June 13, 2005

All cooped up...

Now that we are officially up here (we started living here full-time June 12th 2004) we have started increasing our stock. Birds in this case…

I have written about our ten ducks before here, here and here. They are doing fine although one of them met up with our Husky and is now walking with a bit of a limp. She has been named George W. — Lame Duck and all… The Husky is being trained with an E-Collar so this should not be a problem in the future.

We have about 25 each of two other types of birds so I have been busy building coops. One is done and is being used by our Guinea Fowl. They are still under a brooding lamp. Our Chickens are still in the downstairs bathroom under a brooding lamp and will move out to their coop after I get a day or two free from rain so I can paint and roof it.

Here are some photos:

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This is the basic coop design — the Duck coop was 6*8, these two are 8*8 since we have more birds. I am building them on four-foot centers so I can use as many uncut sheets of plywood as possible. This design is fairly cheap to build — under $300 for something that will last a good ten years. The foundation is pressure-treated 2*6 on 2' centers, floor is 3/4” ply and everything else is basic 2*4 and 1/2” ply.

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This is the inside view. The walls are six feet tall on one side, eight feet tall on the other. Basic framing. Given good weather, it takes about two days to put one together but we have been having a lot of rain recently so I have been working on this one for about five days…

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This is the finished Guinea Coop. The plywood panels are covering ventilation openings. The Keets (baby Guinea Fowl) are still under the heat lamp so I only have one vent opening open. The one on the left side is actually a landing area. I have some rough-cut cedar planks that form a ledge and after about a month or so, we will be letting them fly out into the orchard. If you keep them in the coop and feed them there, they will learn to come back to the coop at night to rest. During the daytime, they will be our bug patrol in the orchard.

When we were researching various pest management solutions, people with Guinea Fowl said that they worked very well and were a fun (if noisy) bird to have around. Lice, flys, Apple Maggots, ticks — if it flys, creeps or crawls, the Guineas will find them and eat them.

Click for full-size Image

Click for full-size Image

These are our Keets — very cute and loads of personality.
We have them in their coop but confined to a 4*4 space with a cardboard barricade so they don't stray too far from the heat lamp and get chilled. They should be fine without the heat lamp in about three-four weeks more.
Our chickens are also great fun — they will be moving into their new home as soon as I get two sunny days to paint and roof…

Posted by DaveH at June 13, 2005 09:35 PM | TrackBack

well i just got guineas 7 days ago and i need some tips or advise on how to raise htem

Posted by: Britton at June 1, 2007 05:09 PM

I have been wanting to get guineas. Thand you for posting this on the web for people to read.

Posted by: rasan at December 13, 2007 07:59 AM

yeah we have some guineas but from the person we got them from they said we don't have to feed them because they eat insects and small snakes
so i tried that for a day they got hungry so i fed them some feed is it when they grow older?

Posted by: James at July 30, 2008 06:05 PM

Hi. :) Im Kim and im 13 years old :) my dad told me to look up what i need to do to get a couple ducks. I just wanted to know if we need to build a coop for our ducks. We have 7 chickens and they have their own coop and it is a nice fit. To get a couple ducks do we need to build a coop? or will they sleep in like a bush or something? Please write back! :)

-Confused Kim, Florida

Posted by: Kim at November 12, 2008 12:52 PM