I’ve been working with my brother to design and build a chicken coop at Pleasant Run Nursery. The predators have made the former location down by the pond an impossible position to raise hens and produce eggs. The chickens have ultimately been extirpated by relentless predation from foxes, hawks, owls, opossums and most commonly, raccoons. The varmints defy every attempt to keep them out through wire fencing, synthetic netting, locks, bolts and doors. So, after having lost every chicken every year to incremental culling by the local wildlife, we finally gave up and decided to relocate the chickens to cohabit ate with the Donkeys. The theory goes that if the chickens and donkeys can live peacefully together, the donkeys will chase all potential predators away with zeal if any of them are foolish enough to attempt a break in. We decided to match many of the details and profile of the existing donkey shed, utilizing white pine board and batten cladding for the exterior, rough-side out. The two roof planes are unevenly pitched, with a wider eave along the shorter and steeper edge. Jim utilized the old doors windows from the Pleasant Run farmhouse for the new chicken coop, fabricating original casings for each of the openings. It has been such a pleasure to return briefly to construction after many years of office work in NYC. I haven’t built a home since I left my job as a carpenter with Alphin Design Build in Raleigh, NC seven years ago. I feel as though I am reconnecting with labor and materials by swinging a hammer and assembling the structure myself. I’ve become inspired to explore more ways in which I can use fundamental elements and thoughtful detailing to achieve my design intent. This project has been so inspiring to undertake, working with rough elements like poured concrete and wood framing as well as finely crafted details like trim and window casings, I can’t wait for the next project!