If You Build It, They Will Cluck

North Carolina high schoolers take on a creating a sustainable small-scale housing solution—for hens.

Students cut corrugated metal and pulled pallets apart to create Chicken Circus, which opens above and below to fill feed and collect eggs.
Students cut corrugated metal and pulled pallets apart to create Chicken Circus, which opens above and below to fill feed and collect eggs.

In Bertie County, North Carolina, farming is a way of life. So when Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller were searching for a project for the ten high-school juniors in their Studio H design-build class (the educational arm of their nonprofit organization, Project H Design), coops were a natural choice. “Chickens are part of all of our existences here,” Pilloton says, “but we wanted to look at them through a new lens.

Inspired by Bucky Fuller’s geodesic domes, the team behind Coopus Maximus arranged plywood between six metal hinges according to a prototype originally built in cardboard.
Inspired by Bucky Fuller’s geodesic domes, the team behind Coopus Maximus arranged plywood between six metal hinges according to a prototype originally built in cardboard.
What does it mean to raise four chickens for a sustainable backyard rather than churning out 250,000 for the conglomerate down the road?” Building on the design and construction skills they developed making Cornhole game boards earlier in the year, the students embarked on creating hospitable homes for a handful of hens.

Chicktopia’s twisting run is made from reclaimed tobacco sticks.
Chicktopia’s twisting run is made from reclaimed tobacco sticks.

Originally published

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