Yes, chickens are pets too.
There's a short video from 1932 of a little girl named Mary O’Connor and her chicken in Savannah, Georgia. You may know her as Flannery O’Connor, and the story is that she trained a chicken to walk backwards as a child. Long before she reached fame for her writing, Flannery O’Connor briefly gained international recognition–thanks to a chicken. Now, whether she trained that chicken to walk backwards, or the videographer knew some advanced film tricks, it's a charming story about a girl and her chickens—a story many Southerners share.
For those of us that did not grow up on farms, or at least not the kind with chickens, these backyard birds were a pastoral icon that existed in petting zoos and children’s books. Today, more and more Americans are raising chickens in their own backyards. And as any good Southerner knows, there's value in hard work and knowing where your food comes from.
Whether they’re purely pets or your go-to for fresh breakfast eggs, we think this favorite fowl deserves a worthy moniker. What is more Southern than a chicken named Sue? Or Hank? Or Waylon, Willie, and the boys? (Okay, okay we’ll stop.)
Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite (sometimes cheeky) Southern chicken names. Oh, and one in honor of dear Flannery, of course. Are chickens still not your speed? We’ve also collected our favorite Southern dog names and some pretty clever Southern cat names.