Greetings from the End of the World

Holy hell y’all! It’s been ages since I sat down and wrote a blog post. Seeing as the entire world is on pandemic lock down I figured if not now, then when? Get one last one in before the End Times officially kick off. Before the dead rise from the grave to feast upon the living. The huddled masses with wonderfully cleaned asses all sitting at home just looking for something to digest that has an ounce of intrigue and excitement. A story of truth and glory in a world saturated and riddled with misinformation and fear-mongering. The story of the ages.

This post will have none of that.

I’m rusty you see. Haven’t put pen to paper in many months. Words no form so good in squishy brain. But I shall endeavor to try nonetheless. I’ve been on lock down for the last nine days, as most of the world is. Everything is closed except essential businesses. People are fighting for toilet paper for some reason. Who would’ve thought that the apocalypse would begin with TP hording!? No mention of that in my zombie preparedness manuals! Stock markets are crashing, people are freaking out, jobs are being lost left and right. But everyone has the cleanest assholes since the dawn of time. So there’s that.

But enough about those things we cannot control. I’ll just say this, remember to breathe and remember to be kind to people. Don’t let paranoia and fear turn you into a grumpy prick. And stop hording for god’s sake!

I will also say this, my stock portfolio is rather heavy with yummy eggs. My chicken investment was a wise strategy in these dark times. Especially when many stores have empty shelves in the egg department.

So much has happened in my life since last we spoke. Some good, some bad. All strange and interesting though.

Let’s get the sad part out of the way. I haven’t been able to find the strength to write about a rather large loss. The official Mind Your Dirt mascot, and my favorite and eldest chicken, Piper, was taken by a hawk last December. Heartbreaking and devastating to lose that sweet girl of mine. My little covergirl. Here’s one of the last videos I took with her…

She was my very first hen and has had just a huge roller coaster of a life. If you slapped her name into the search bar here, you can see that her life was filled with a lot of ups and downs. But the last few years she was on the gravy train with biscuit wheels. Happy and healthy all the way to the end. She was just pure love in a poofy floofer package.

In order for me to get over the loss, I immediately went out and got two brand new silkie hens. Kinda like therapy. Or distracting myself from grief. One of those things. But now I have Roxy and Raina to help me heal.

Roxy and Raina

Adorable little poofballs! Here they are having a little dust bath yesterday…

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Spa Day for Piper

Silkies are arguably the cutest and friendliest chickens around. Unlike most chickens, their feathers are so soft and fluffy that they resemble Muppets more than chickens. Throw in some extra toes, black skin, and electric blue earlobes and you’re starting to get the picture.

Thing is, all that floof attracts tons of dirt and worse. Worse meaning poop hanging off their backside in a most unattractive fashion. A good healthy diet helps keep pasty butt at bay, but every so often you gotta get in there and do the ugly side of animal husbandry. A nice soak in warm water really helps break that poop up as well as keep the chickens calm and cozy.

After a good soak and lather you have your self an ugly looking drowned rat kinda chicken. A soaked silkie means a cold silkie once the sun sets. Many can get sick this way, so it’s important to either do this in the morning so they have time to dry or give them a little spa treatment with a blow dryer. Just be careful they don’t get over-heated when doing so!

I wanted to share this little video with you all so you can see how much Piper adores the spa days here at the Mind Your Dirt Luxury Spa Treatment Super Center and Poof Emporium. So here it is…

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Fancy New Chicken Run: Phase Beta


Almost a year ago to the day, I posted about my designs for a new and improved chicken run for my girls. One that would be the envy of all the world’s fowl. In case you missed it last April, here’s the link…

Fancy New Chicken Run: Phase Alpha

Well, a year later and I was still too swamped to make the time to finish this project. If I was being a responsible adult that is. I decided that a life focused on making ends meet isn’t enough and quickly developed a “fuck it” attitude and went and got myself some lumber and cement.

Something I should say before we even get started here is that this chicken run is by NO MEANS predator proof. Using chicken wire as a barrier is useless with raccoons, skunks and foxes as they can just tear through it like Kleenex if they’re hungry enough. Hardware cloth or steel fencing is what should be used in areas where there are predators about. Also, raccoons can open any latch that man has ever created. Little cute fluffy genius trash pandas.

I live about six miles from downtown San Diego, and even though there are skunks, possum, and raccoons in my area, they do not make it into my yard often due to all the dogs in the neighborhood. It’s a gauntlet of sharp teeth and butt-lickers before they can reach my hens so I’ve taken a much more lax approach to my chicken coop design. And over the last five years, I haven’t lost a single hen to predation *knocks on wood*.

So, that being said, here’s how to make a very overly-fancified chicken run that is a mix between the Colosseum and a circus tent.

I’ve mentioned before that my initial chicken run was slapped together in a fury and with little thought towards longevity. I wasn’t exactly sure what my needs were at the time, or the needs of my hens. Was it too much room or not enough? Was I wasting precious real estate in the yard? So I decided a simple fence wouldn’t be too terrible in the short run while I observe the hens and see how it vibes with the yard as a whole.

Just to give you an idea of the set up I have, here’s a little video to illustrate the design using the finest of modern drone technologies. Note the difference between the newer front of the run and the floppy backside. Also, if you want to learn more about the coop design, go here. I’ll wait.

I’m loving this drone footage! A very very old friend of mine was visiting recently and he brought his drone with him. Spent hours zipping all over my neighborhood and took some amazing footage. I’ll be using that for posts coming up when appropriate. Cheers Mike!

Back to the chickens. After a short while, I was able to determine what worked in the run and what didn’t work. So I began to design a modified run in my head. Which was just in time as the old one was quite literally falling apart.

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