There is dissension in our happy home and it has come to this. We must hold a vote to decide the new name for The Chicken Formerly Known as Minnie Ruth.

In case you haven’t been following the chicken drama Chez Bumblebee, let me catch you up.

Back in August I purchased three baby chicks for $2 each from the Amish market in Hughesville, about 45 minutes from our home. The fellow who sold me the chickens—who was not Amish, I should add—assured me that the baby chicks had been sexed and that all of them would grow up to be fine laying hens. He explained that the chicks were a white Plymouth Rock, an Arucauna and a Polish chicken. I named these baby chicks after my grandmothers and great aunt: Olive (Olivia), Minnie Ruth and Maxine.

Sadly, Maxine passed away after a few days. But Olive and Minnie Ruth have thrived.

But they also presented a surprise after a few weeks. They are, in fact, roosters. Unmistakably roosters. In fact, they are now in the full flush or their rooster-ness, although the hens, Myrtle and Maude, still boss them around.

Now, it came to me out of the blue one day that I should rename Olive T. Boone Chickens in honor of T. Boone Pickens, who is generally a good guy and whose wife, Madeleine, is working to rescue all those wild horses. My son, Ben, prefers to call the chicken T. Rex because he is so enormously huge and has an audible footstep.

But Minnie Ruth has presented more of a dilemma. No name immediately came to mind, which is why I need your help.

But I believe that the name should fit the chicken. So first, a little background.

As you may be able to see from the photos, The Chicken Formerly Known as Minnie Ruth is a beautiful black, with blue-green hues to his long, luxurious feathers. He is growing some manly facial hair that is sticking out to the sides and will probably grow into a more prominent chicken beard.

He isn’t as large as T. Boone Chickens, although he is much larger than the hens. He is skittish, even though I raised him by hand and have always been a kind and loving chicken mamma. Oh, and he is apparently in love with Maude. He follows her everywhere and, uhm, adores her, shall we say. They currently sleep together at night on the roost bar near the ceiling in the Palazzo di Pollo. He is quite the romancer, although Maude is playing hard-to-get.

In the Twitterverse, I had several suggestions for a new name. So now I’m asking for your help.

Name that chicken!

The choices are (in alphabetical order, so as not to indicate my preferences):

– Al Harris

– Don King

– Elvis

– Fabio

– James Brown

– Johnny Cash

– The Chicken Formerly Known as Minnie Ruth

For your vote to count, you must participate in the poll. It’s to your right at the top of this page. Vote now!

And if you want the chance to win a special prize, leave me a comment about why you advocate for one name or another. If your name is the winner—and I pick your name out of a hat among others who chose the same name—you can win a copy of the 2009 Extraordinary Chickens Calendar. It’s like a pin-up calendar for gorgeous chickens! I got one for myself!

For practical purposes, voting closes on Sunday, December 28. But vote now! And check in to see how the votes are going.

And happy holidays to all!

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  • I vote for Johnny Cash because he always wore all black. This was also the first name that came to mind when you put on Twitter that you needed a new name for The Chicken Formerly Known As Minnie Ruth

    Well, Johnny is a classic, I must admit. And then there’s the voice! You should hear him crow!


  • Joshua McIntire says:

    My personal favorite is the whole Chicken Formerly Known as Minnie Ruth idea, BUT I voted for Johnny Cash because it’s MUCH cooler and this is the smaller rooster. He’s got to live up to/compete with the guy known as T REX! Trust me . . he needs a cool name if he’s going to impress the hens and Johnny Cash is pretty darn cool.

    Cash is cool, indeed. But the Prince reference? Prince isn’t cool?


  • jujurama says:

    He looks sorta Ameraucana-ish He’s definately not arucana because he has a tail and does not have ear muffs(nor is he polish – no headfeathers) And he actually looks like a she – but then he is young. Even Ameraucana roosters have much more obvious tail plummage. Ameraucanas can take longer to begin to lay, so if “he’s” under a year you may still have a layer on your hands. And some hens crow very similarly to roosters. But in any case I like Fabio…

    Trust me. This is definitely a rooster. He is crowing. He is “in love” with Maude. There are no eggs coming outta this fellow.


  • jujurama says:

    You know on second though I vote for Johnny Cash too, but because of the whole “Boy named Sue” being analagous to “Rooster named Minnie” thing

    Bwat! Too funny!


  • Kathy in NY says:

    I have to confess, Elvis and Johhny Cash were the only people I knew. I had to Google the rest. And only Don King had a beard, and only in one picture. So I voted for him. You really needed a namesake that had a bald head and full beard, IMHO, but I don’t know who that would be.

    But it’s not just the facial hair. It’s those lovely hair-like feathers down his back. Too bad no one but the men in my family seem to know who Al Harris is. Fab hair, that guy.


  • Jessica says:

    I was going to suggest Walter (Maude’s Husband on Maude) but I will vote for James Brown because of his song ‘Get up (I feel like being a) sex machine’ in honor of his love towards Maude.

    “Sex machine…” That’s good. Very good. My son is very upset by the “Love Shack” going on out there. He’s worried about his egg production.


  • Personally, I like Heathcliff or Edward Cullen…


  • entangled says:

    I voted Johnny Cash for the same reason as Carol. But I only see 2 votes for Johnny Cash and yet three comments for him. Hmmm.

    People don’t necessarily read the directions. S’okay.


  • Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Johnny Cash is my vote.

  • Nancy Bond says:

    Beautiful birds! I vote for Johnny Cash, the man in black. 🙂

  • I just voted for Johnny Cash because I agree with some of the other voters. Honestly, the bird looks more to me like a “Darth Rooster…” or maybe just, “Vader.” Vader’s nickname when he was young sounded like the girl’s name Annie, but he came out just fine. Oh, well. The rooster soon to be known as Johnny Cash doesn’t seem to have the personality of a Vader.

    But I don’t want any evil Vader chickens. I love my chickens. But if they’re mean chickens? Gone. I don’t want to have to be afraid to enter the chicken coop or visit with the birds. They’re pets.


  • Donna P. says:

    I love the reference to Prince in the Chicken Formerly Known as Minnie Ruth. That’s my vote.

    Donna P.

  • Donna P. says:

    But I also like Fabio. Oh, that hair!

    Donna P.

  • Gail says:

    I voted for the Chicken Formerly Known As…she/he is a beauty…gail

  • Cindy, MCOK says:

    Wow, TCFKAMR is truly a man in black. Elvis would be my second choice since it was my suggestion but TCFKAMR looks more like a Johnny Cash. Tommy Lee Jones would have been a good name too.

  • Layanee says:

    Well, before I even saw your list I thought ‘Elvis’. Why? Because Elvis was always way more cocky than Johnny Cash and he did have blue/black hair. A less obvious selection could be Harold because….Harold loved Maude! Quirky movie.

    I have hardly ever met anyone who saw Harold Loves Maude. Great movie! Long time ago…


  • Rick says:

    Well, I still think you should name the rooster Bar-B-Q. Since you will not be getting any eggs from this rooster, at least you can have a meal!

    Oh, Rick. Even if this chicken turns out to be mean–and I don’t keep mean chickens–I would never eat him. Ewwww.


  • Susan Harris says:

    It’s GOTTA be Johnny Cash because of that shiny black hair (feathers), because he’s irresistible to the ladies, and because Johnny Cash was just SO cool.

  • nichole says:

    Johnny Cash is the best choice, and maybe you could change Maude’s name to June Carter!

  • Kim says:

    I saw Harold Loves Maude (in the last 4 years, actually).

    I was going to vote for James Brown, because I always thought he looked sorta feminine. But then I read the comments for Johnny Cash, and the posters certainly bring up good points. So, since James Brown is JB and Johnny Cash is JC, I’m voting for Johnny, and you can call him J whatever.

  • Sherry says:

    It seems to have stuck!
    I am Sherry formally known as Q!
    My mother mis-named me!
    Have a Happy Christmas,

  • […] way, if you haven’t voted on a chicken name for The Chicken Formerly Known as Minnie Ruth, please do so now.  I really don’t want to name this chicken […]

  • Benjamin says:

    I hang this calendar up EVERY YEAR in my office on campus, so when students come in, they take a doubletake and think I’m strange. Which I am. It’s a hoot.

  • Kathleen says:

    I voted Johnny Cash. He was so in love with his wife June, it must be the same for “Minnie Ruth” and Maude.

    And come on, anyone every heard the song “Chicken in Black”?!? About Johnny getting his brain transplanted into a chicken?

  • tripplehelix says:

    Looks like the evil lady from 101 dalmations, cruella devil. I think you should add that to your list 🙂

  • MA says:

    Ya know, BB, I had this dilemma with a cat. We had Miss Kitty on the table at the vet and he said, What’d y’all say you named this cat? We replied: Miz Kitty, like in Gunsmoke. He proceeded to show us Miz Kitty’s heretofore unknown appendage and pronounced him a big ole’ fixed male. Who immediately was renamed, Mr. Miz Kitty. So I vote for Mr. Minnie Ruth. It’s kind of like Darrell Anne.

  • […] Minnie Ruth, the mis-named rooster, has a new name. It seems that most people think he is best re-named Johnny Cash. […]

  • jack parler says:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  • […] In the back yard, there was another enormous collection of feathers—these blue-black, clearly belonging to Johnny Cash. […]

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