Our home is turning into a little chicken village. We have several little "secure" houses with small runs that our chickens sleep in, but we let them free range during the day. We have a network of open "runs" using 5-ft welded wire fencing to help keep the chickens in our yard and the neighbors' dogs (and stray dogs) out.
However, we are expanding from chickens and welcoming in Guineas to our home. We've read guineas need to be contained 4-6 weeks to teach them "home" or they may wander off... we thought about keeping them with the chickens - but were unsure how we could really "contain" the guineas while letting the chickens run freely. So- we decided to build a guinea coop/run
We started with a treehouse that was in our yard when we bought our house.
We used old treated wood from a torn apart deck to frame a run. We cut a piece of plywood in 3rds and hung them underneath the treehouse to create a "sheltered" area. We thought the "privacy" would be good if we later converted the run into another chicken coop. The plywood also allowed us to make an elevated door. We figured the guineas would easily fly up and exit the door to free-range, but the chickens would be less likely to fly into the guinea enclosure. I guess time will tell!
We placed chicken wire on the back side of the treehouse and on the gate. you can see the small privacy screen. We currently have a perch, but could easily add a shelf or nesting boxes in the future. We skipped that now as we don't expect guineas to lay inside of the enclosure
Roofing seemed expensive. Our run was 18 feet by 6 feet outside of the treehouse. Dimensions resulted more from Mother nature and a conveniently growing tree than our own design. Metal/plastic roofing sheets were expensive to cover this area - not to mention we would need to build some sort of truss/roofing support. We could have made a "chicken wire" roof - but that was less than ideal - especially with a 6 foot span. I had recently read up on PVC pipe greenhouses, so we decided to put a PVC pipe roof up.
Its hard to see, but we placed a couple "support beams" on both sides of the PVC arches, connecting them.
We draped the roof with 6 mil plastic sheeting and stapled it in place. We are very pleased with how the roof turned out. We had heavy rains later in the afternoon and it drained off well. The PVC gives additional height too - so we can walk inside without difficulty - if we used wire the height would be 5 ft - requiring some crouching! Likewise, it increases "roost" space as the guineas can use the support beams connecting the two sides of the run!
We have some baby guineas that are outdoor ready, and will transfer them to the run very soon. Unfortunately, we currently have a sick chicken. and we've placed her in here for the time being. We are planning on adding gutters to the treehouse roof to funnel water into a rain barrel to supply an automatic waterer. I think the gutter project will end up being the most expensive part of this coop/run!