back to article MYSTERY of huge Canadian chicken-shed EXPLOSION

The Mounties have confessed themselves baffled after a Canadian chicken shed blew up in a huge, devastating explosion whose shockwaves were "felt across southern Manitoba", according to reports. The Red River Valley Echo has the story, reporting that a "large chicken barn which used to be part of the landscape" exploded in a " …


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  1. Ralph B

    My Suspicion

    Angry Pigs.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: My Suspicion


    2. Zippy the Pinhead


      You owe me a new keyboard! lol

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Foul play?

    How could you miss that one, Lewis, it's so obvious.

    1. Swoop

      Re: Foul play

      But then again, the article says foul (fowl?) play is not suspected. Not surprisingly, since the shed was empty at the time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And how could _I_ miss it.

        And now I see the fowl in the sub-heading. Now I feel as stupid as a headless chicken.

    2. kain preacher

      @Foul play

      It was to easier.

      You know I'm thinking of this song by dead prez.

      Once upon a time

      There was a very serious situation growing

      There was a farmer and a farmyard filled with animals

      And this is the story of their times

      Verse 1

      Old man sammy had a farm

      Walked the land with the wife

      Most of the time shit was calm

      His whole life was maintained off the everyday labor

      From the mules in the field to the cattle in the stable

      This is how we kept food on this table (maxing)

      You would have he was disabled by the way he be relaxing

      Acting like mr. magnificent

      But the animals were thinking something different

      The sentiment was tension in the barnyard

      Throughout the years they had been through mad drama

      With the farmer, word is bond

      And they all came to one conclusion

      They argued there was no way they'd ever be free

      If it was up to humans

      Therefore the only course left was revolution which was understandable

      And since the pigs promised to lead in the interest of all the animals

      They planned a full attack

      Under the leadership of hannibal

      The fattest pig in the pack

      The next morning on the farm

      Everything was calm

      Just before dawn

      But before long

      The sun got so hot it made the farm seem electric

      Now check it

      This is when that shit got hectic

      Directed by hannibal, the animals attacked

      Old sam was in a state of shock

      And fell up on his back

      And dropped his rifle

      Reaching in vain

      Each and every creature from the field at his throat

      Screaming "kill, feel the pain."


      This is the animal in man

      This is the animal in you

      This is the animal in man

      Coming true (2x)

      Verse 2

      After they ran the farmer off the farm

      The pigs went around and called a meeting in the barn

      Hannibal spoke for several hours

      But when talks about his plans for power

      That's when the conversation turned sour

      He issued an offical ordinance to set

      If not a pig from this day forth then you insubordinate

      That's when the horses went buckwild

      One of them shouted out

      "you fraudulent pigs, we know your fucking style!"

      Hannibal's face was flushed and pale

      All the animals eyes full of disgust and betrayal

      He felt the same way sam felt

      They took his tongue out of his mouth

      And cut his body up for sale, for real

      You better listen while you can

      Its a very thin line between animal and man

      When hannibal crossed the line they all took a stand

      What would have done?

      Shook his hand?

      This is the animal in man

  3. Alan Esworthy

    a plot

    Shirley this is the work of commie chickens - a conspiratorial cabal of Rhode Island Reds.

    1. Robert Moore

      commie chickens

      Well of course it is, and don't call me Shirley.

    2. BorkedAgain


      (What the cluck?)

  4. Ian K
    Black Helicopters

    The title is required, and must contain chickens

    Has it ever been conclusively proved there were no large chicken sheds at Tunguska?

    Perhaps the veils are finally being lifted on that long-standing Russian mystery...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      read Niven.

      That was a quantum black hole.

  5. RorschachUK

    Total non story

    Total non-story, no chicken casualties are reported nor are any ever likely to occur, the fear-mongering mainstream press are greatly exaggerating the threat to poultry from exploding Canadian sheds, since for the amount of shed released into the Canadian prairies a chicken would have to stand on the same spot for over a year in order to raise its chance of being hit by flying splinters by 0.0002%. The truth is the Mounties are simply bowing to public pressure to declare the sky is falling in.

  6. Efros


    although relatively difficult you can produce methane from chicken shit. Right conditions for fairly complex reactions can occur naturally, we are evidence of that.

    1. Colin Miller

      clean shed

      I suspected that at first, but TFA said the shed was clean...

      1. westlake

        Clean is relative.

        > I suspected that at first, but TFA said the shed was clean...

        I was raised on a farm.

        Clean only means that the air in the chicken house was more or less breathable without protection.

        That you wouldn't instantly collapse and die on the floor.

    2. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      Organic dust

      Organic "dust" (like flour, but also straw dust etc) is quite flammable when in suspension in the air. Where I grew up, explosions due to dust were one of the most feared dangers during harvests as they are capable of destroying large and expensive equipment. Basically some dust in suspension causes a rather small explosion, which brings more dust in the air, leading to a big kaboom, even in comparatively small and air-deprived silos.

      Scaled up to match the volume of that shed, I can imagine a HUGE explosion indeed.

      There would have had to be some organic dust in there to begin with, but it's not hard to imagine that there could have been some (residues? Empty shed used as storage?), and you don't need much. the limiting factor in smaller silos is the quantity of air, not dust.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Insurance Job?

    Type your comment here -- plain text only, no HTML, XML or other voodoo allowed.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Insurance Job?

      Is it too much to ask that you put your comment in the comment bit?

      1. jai

        the title bit

        i suspect he's one of the "i won't write a title" malcontents that seem to form the majority of El Reg commentators

      2. Anonymous Coward


        Yes in this case I could think of zilch, that's why I got 'inspired' and copied the default guff and spiced it up a bit. Now then, back to that STONERS ARE DESTROYING THE PLANET story...

    2. Anonymous Coward


      ...was Henny Penny & Chicken Licken when they were needed? Crossing the road? Poultry in motion?

      Right then, definitely time to flee...

    3. amanfromearth

      I believe -

      it was insured for a poultry sum.

  8. disgruntled yank

    No doubt

    Somebody was attempting a coop d'etat.

  9. S Larti

    Clearly the work..

    of eggstraterrestrials.

  10. IMVHO

    Chicken meth lab...

    That is all.

  11. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Reminds me of Cows with Guns

    Tom Lehrer:

    From behind all the guns,

    behind all the coppers,

    Came the deafening roar

    of chickens in choppers

    1. Graham Marsden

      Reminds me of...

      ...Dana Lyons

    2. Archie The Albatross

      I recognise....

      a firepower demonstration when I see one!

      The little feathery bastards want another crack at world domination!

      They just never got over not being dinosaurs any more.

      Evolution can be a bitch.

      P.S. All chickens are evil.

      1. Hud Dunlap
        IT Angle

        Not all chickens are evil

        A dead chicken is a good chicken, and southern fried it is a fine chicken.

  12. Peter Simpson 1

    Propane tanks intact

    But are they empty? Sounds like a gas explosion.

    1. John Sager

      Gas or powder?

      I first thought of a powdered chicken-shit explosion, like those that happen in flour mills occasionally, but the article said it was clean. The size of the explosion as described, suggests the whole building was full of a near-stoichiometric mixture of propane & air. Perhaps the tanks were empty because they had all just leaked out into the building.

      PS Sarah, we need a nuclear mushroom icon for even bigger kabooms.

      1. Steve Evans

        Re: Gas or powder?

        Indeed... For the tank to be damaged it would either have to had the explosion occur inside it, or it would have had to be subjected to prolonged heat. Neither happened here, but a leak of gas into the building sounds good to me.

        What ignited it is a good question, but congratulations on getting the mixture spot on! Approx 15:1 of C3H8 in a shed that size... Gonna be impressive!

      2. asiaseen

        Powdered chicken shit

        in flour mills?

  13. Blofeld's Cat

    The sky is falling

    Big egg-splosion ... Easter Bunny blamed ... Provisional KFC denies responsibility ... Local residents shell-shocked ... Insurance company pays out a poultry sum ...

  14. Big_Boomer

    Undoubtedly Smokers will get the blame

    Why not, we get the blame for everything else. <sigh>

    I can see the headline now;

    "Bigfoot Butt Blows Barn"

    Right now poor old Sasquatch is rolling in the snow to soothe his singed skin and swearing off cigs for the next

    Any old chicken barn will fill with methane so all it needs is a statically charged leaf or piece of discarded plastic to blow against a suitable earth-point and zap-BigBadaBOOOOOOOOM!!

    Oh well, I imagine it's well ventilated now. <LOL>

  15. Huntsman

    Where did the chickens go on holiday?

    Sandy Eggo.

  16. Richard Cartledge


    Yanks testing HAARP and missing.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      ...they meant to take out one of the BC weed 'grow houses' but dialled in the wrong grid reference. Word on the street says a lot of Vietnamese guys in Canada are wiping their brow fervently.

    2. Rhomboid


      I was thinking the same thing but didn't want to Haarp on it. Most folk are afraid to publicly address conspireggcies.

  17. Richard Scratcher

    Big Bang

    There's nothing in the laws of quantum physics to prevent chicken barns from just blowing up occasionally. It's quite possible, just extremely improbable. Elsewhere in the multiverse there will be countless other chicken barns that did not blow up for no reason.

  18. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Typical - blame the chickens

    "They don't plot, they don't scheme, and they are *not* organized."

    Alternately a large contained space filled with fine aerosol powder of highly combustible feather, feed and bedding remains ignited - like the great Norwich custard explosion

    1. J. Cook Silver badge

      Re: Blame the chickens

      But the chickens are revolting.

      *wanders off to watch some more wallace and grommit*

  19. Andy 17


    .. the work of well armed disgruntled Canadian geese

  20. Natalie Gritpants

    "used to be part of the landscape"

    "It was like somebody chopped it up into little pieces and just flung it everywhere,"

    Surely that means it is still part of the landscape?

    1. Blofeld's Cat

      You mean...

      As a bomb-disposal officer once said, "one mistake and you're geography."

    2. ArmanX
      Thumb Up

      Inside, but not part of.

      If we use the definition of landscape as "an expanse of scenery that can be seen in a single view," then the shed is undoubtedly no longer part of it, as it cannot be seen. Granted, it's *inside* the landscape...

  21. Tom 7

    clean shed

    bet its connected to a sewage system of some form though....

  22. Anonymous Coward

    I blame


  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a cover-up for the secret Canuck nuke programme


    1. Moyra J. Bligh
      Thumb Up

      Canadian World Domination

  24. Johan Bastiaansen

    dust explosion

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

  25. Albert Hall

    Re. Canadian geese


    I would like to correct the false impression created by a badly informed poster above. Judging by their vast numbers, fecundity and output of excreta, I would suggest that our geese are indeed well gruntled.

    That is all.

  26. Minophis

    If it hadn't been empty it would have been...

    Raining Hens.....Hallelujah


  27. Andus McCoatover

    Reminds me of the ol' tongue-twister..

    "I'm not a chicken-plucker, I'm a chicken plucker's mate.

    I'm busy plucking chickens 'cos the chicken-plucker's late...."


    Works better with pheasants, not chickens.

  28. mikeo

    or was it...

    ...those Click-Clack Moo-Cows

  29. Combat Wombat

    Maybe it was...

    a comet strike ?

    They are made of ice, and would leave no trace.

    The shockwave of one hitting would make one hell of a bang, if it was big enough

  30. Ilsa Loving

    I know what really happened.

    The chickens obviously found out about the farm owners dastardly plans involving a chicken pie machine. With the help of a crafty rooster with aspirations of flight, they destroyed the machine and ran off for the hills. Hence why no chickens were found.

    Truely, it was an inspiring and daring escape plan. If hollywood was smart they would buy rights to this even and create a movie adaptation of this exciting chicken run.

  31. Risky


    Has anyone checked the radiation levels, surely it is linked to Fukishima.

  32. Captain DaFt

    Reminds me of an old story.

    As the tale goes, a farmer was clearing some land for a new field, and was dynamiting tree stumps.

    When he went to the shed to get some more dynamite, he found that his sow had gotten out of her pen and was eating the dynamite!

    He yelled at the sow and she took off running, with him in hot pursuit. As they both rounded the hen house, the hired hand came out from egg gathering. The farmer yelled, "Stop that sow!" at the hired hand, who, since his hands were full, hauled off and kicked the sow.

    The resulting blast vaporised the hen house, killed the hired hand, caved in the barn, blew every window out of the farmhouse, and put the farmer in the hospital for months.

    And, for two weeks after the explosion, the farmer's wife had to tend to one VERY sick sow!

    Maybe the sow had a relapse?

  33. Anonymous Coward

    The real reason

    Obviously the chicken's weapon cache went up, thereby delaying the chicken revolution for another 6 months. (Splice "Chicken Run" into Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" and you get an idea of what the revolution will look like)

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It was Snidely Whiplash, and that's why the Dudley DoRights can't figure it out. Get Nell or Horse on the case.

  35. Steen Hive
    Thumb Up


    Natch, aiming for Libya.

  36. This post has been deleted by its author

  37. BC Boy
    Big Brother


    Or at the very least, eggstremists. The RCMP have a shady history in Canada already related to mysteriously destroyed barns.

  38. amanfromearth

    Fnrll argby

    All your chicken sheds are belong to us

  39. Robot

    Chicken droppings

    Chicken droppings are good as fertilizer, and fertizer is good for making bombs.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Unfortunately not transitive

      This does not imply that chicken droppings is good for making bombs.

      1. Charles Manning

        How to make saltpetre

        All you need is some dirt from a farm shed. A chicken raising barn should have accumulated quite a lot of nitrates over the years. Spill some diesel and you have ANFO...

  40. veskebjorn

    Shock finding! Chicken shack explosion as deadly as Fukushima radiation!

    I can't believe Lewis missed this. Number of deaths in explosion--0. Number of deaths caused by radiation at Daiichi--0. Syllogism--a chicken shack can be as deadly as three fried nuclear reactors. As Mark Twain once observed: "That's the wonderful thing about science; one gets a wholesale return in conjecture on a meager investment in facts."

    For those few Register readers who might care, this story is 5 days old. The explosion occurred on Friday, in the late morning. Neither the story nor the link reveal the date. Good to see Lewis is maintaining his usual standards of journalistic excellence.

    The shack itself was less than 5,000 square feet, which is house-size in the area where I live. The market value was less than $20,000. All that's left is part of the foundation. The interior was clean. Canadian sources say propane and electricity were still supplied to the disused structure. Our unflappable Canadian brethren, both Mounties and firemen, assert that "the explosion is not suspicious." Which sentiment I find astonishing, but one that is very closely translated by our Arabic Muslim brethren's expression: "inshallah."

    1. byrresheim

      Now that you are mentioning it ...

      Mr. Page has been uncharacteristically silent on Fukushima these last days ...

      can we pretty please have another article on how we have nothing to fear but fear itself?

      Or on how (and why) the panicmongers at IAEO have upgraded Fukushima to a level 7 incident?

      So many questions, so few chicken sheds to explode instead.

      1. Mad Hacker

        Where were you three days ago?

        He already did that and explained very well why the level was raised to 7:

        1. byrresheim

          Oh well ...

          Right you are, thank you, I nearly would have missed this gem

          (Ignorance is not the same as stupidity; ignorance is curable)

          which I recommend to read and follow ...

  41. zen1

    I for one...

    welcome our unknown, pultricide committing overlords.

  42. david 12 Silver badge

    Reminds me of the story...

    A friend of mine planted half a stick of dynamite down a deep-drop outhouse. In his words: "then the owner came out. we thought - oh no he is going to die. I am going to go to jail for the rest of my life. then there was a big boom. A gout of blue flame erupted out of the ground and lit up the whole sky. followed by a rain of sewerage that covered us all. the outhouse totally disappeared. there weren't any questions asked anyway because he was holding out on connecting to the town sewer system"

    That was before 9/11. No suspicious circumstances? I bet those boys keep their heads down for a couple of days...

  43. Eddy Ito


    Holy slippery silkie shit... 5,000 sq. ft. and it's a shed! Why that's over 22 NanoWales which, if square, would be a bit long of 2.3 Double-decker buses on a side! Hell, it would fit my last house in it four times and still have enough room to park the car, even if I drove... a double-decker bus! Remind me to never take directions from Lewis. He'd tell me to watch for the crack in the asphalt and it'd turn out to be a 200 foot deep vertical wall yawning chasm that can't be crossed for 1000 miles without air transport.

    Shed my arse! A pint for the rest of you lot feeling a mite jealous.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Soviet Canuckistan

      In Canada.... Especially in Manitoba.... that is a shed. Scale is way different. Consider that Winnipeg, a city of 700,000 is considered to be a huge metropolis by local standards.

  44. John Savard

    Something Exploded

    And unless this is a repeat of Tunguska, it's something that was in the chicken shed.

    With an explosion that powerful, if I were in charge of the local police, I would be checking the area for chemical traces. Presumably, someone had been storing a lot of powerful explosives in that building.

    Or perhaps there was just a propane leak, but the explosion didn't affect the tanks the propane came from.

  45. Winkypop Silver badge

    Avian Mythbusters?

    There's your problem, right there...

  46. tim 4

    i can't believe no one's suggested....

    <---------- hen-grenades...... ;)

  47. Charles Manning

    Hadn't been used for years...

    except for a clandestine meth lab.

  48. Rattus Rattus


    ...found where Saddam had been hiding those WMDs.

  49. Stanislaw


    Someone must have shelled it.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    where is the second part of the article

    Where is the second part of the article with the analysis?

    In a lewis page article I would have expected an analysis of the potential reasons for this explosion. Could it had been dust or gas?

  51. David 18

    Men killed by cock

    Following the recent reports on The Register of two separate instances of men being killed by their cocks I suspect an angry bird terror cell in training.

    They are probably planning an attack on a crowded public area as we speak, this was the test firing - just like the scene in in the empty barn in Black Sunday (

    I for one welcome our Feathered Overlords.

  52. ShaggyDoggy

    Why did the chicken commit suicide

    To get to the other side

  53. Deadly Headshot

    The Canadian Tunguska Explosion

    Anyone know if the ghost of Nikola Tesla has been spotted in Canad recently?

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