Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finding and moving a chicken coop

I started the weekend wanting to move a potential chicken coop Dancing Queen found at one of her friends place over to our land. We checked it out last week and thought it might do and it was free so it was even better.

I tried to get out of the house early but it’s always a major effort to get the kids dressed, fed, washed up, further dressing, and shipped out the door. By the time Milly realized I was going to take the three little ones to move this beast I was overruled and told there was no way a six, four, and one year old should be around such dangerous work. I thought “How dangerous can it be to move a little old building?”

imageGrey beard thought I was crazy as well to try and do this myself so he decided to spar me the agony of returning home empty handed and came along to provide much needed wisdom and guidance.

The building was in a tucked away area of an old farm and there were trees everywhere blocking the approach. To move this eight foot by eight foot building we had a eight foot wide snow mobile trailer so if we where just perfect the building was going to fit just right. We drove over a few Caragana  trees, dead logs, etc. and somehow got the trailer lined up.

To lift up the building we had some Jackall’s jacks, chains, tow rope, planking, and a truck. We  jacked up the building end a ways and realized the floor was staying put. It had rotted out many years ago so we where only going to get the sides and roof. The jacks had to be put under two by four studs that were rotting pretty bad. Amazingly the jacks worked great to lift the building up. Not so amazing is the way a building sways when the jacks are up to the max.

We blocked up the building in the middle to try and minimize the swaying.

With the building jacked up and the trailer kind of lined up we tried just hitting the gas and hoping the building would fall into place. Yeah, right. The first attempt ended with the building swaying to the west and crashing right off the trailer. I saw my life flash before my eyes as I was just a few feet away trying to hold the building in place.

Dancing Queens friend peeked over the fence and asked if things were ok. After hearing a few cuss words shooting around general area she decided we were ok and went on mowing the lawn.

We rejacked the building up and lined up the trailer again. The second attempt got better results but still ended with one of us almost getting squashed and more cuss words filling the air.

More jacking and positioning got the building just right and with some super precision driving skills we got the building out of the farm.

We drove like 5 miles an hour down the road and waved at everyone that went by. There was a seniors dinner that Grey Beard was supposed to go to in the afternoon and we were late for the affair. Dancing Queen told everyone at the dinner that we were moving a building and several attendees let her know our progress as they all passed us hauling away some junk heap.

Milly came driving up just as we were pulling onto the land as she wanted to make sure we where still alive. It had only been four hours so I’m not sure what she was so worried about. After all, how dangerous can it be to move one little building. 

Milly also asked if we got the right building as this one seemed a bit homelier than she remembered it.

We jacked up the front on the trailer and had Milly hit the gas in the truck. I thought this ill fitted building was going to fall apart as creaked and groaned as it crashed to the ground. It came to it’s final resting place overlooking the serene view of the river bottom. I think I’d like to be buried right next to this spot when the time comes.

Here is the mighty chicken coop. Talk about little hovel on the prairie.

coop 005

The moving process wasn’t so kind to this shack. You can tell it’s leaning over and I’m pretty sure a stiff wind will knock it over.

 coop 007

At least there is a wheel barrow there to hold up the place.

coop 009

I saved the best angle for last. I was told this building was built in 1927. Aren’t you surprised the previous owner gave it up so readily.

coop 010

I asked Grey Beard if he thought this was worth the effort. His reply was “No way. You could have built a building for less than $200 in the same time it took to move that rickety shack.”

I’m not sure if this thing will work for a chicken coop after all. I might start on plan B and build a bird house for the chicks. Maybe if I do it right it will be around for eighty five years like the one above.

As we pulled away from this structure Milly leaned over and said “Aren’t you glad you listened to your wife when I told you not to bring the baby on this crazy outing?”

Yes Milly. You where right.


  1. That's hilarious. If we get word of a massive chicken feast you guys are holding we'll know that shack must have collapsed on the poor souls.

  2. Bawk! Bawk! Cluck! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! THE SKY IS FALLING!!! Oh, wait! It's only the ROOF on that @#$% thing HE calls a coop!

    The Chicken Fair Housing Commission has offically condemed this building as uninhabitable for our fine-feathered cousins!

    Eating our embryos and our flesh is one thing...but this...this...(I can't even call it a coop!) inexcusable!


    Concerned Chicken Inspection Committee

    P.S. You should have listened to Milly and Grey Beard!

  3. Oh my One of many epic adventures to come.