Saturday, April 13, 2013

The tale of the chicken coop move... Lordy, Lordy~!

It's finally moved from my house, to this old farmhouse acreage...
Poor chickens~ they've been on their own at my house since last fall, but I don't think they minded living there alone through the winter. They were pretty well taken care of and they are fat & happy. And, I am so, so thankful not to have to run back and forth to check on them so much...

So, here it is on the trailer and oh boy, is there one helluva story to go with the move - lol
(Yes, I'm still "Laughing Out Loud"...)

You see... At this old house there is a barn and well, my house is a barn-house ~ So, over there (three miles West) I was the one living in, "The Barn" and my chicken flock was living in the girls old playhouse.

Trust me, they didn't mind. It was complete with a little dining room table, their own chalkboard and benches...

You caught me - I was in a hurry the day 12 years ago that I brought the chicks home and well, I didn't have a coop. But, I did however have an old playhouse, that was an old calving shed, that a friend from a dairy up the road brought to my house ages ago with a loader, so my girls would have a "playhouse" (holy drag on sentence... did you follow me there?)... Then, after the girls grew out of their playhouse years, the playhouse made a smashing great chicken coop~!

The chicken flock musta enjoyed it, they lived in it comfortably for years and years and in fact, at one point, we moved it to the other side of the yard and they all flew back to its original location trying to find it.
(Perhaps, they missed their little dining room table, or had an important note written on the chalkboard... just kidding ~ although, I did find a phone in the coop when we moved it~ I am clueless who their long distance carrier is?)
They are attached...!

The chicken coop/playhouse was in a back corner in my yard at my barn house down the way and we had to lift it up over a 7' chainlink fence and a 7' wooden fence, so we took the backhoe and a heavy duty trailer. See, when I came up with the brainstorm that it was the day for the chickens to move, my better half was unprepared. My thought was just to catch em, and put em' in the back of his pickup that currently has a canopy shell on it and transport em to the barn, to live with the sheep at this old farmhouse. Of course, nothing is ever an easy thing with the 'man-child' involved (my pet name for my better half, for future reference... he, he) His idea was to bring the flock, complete with their living quarters. "Afterall" he said, "They love their coop"...
<Yes, at this point, I was rolling my eyes...>

So, the simple, "lets go get the chickens" turned into a major production, complete with heavy equipment (as usual)... That's what happens when you are glued to the hip of a "contractor," with his own equipment fleet. And, that's ok, because BIG things happen fast for just diesel fuel <wink>

We got the coop all chained up for the move and I had the flock cornered. At the last moment, the man-child says, "We better wait and put them in the coop when it's on the trailer, so we don't have an incident and no fatalities"... Ok, fair enough. He didn't like the idea of chicken shit all over his construction tools in his pickup, so we decided we would just move them in "their coop"...

Oh' Holy Hell Hanna~!!!
It's a good thing he was concerned of fatalities because he got it picked up over the chain link fence (still dangling about 10' in the air) and his dog "Duke the Wonder Dog," who was hitching a ride on the backhoe with him (because Duke attacks the backhoe if left on the ground), jumped forward in an attempt to scare a cat and hit all the control levers at the same time. That coop slammed to the ground with extreme force and the backhoe left the ground. "Yes, I peed a little" and the look on the man-childs face was priceless~!

Thank the lord for outriggers... They were the only thing that kept the machine from going on it's side~!

When the dust settled, I was laughing so, so hard, I was bawling & the man-child still had a "doe in the headlights" look upon his face and you should have seen the look on the chickens~! If my chickens had lips, they would have been screaming to the neighborhood about their fear of having to go anywhere with me, or my better half~!

Sadly, at the end of the fiasco, the one side of the old coop's roof got caved in by the bucket the coop was chained to, to lift it and it broke all the rafters...   )-=

The chickens don't seem to mind - I think they like the new sky-light...
Trust me, all the nosey hens have spent time investigating it~ They told the whole flock, "Look, new escape route," not realizing they are free range chickens....

~Here is the new location for the chicken coop~

Here it is, loaded on the trailer full of chickens...
(With the culprit "Duke" trying to get a bite of the bucket)

Here it is en' route to its new location ~ full of chickens...

It has arrived...
And yes, I use a fish net to catch my wild flock!
See it there hanging by their front door, complete with a cute little heart window...

I have them blocked in right now,
so they don't try to fly back to my house.
(In case they know how to find it ~ afterall, they are chickens and chickens are "organized"!)

But, they can come out on the bottom left side (there's a door) and go through into the barn with the sheep for now. Actually, they could get out and be loose, but they just haven't figured out how yet...

And, it's a good thing the old playhouse/chicken coop is finished, as it's about rotted away from 50 years of weather (remember, it was an OLD calving shed years & years ago, when it first became a playhouse)

I figure, once the flock gets used to the new digs and location, we can just burn the old coop and by Autumn, they will have a brand new setup in the barn...
~Hope the sheep live through the trauma they are TERRIFIED of the chickens~

And, I am so thankful it was a move with no FATALITIES~!


  1. Oh what an adventure! Reminds me of us trying to unload an old pioneer home in the backyard of our previous home in Highland. We brought it home and turned it into the sweetest little playhouse. We had it all jacked up ready to put in place and it started to fall. You get the picture. I'm sure the chickens will love their new home!

  2. There are days when hard things are easy. But, then there are days when easy things are really hard... lol
    I guess my lesson in all of this has been not to ask the "Man-Child" to help, spur of the moment and unprepared. And, to leave his dog home in the future~!
    I wouldn't want to miss the GREAT ADVENTURES of it all though... And, still thankful for "No fatalities"...

  3. LoL I can picture the whole thing. I'm glad there were no fatalities too. Duke seems like a fun dog. Our Shilo does the same thing to the 4-wheelers. I loved reading your story and the pics are awesome!

    1. Ah Manda...
      Duke is "One of a Kind"... Any heeler that would take on a big, ol' excavator is FEARLESS!
      He rides on the wheelers, but he DETESTS construction equipment. This old dog can spend a 10 hour day attacking it and come home with an "attitude" everytime!
      There's only one thing Duke is scared of & that's ME! =D
      How are you doing up there in Northern Utah?
      Enjoyin the new white stuff ~ lol
      (I'm only laughing because I think we're gonna get it too!)


Thank you for your comments...
I love to hear from you~!