into her trance and brood away.

After 21 days, the result was 6 teensie little cotton balls with tooth picks for legs, who careened around the hutch like ping pong balls.  They were so fun to raise, but this week I sent them packing (too much work for a city girl!).  On the way to their carrier, my friend and I paused to reconsider, as mom and babies were not taking well to the separation, so we pulled a pullet (baby girl hen) out of the box (no roosters for city crowing) and gave her back.  Everyone was much happier.

Since everything around here has to have a name (even my car and my canoe), I pondered and looked, and finally chose the name “Xesca”, which means “girl” in Catalon.  It was either that or Penelope Penedesenca, but I went the native route.

She is growing like a weed and thriving, and the girls and I are thrilled to have her added to our flock.

Dorene, little Sumo-San the Silkie, Cuckoo and Xesca

Dorene, TARA Training and Behavior, LLC, www.doreneolson.com 314.956.1310

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