I've been intrigued by colonial era bank houses and Anasazi pit houses for years, and I figured this was as good an excuse as any to build one. Hopefully an earth-sheltered, sod-roofed coop will be warmer in winter and cooler in summer than our conventional one, and muffle the rooster's crowing for our neighbors. Even though my long-suffering wife is accustomed to my eccentricities, she was mildly appalled when she saw the hole in our yard. After three days with a pick and shovel, this is what I had accomplished: A neighbor with a little backhoe took pity when he saw the blisters on my tender pink hands and speeded things up: Now I have a ten-foot by twelve-foot hole. There's still a tremendous amount of dirt to move to level and square it, hope I can get it done before the ground freezes. My tentative plan is too leave the floor dirt, and use pressure-treated 4"x8" timbers to build up the sides, notched log-cabin style to resist the pressure of backfilling. I'll put a gently sloping sod roof over it, and a window in the south-facing door.