The Chooks and Jane Austen

So, Fowlcatraz is de-cubbied and ready to make room for a cluck load of chooks. Well, 5 anyway.

To be in keeping with permie ethos, we’ve decided to raise heritage hens rather than the most common breeds such as the Australorp, Isa Browns or Leghorns. Whilst these breeds are the better cluckers – more reliable layers, produce more eggs and somewhat easy to keep – raising a heritage hen means we are supporting and nurturing the rarer breeds and contributing to their relevance in chook world.

Enter the Girls. 5 pullets brought home to Fowlcatraz to do their cluckin best.

The 5 girls

There was much debate on the naming of said Girls… 1. We could delight the nieces/nephews/god-daughters and have them name one each 2. We could delight the Blog Lady (me) and assign names based on the characters of Jane Austen.

Decision = Both.

Rex aka Lady Catherine de Bourgh

  • Name Kid:  ‘Rex’ courtesy of my Nephew Archie
  • Name Austen:  ‘Lady Catherine de Bourgh’

Lady Catherine enjoys meddling in other chooks business, apparently out of the belief that she knows what is best for all hens. She also expects them to obey her suggestions…. pick this weed, cluck over here, cluck over there etc. Lady Catherine is very well aware of her own high rank in Fowlcatraz and expects that deference be paid to her because of it.

Daisy aka Fanny Price

  • Name Kid:  ‘Daisy’ courtesy of my God-daughter Darcey
  • Name Austen:  ‘Fanny Price’

Fanny is a quiet and conscientious chook, willing to let herself be pecked over by the more vibrant and forceful hens and not accustomed to giving her own clucky opinion. Fanny lives by a strict moral chicken code that ensures many of the other girls consider her to be prudish and somewhat shy.

Snowball aka Emma Woodhouse

  • Name Kid:  ‘Snowball’ courtesy of my Niece Varni
  • Name Austen:  ‘Emma Woodhouse’

Emma regards herself as the most important chook in the village of Fowlcatraz.  She believes herself as quite knowledgeable on all chook gossip, and enjoys meddling. Being the self proclaimed mistress of the pen she receives deference from the other Chooks. She is prettier than most of her fellow hens and loves to cluck and arrange their lives for them.

Jane Doe aka Jane Bennet

  • Name Kid:  ‘Jane Doe’ – the kids never got around to this chook
  • Name Austen:  ‘Jane Bennet’

Jane sees the pen through a rose colored comb. She sees the best and brightest in every chook and assumes everyhen is clucking with the best motives.  There is more to Jane than eternal chickeness however, she is also an intelligent young bantam who is kind and broody and excellent with chicks.

Pepper aka Mary Bennet

  • Name Kid:  ‘Pepper’ courtesy of my Niece Scarlett
  • Name Austen:  ‘Mary Bennet’

Mary is studious, and apparently the most accomplished of the other chooks, but unfortunately she lacks genius and taste. She’d prefer a day of foraging and dust bathing than waste time clucking about silly roosters.


Certainly 5 of the best characters of Jane Austen. But there is one leading lady not listed thus far…Elizabeth Bennett. As I know and think of that character, I’m certain there isn’t a Clucker yet whose quite measures up.

Quite simply, they are tolerable at best


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