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» Destruction, Demolition and Deconstruction

The Chicken Ranch
A few years back I had the job of demolishing a 60 foot mobile home on a hobby farm in Trail BC, using a Bobcat 331 mini excavator. The homeowner had been living in it for several years while building his house on another part of the property. When the house was done they just walked away from the trailer and turned it over to the livestock. They blocked off the living room and made it part of the hog run, leaving the curtains, pictures on the wall, all the furniture, cupboards full of dishes & clothes and a stand up piano for the hogs to entertain themselves with. The rest of the trailer was turned into a chicken coup. Fast forward 9 years...

I arrive on site to find 6 300 lb. hogs, 8 Goats, half a dozen dogs, geese, ducks and bunnies running around the yard. Oh yeah there were two horses in the back, all on a 3/4 acre plot. The neighbors had circulated a petition to demolish the trailer because it stank so badly in the summer. I was taken on a tour of the building starting in the kitchen, which was also the entrance for the chickens. As we moved down the hallway, closer to the master bedroom at the sunny end of the trailer, the accumulated chicken shit got deeper and deeper until the door handles were covered up. Four feet deep. Gnarly.

Back in my machine, I started peeling the outer skin off the trailer on the master bed end. once the walls were off there was a vertical column of dried chicken poo which reeked of ammonia. In this column was embedded chests of drawers still full of photo albums, socks and underwear. I had to wear a dust mask smeared with Tiger Balm to counteract the stench. The only way to get the shit out at this time was to close all the windows on the hoe and pull the whole stinking mess down into my lap. Once cleared, there appeared an orange shag carpet covering the floor which was in surprisingly good shape, probably because of the anaerobic environment under shit mountain. Looked like I could have just given it a rub with the vacuum and it was good as new.

The rest of the trailer was embedded in about two feet of pig shit laced with loading pallets and bailing twine which Farmer Bob had been using as fencing. When part of the fence would fall down he'd just stand up another pallet. Two weeks of wallowing in slime later and I had managed to demolish and burn the structure and most of it's contents.

I've never been back...
(Tue 13th Nov 2012, 1:08, More)