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…

To Cull A Mocking Bird


Or… Faster Pussycat! Cull! Cull!

Not too long ago I shared my views on the overwhelming assholery of the guinea fowl. The hatred I felt has only intensified since then. And to think I once loved them dearly! And now that they have full flight capabilities, the entire neighborhood is suffering from an onslaught of auditory shittery.  Well folks. I’ve made a huge decision. The birds WILL not live to see 2017!

2016 has been a terrible year for me. Politically and emotionally. It all started with the passing of my beloved David Bowie. Of which I’ve shared me thoughts here. Then it’s been a tumultuous and ever-downward shit-storm. And not only for me personally, I think a large portion of the country will agree that 2016 can readily and vigorously go fuck itself. No lube!!

I haven’t had much material to share with you because every time I go into the yard to either get inspiration, simply unwind or work on a project, I just end up getting pissed off at either the damage the fowl have done, or the ear-piercing noise and shrieking that they’re vomiting into my tender ears. So I end up retreating inside to hide away from the unavoidable murder that MUST occur.

Me hiding from my problems

This is no good to either of us. I have lost my one true sanctuary in the world, and you have lost my obnoxious lunacy gently mixed with gardening and danger. Well, That ends tomorrow!! Tomorrow, the Great Hunt begins.

Continue reading “To Cull A Mocking Bird”

Donald Trump’s Hair Lives in my Backyard!


I’ll bet you didn’t know that once Donald Trump is done after a busy day of being the nations Orange Hitler, he likes to come home and relax. Let his hair down if you will.

Orange Hitler and his escaping hair creature.
Orange Hitler and his escaping hair creature.

The problem is, once his hair is down, it leaps off his skull and meanders its way to my backyard. Once it’s here, I like to call it Piper the silkie hen. One of my prized chickens. And I feed her and love her more than any other chicken/douchebag hair piece I’ve ever known.

I try oh so hard to not get political on this gardening blog. Mostly because you didn’t come here to hear the rants that I typically reserve for the poor saps that are around me all day long. I try to keep Mind Your Dirt and James Gielow ever so slightly separated. Sometimes things slip through the cracks. Like today when I caught Piper taking the most adorable dirt bath ever. She was just happy as a pig in shit to be digging and scratching and slathering filth all up in her fuzzy britches. It’s what chickens do to get any mites or critters out of their feathers.

When Piper does it, she likes to make little purring sounds like Gizmo from the movie Gremlins. And then my heart turns to jelly. But today I could’t help but see her as a sentient Donald Trump Hair-Beast and I began giggling. And then crying. Both for slandering my innocent little cutie pie fuzzy butt, as well as the current state of the nation where we have a choice between Orange Hitler and Grandma Nixon for president. But as Jefferson said, “We are given the government that we deserve” and this current situation is a reflection on what “we the people” have allowed to happen.

Now as we stand upon the threshold of The End Times©, I can’t help but wonder what part I’ve played to bring us here. I try so hard to live a decent and honest life full of honor and virtue as well as be a strong steward for all creatures great and small. When I think about it too much, I get a giant headache. Then I go outside and look at something beautiful. Something like this:

So imagine my dismay when Trump’s hair visions began creeping into my head. I feel molested, pooped and demoralized. My only solution is to watch the above video over and over again until the evil vision leaves me be. I recommend you do the same. Just listen to that cute purring and cooing. UGH! My heart is jelly again.

Post Script:

I’m sorry that I have been less than present here on Mind Your Dirt the last few weeks. You see I was actually hospitalized from a dog bite two weekends ago. Nothing too major but my dominant hand has been out of commission and my dominant brain has been hopped up on goofballs for the pain. I’ll bring you a note from my doctor. Dr. Huy Ho. I shit thee not. My doctor is a song from a Disney cartoon. Jealous? He is the best doctor I’ve ever had by the by. I digress.

donald-trumps-hair-lives-in-my-backyard-3_sasha-and-noe

Sasha the mighty husky lab got into a fight with Noe the cow dog beast over the matter of ownership of a stuffed husky cuddle monster. I tried to intervene as I have health insurance and my dog does not. A matter of economics. Well, Noe wasn’t too keen on my getting in the middle and proceeded to sink her back teeth into and through my right ring finger. Fantastically powerful pain and suffering ensued and I’m still not able to do much with my right hand. No stitches were applied as the finger meat was far too tore up for anything to sew to anything else. Want to see photos? I didn’t think so.

I never lost my cool during the entire episode, however, and even spent time to comfort Noe and make sure that she and Sasha were wound free. They were thank goodness. I then played a game of Wits and Wagers with my house guests, built a roaring fire for the making of S’Mores and waited until all guests left. When I tried to go to bed I finally admitted that to fall asleep with the loss of so much blood and the presence of so much pain would be extremely stupid. A sentiment my wise girlfriend and her sister echoed hours before. So what, I’m a stupid man. Big deal.

At 11:30 p.m. Nury and I visited the hospital for a lovely six and a half hour visit of waiting, poking and scrubbing. Good times!! Oh yes, and a healthy $100 copay. Here’s me in the throws of pain and suffering. Feel free to have this enlarged and framed with a caption underneath reading “Lesser Mustachioed Douchbag”.

donald-trumps-hair-lives-in-my-backyard-2_me-in-the-hospital

Regardless, I have a slew of unwritten posts up inside my drug-addled  melon, I just need to get them all down as well as take the subsequent associated photographs to bring you added visual delights. Please bear with my recovery and endeavor to do your best to not be around me for the next full moon! I get…bitey.