The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

And Baby made four. The arrival of our new Leghorn chickens.

Photo: Leghorns

Photo: Leghorns

“Did you know that cockerels all have distinct voices?” Kevin put down his mug of tea and stared into the garden as a cockerel crowed.
“That’s Sage.”
Caroline nodded. She explained that ours are still finding their voices on the crowing front. And as if to order we heard a rasping cry.
“That’s one of yours.”

I was sitting in Caroline and Kevin’s  new conservatory. Admiring their lemon tree – laden with fruit on their sunny terrace. Finally after so many weeks of ogling our new Leghorn Family through Caroline’s wonderful photographs, I was collecting the birds.

Regular photographs from Caroline have charted their progress from four fluffy darlings to three hefty bantams and one tiny bantam, the chick that didn’t develop so quickly.

Baby is smaller than a pigeon and has only just moved on from fluff to feathers. He sleeps a lot, and then explores a bit and then sleeps again. We think that Baby is a cockerel as he has teeny wattles. So we now have three new cockerels in our flock. In time one of the smart Italian gentlemen may have to be rehomed.

The only hen is Zebedee. She is elegant and chic. She also is a kind being, letting Baby nestle under her wing. He is a bit frightened of the cockerels but is small enough to creep behind the Ken Doherty Day Centre where the mincing brothers are too big to follow.

Leghorns were originally an Italian breed. Most white supermarket eggs worldwide are laid by Leghorns. They are great, consistent layers. The Chicken Lady advised that they can be flighty but when I discovered that my paternal Grandmother kept Leghorns I was really keen to get some.

I’ve divided the run into two pens, one for our old flock and the other for the leghorns. When Baby gets a bit bigger the great wire wall will come down.

Ours are brown Leghorns, although Zebedee’s feathers look almost black with a little ginger detail around the neck. Just what one would expect from an Italian hen – the perfect little almost black dress. The bigger cockerels are beautifully marked and Baby has brownish feathers.

Photo: Dr Quito observing Baby

Photo: Dr Quito observing Baby

I have spent a lot of the afternoon Leghorn watching and so has Dr Quito. He was at the wire until dusk – licking his lips and shrieking with delight.

Thank you Caroline and Kevin for raising these chickens for us. Like Dr Q, we are delighted with them too.

We now need names for our two Italian gentlemen and are offering a prize for the best suggestions.


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13 Comments

  1. I think you need to name one Foghorn.

    You may not be familiar with him, but Foghorn Leghorn was a staple of American Saturday morning cartoons when I was a kid. He was a blowhard rooster who amused himself by beating up on the barnyard dog, but he had a great voice with a Southern drawl, and there were some funny bits with a baby chicken hawk.

  2. Jo @ LittleFfarm Dairy

    Captain Corelli…?

  3. michelle sheets

    I found a Italian name site that had the meanings too, so here are my suggestions-

    EDOARDO: Italian form of Latin Eduardus, meaning “guardian of prosperity.”

    MELCHIORRE: Italian form of biblical Melchior, meaning “king of light.”

    MANLIO: Italian form of Roman Latin Manlius, meaning “morning.”

    LUCIO: Italian and Spanish form of Roman Latin Lucius, meaning “light.”

    LOTTERIO: Italian form of Latin Lotharius, meaning “loud warrior.”

    CIRO: Italian form of Latin Cyrus, meaning “like the sun.”

    ELIODORO: Italian form of Greek Heliodoros, meaning “gift of the sun.”

    RAIMONDO: Italian form of Frankish German Raginmund, meaning “wise protector.”

    And if you decide Baby has grown into another name, maybe-

    EZZELIN: Italian form of English Acelin, meaning “little noble one.”

    TINO: Short form of Italian names ending with the diminutive suffix -tino, meaning “little, small.”

    PAOLO: Italian form of Latin Paulus, meaning “small.”

    I know I have more names than chickens, hopefully thats not cheating! (That was fun!)

  4. Really interesting lot of info about your new chicks and the leghorn breed. I was so pleased to see that Dr.Quito is fit and well, I have been meaning to enquire after him and also Mrs. Squeaky-Clean. x

  5. Michelle in NZ

    Lovely to see Dr Q out and a checking on the new chooks. A Zebedee already (mine is once more snoring……).

    What about a Willum, a Pita – pronounced Peeta, and a Georgia for the bestest lass?

    Super love to the Min Pins, even better love to Fiona and Danny.

    Danny – Spud update soon please!

  6. Please name one SILVIO – and may he be as rampant as extrovert as his namesake….b.f.n..back to the cherry plum jam (thanks for recipe). Plumx

  7. Steelkitten

    Gorgeous birds!

    Some of my favourite male names include Massimo, Santino, Alfonso and Dante.

  8. The Green Angel

    I have been following you and your adventures for a very long time and have finally signed up. Italian Gentlemen….hmmm, what about Pavarotti and Caruso? Male divas in fine voice?

  9. Oh I rather like Anton du Peck.. French I know but they don’t!

  10. I’m sticking with Bari, my first thought for a name for an Italian cockerel. For the other one, if you have one who likes to strut his stuff and sees himself as the boss … Don Giovanni. It’s obvious from the photo of Dr Quito you could never have free range chickens in your garden. Have I imagined it or is he actually licking his lips in the photo?!!!

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