Welcome to the World Knuckles! See her hatch below…

Spring has brought an unplanned addition to the Mind Your Dirt farms. Last month, I borrowed my neighbors rooster to see if I could breed some of my more productive egg layers. I gave him two weeks with my harem of special ladies to work his magic.

With such a handsome boy, I thought it would be a simple task. But try as he might, and try he did, none of the hens were having his macho bullshit and posturing. All except for one. His sister Violet!

This unnatural coupling was very troubling for me and my rigid morals and world view. I did my best to sway them away from such sin, but to no avail. I finally had to remove him as he was really torturing all the other hens for not putting out and things got bloody with one of my girls! I had enough of the violence and was feeling like I was running some sort of a terrible sex slave trade. I ran into the run and he and I battled. All the girls, save Violet were hiding behind me while he and I sized each other up.

After some bites and cuts, I was able to get a hold of this brute. Back to the neighbors with you sir! While you’re there, I suggest you learn how a gentleman should behave amongst such high caliber ladies. #henstoo

I then set out to incubate all the eggs that followed. Out of the 30+ I tried incubating, the only ones that were fertile were Violet’s eggs. Just my luck, the one breed I didn’t want to hatch was the only one that would. English game hens are cool and all, but not much on the egg laying tip. So it goes.

Below is the incubator I’m testing out. It works great for a little hobby setup and turns the eggs automatically. It also has an “eggy” design that I kinda dig. Very groovy and far out. man.

After so many infertile eggs, I decided to allow one of Violet’s eggs to fully incubate. She was growing broody and motherly so I felt bad for her. Well, last Saturday, that egg has hatched! The process took most of the day so I set up my little viewing station and waited.

Hatching viewing station alpha

I’ve never hatched my own eggs before so I was curious if there would be any imprinting happening if I’m the first thing she sees. Imagine your very first sight being a drooling giggling idiot ape! Poor girl.

Gah!! Take it away!

The moment of truth, and the reason for this post, was when she finally struggled to break free of her tiny eggy prison. I was able to get a really lovely little video of it and I wanted to share with you good and noble folk. So without further adieu I present to you, the birth of Knuckles the English Game Hen…

Knuckles big debut!

Sorry about my stupid and sappy commentary. I was admittedly overly-moved by the whole experience as I have a rather mooshy core. But I was right about the imprinting! Knuckles and I are like peas and carrots already. I have her in my home made brooder now and she is all poofy and clumsy and adorable and perfect.

It seems like she won’t sleep until I put my hand inside the brooder. The she floops on over and nuzzles into my fingers before totally blacking out. Then I sit there for far too long afraid to move an inch and disturb her little nap. It’s all rather ridiculous. She even comes running up to the edge when Sasha comes in for a visit. This little poofball is all love.

Home made brooder with a view
Learning to walk

She had a hard time learning to walk. She kept on falling back on her bottom in the most adorable way. Her right foot had some issues with all her toes curling in an unnatural manner. I found this on Pinterest and am giving it a go. Toes crossed it works.

Baby chick shoes!

Now it looks like she has one flipper on as she pads around the brooder.

Learning to drink

There will undoubtedly be many many videos and photos coming up on the social medias, so be sure to check in on the regular! She’s also beginning the habit of trying to wiggle her way into my beard for safety and comfort. I’m trying to capture that on video but it’s not easy juggling so much clumsy cuteness. It’ll happen though. Until then, take it all in!

Putting the baby down for the night
Bedtime for Knuckles
My eventual future…

Guinea Fowl Suck: The Foulest Fowl that ever Fouled.


Intro:

“Thanks for the last and greatest betrayal of the last and greatest of human dreams.”

-William S. Burroughs (an excerpt from Thanksgiving Prayer)

Some other possible titles for this post were:

When Life Punches You in the Taint… or

My World of Shit

After I slept on it, I decided that I should perhaps be a little more cheerful. God knows that this country has had quite enough shock, disappointment and all around shabbiness lately. Enough to last a lifetime. And I still refuse to wax political here even in the face of all this. Mind Your Dirt should be a safe place. So I’ll ignore the very real possibility that all the environmental progress we’ve made (what little there was) is now going to fall apart and unravel like a cheap cable-knit sweater while Muslim-Americans are goose-stepped into massive interment camps. I digress.


Aside:

Oh you sweet and beautiful reader. My rock. My everything. I’ve missed you all so tremendously. As for you, you most likely fall under one of two categories. Either you’ve missed me every day while you sat by your computer waiting with baited breath for words of merriment and mirth or snapshots of fuzzy-butted chicken cuteness; or you didn’t even notice I was away for so long. Almost two months actually.

If you fall under the former category, allow me to explain a little. If you fall under the latter, kindly kiss my entire ass.

October rang in the third year of Mind Your Dirt. Did you get me anything? No, that’s okay. I didn’t get me anything either. What I did receive was only what I can describe as a shit-storm of wants and woes. While still recovering from my werewolf bite (my dog bite got upgraded since we last spoke), my car decided to kick me while I was down with a slew of visits to the mechanics that are still going on.

Then, I broke up with my girlfriend of five years. Which I really wanted to talk to you about, but then my laptop decided to commit suicide and I was simply of the mindset to say fuck it all. So I did in many ways. I unplugged from Mind Your Dirt because I couldn’t find much inspiration to write (or a laptop to write with even if I could) nor inspiration to work in the garden. Which was getting its ass kicked by the summer heat and drought anyways.

So please bear with me while I vent and gather what’s left of my strength and carry on. My laptop now has a brand new hard drive and is slowly being rebuilt with programs and such. I find myself well into my 42nd year of life and am thrown back into the dating pool kicking and screaming. Commercials and every song on the radio make me cry now as well, so that’s pretty sweet. I’m so grateful that I’m truly in touch with all my feelings and have been using these cathartic moments to bolster my soul. But, damn, I do miss my baby girl. I thought for sure that she was The One, you dig? But the decision was the right one to make and I am good at adapting and adopting. Shit, I said I wasn’t going to write about this. Oh well, you all know by now that my life is an open book. So here I am all raw and exposed for the world to see.

So, I’m here to say that I’m back, I’m resigned. I’d also like to say that in no time in the last couple months have I lost my cool or diminished my smile. Like all great tests in life, I know that this all will pass and there’s no justification for being grumpy or short-tempered with people. I’m soldiering on and taking it all in stride.


The Meat:

But that’s not what I’m hear to tell you about. I’m here to report on the recent release of my four guinea fowl into my urban oasis. In doing so, I feel like those before me that accidentally introduced an invasive species into a balanced ecosystem. Probably the way they felt with the cane toads in Australia. I’ve made a huge mistake.

They have been a loud and destructive force in the yard for the last month. Eating plants and tearing up every bed and path I’ve so carefully crafted over the past four years. Every time I went out into the back yard to try to find some motivation, it would always end up the same way. I’d discover some new destruction or a fresh pile of guinea shit to step in and I’d just stop and stare at these ugly bastards with only one thought in my head.

“How to kill them?!”

They must be able to sense this, because they typically follow me all over the place waiting for a handout of some kind. But when I begin to go over the practical steps needed for their destruction, cleaning, and cooking they tend to back away slowly. Which is wise, because I WILL be killing them shortly.

guinea-fowl-up-on-the-roof

Continue reading “Guinea Fowl Suck: The Foulest Fowl that ever Fouled.”

Meet the Family!


I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to all the creatures that inhabit my home. These are the members of the family that I’ll be mentioning from time to time, so I thought it best to introduce everyone. For some reason beyond my comprehension, I’ve been really blessed to be surrounded by the best girls on the planet. I don’t know what I did in this life or the previous to deserve such a pack of awesome, but  am eternally grateful for every last one of them. Let’s meet them… Continue reading “Meet the Family!”