Guinea fowl are useful birds to keep, particularly for meat or for insect control. Their needs in a shelter are similar to such farm poultry as chickens or turkeys. You can easily adapt a chicken coop design to house guineas if you keep in mind a few key differences. Guineas need coop training and require a higher square footage per bird.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 8 concrete breeze blocks
- 2- by 6-inch treated lumber
- 2- by 4-inch treated lumber
- 3/4-inch plywood
- 1/2-inch plywood
- Galvanised nails
- 2-inch deck screws
- 4-inch deck screws
- Door hinges
- Roof felt paper
- Roof shingles
- Circular saw or table saw
Choose a design for your guinea house. It is simplest to modify a basic rectangular chicken coop design for your birds, as chicken coop designs are easier to find. Estimate three to four square feet per guinea instead of the recommended two square feet per chicken.
Choose a location for your guinea house that is clear and has good water runoff.
Level the area of your building site and clear it of any large brush, logs or rocks.
Stack two concrete blocks for each corner of the house.
Form a rectangular floor to match your planned guinea house size by building your floor joists from 2- by 6-inch lumber running every 16 inches on centre. Attach them to 2- by 6-inch pieces on either side with galvanised nails.
Cut 3/4-inch plywood to form the floor using a circular saw or table saw. Lay the plywood perpendicular to the floor joists.
Frame the two side walls and the back wall on the ground using 2- by 4-inch lumber that runs every 16 inches from centre. Toenail with galvanised nails.
Frame the front wall to include a door for easy cleaning access. Use 2- by 4-inch lumber and galvanised nails to frame the wall.
Use 4-inch deck screws to attach each wall securely to the floor frame.
Cut 1/2-inch plywood to match the wall sizes and attach it to the outside of the wall frame using 2-inch deck screws.
Make an access door using 2- by 4-inch lumber to form the door frame. Cover with 1/2-inch plywood using 2-inch deck screws. Attach to the house with door hinges.
Cut a separate entrance for guineas if there is a fenced run located just off the house. Use the jigsaw to cut a rectangle 12 inches up from the floor and 18 inches wide. Be sure to cut only the plywood between the 2- by 4-inch framing.
Build a lean-to style roof that slopes slightly toward the back using 2- by 4-inch lumber as rafters and 3/4-inch plywood as sheathing. Apply felt paper and shingles according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Provide a ramp for any guinea entrance that is more than a foot off the ground.
Add wooden perches from two to four feet off the ground for roosting.
Install an overhead light. If electricity isn't an option, use a battery powered light.
Lay an absorbent material over the floor, such as hay or wood shavings, to protect your guineas' feet.
Tips and warnings
- Guineas can be quite noisy. While you might not want them near your bedroom, they can be used as an alarm animal for your house or other livestock if situated properly. Guineas also need to be trained to return to their house at night, as they are afraid to enter a dark, enclosed space. An overhead light canhelp in this process. If you plan to use electrical lighting, place the guinea house near an electrical source.
- Lights that can be set on a timer are particularly useful for a guinea house.
- Budget choices for perches include old ladders, old chairs or scrap lumber.
- Always use proper safety equipment and procedures when working with power tools.
- Always follow the laws and regulations of your city and state when installing electric lighting.
- Check your local building codes before building any new structure. Many new outbuildings require a permit and have specific limitations.
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