I have some chickens named with Borg designations. There were originally 4, so each of them was N of 4. Two of them died though, then I got two new ones, so should the new ones get their own group designation ("of 2") or should they become part of the original "of 4"? I would like to be technically correct about this.

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    Are they in their own coop or do they all share one? Do they rotate charging shifts on the platform? Do they patrol together? Are some layers and some fryers? Personally, I think you should go with 5 of 4 and 6 of 4. – Kit Z. Fox Dec 31 '13 at 1:38
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    @Kit - Out of bounds index exception! – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 31 '13 at 1:41
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    I actually spent time considering the naming of a complete stranger's chickens. What does this say about my life?. – wbogacz Dec 31 '13 at 2:10
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    For the record, this is off-topic for the site but no one seems to care, even though a silly Santa question during X-mas was shut down by (you know who you are, Paul). – Meat Trademark Dec 31 '13 at 5:27
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    @MeatTrademark How so? It's a bit oddly phrased, but the base question "How are Borg designations assigned/reassigned?" seems on-topic to me... – Izkata Dec 31 '13 at 6:29

In the episode "Omega Directive" Seven of Nine assigns her crewmates Borg-like designations to indicate their status and team targets

SEVEN OF NINE: Six of Ten... that's not your assignment.

KIM: Please stop calling me that.

SEVEN OF NINE: You're compromising our productivity.

SEVEN OF NINE: I'm reassigning you to chamber maintenance. Your new designation is Two of Ten.

KIM: Wait a minute. You're demoting me? Since when do the Borg pull rank?

SEVEN OF NINE: A Starfleet protocol I adapted. It's most useful.

KIM: I'm glad you're not the Captain.

Her convention is to use the number to designate rank within the team. Since the borg don't hold ranks or possess individuality, it therefore follows that you should simply give your new chickens the first available number within the team and to renumber the team accordingly

Don't worry if you've duplicated a designation with a now-defunct chicken as they're essentially interchangeable.

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Image courtesy of faykokoWV from BYC.

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    I can't believe I just upvoted an answer about Borg chicken. Sometimes I doubt my integrity and my commitment to Sparkle Motion. – Meat Trademark Dec 31 '13 at 2:06
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    Seven explains that she's adapted the naming convention to include rank. Normally it wouldn't have that connotation. Interestingly, the Borg children also use number to indicate hierarchy (by age) in the episode "Collective" – Valorum Dec 31 '13 at 16:46
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    Seven suggests, though, that the ranking convention is an adaptation. The Borg have no use for ranks, though it does suggest that the numbering may also have something to do with their primary function. It seems reasonable that if a drone is reassigned, its designation will certainly change description (tertiary adjunct vs. primary sub-processor), but it may also change number. – Matt Dec 31 '13 at 16:48
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    well I told them today that they were going to be designated 1 of 4 and 3 of 4. They appear to have complied. – thea_kronborg Dec 31 '13 at 23:05
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    @ Thea - If they don't comply, simply remove their implants and they'll vaporize. – Valorum Dec 31 '13 at 23:32

The flashback(s) in VOY 6x02, Survival Instinct, suggest they will not resize the group unless necessary to accommodate new drones.

Just under 15 minutes into the episode, in one of the flashbacks, Seven explicitly calls one of the drones "Three of Nine" despite there only being 4 survivors. A few minutes later, after that flashback, the modern Seven identifies them each as "Two of Nine", "Three of Nine", and "Four of Nine" - they and her all being members of the same unimatrix.

Even later in the episode, in another flashback when Seven linked the three together and created the sub-collective, they still identified themselves as Two, Three, and Four "of Nine", despite the sub-collective only containing 3 drones.

The circumstances on the planet are a bit special, in that they were regaining their individuality due to losing the Collective, however the loss of the other 3 drones happened well before their personalities started to emerge. If they were going to renumber into an "of Four" unimatrix, they would have done so before that happened, or after Seven created the sub-collective. They did not.

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    A side note that I can't think of support for at the moment: I think Borg designations are more akin to routing addresses than anything else. Those wouldn't change when a new node (drone) was added or removed, unless more space was required due to having too many nodes (drones). – Izkata Dec 31 '13 at 3:43
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    anecdotal support for your theory: (in TNG and FC at least) Borg never address each other verbally, which strongly implies that the designations they answer to among humans are adapted from some other non-verbal schema. Since Borg are essentially a distributed computing platform, routing addresses seem like they would be very important. (Thankfully they never adopted IPv6, or it would take 30 seconds to say any of their names...) – Dacio Dec 31 '13 at 6:42
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    @Dacio Converted to plain binary, IPv6 would still take only a second or two if they spoke like the Bynar. I had never really thought about the designations we hear having been converted from another system, though. – Izkata Dec 31 '13 at 8:12
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    Reassigning designations just due to one faulty drone wouldn't be very efficient at all. The question is - for example - just skip "3 of 1000" or update the designation of all drones with a higher designation, plus updating all tasks or scheduled orders etc. that involve any of those drones. The overhead is lower in smaller groups, true, but it's still higher than just updating everything that related to one faulty drone. This is also similar to modern filesystems. If you delete a file, data isn't moved (expensive!); the space is just skipped and reused later on. – Mario Dec 31 '13 at 11:30

The new chickens must be named Locutus and Hugh. You can assign these based on perceived personality, letting Hugh be whichever chicken you believe most likely to betray them all and fall for Lore's tricks.

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  • Coincidentally, I just watched the Hugh episode last night. – Kevin Jan 1 '14 at 0:43

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