Design help with large fowl building


In the Brooder
Oct 15, 2018
NE Wisconsin
Hello everyone! I have been lurking for awhile and trying to read up on all teh stuff I can in teh forums.

We have x3 guinea fowl, we suspect they are all males and a few bantams and some others that are slightly larger. With our x2 rosters we have 9 chicken total. We are looking to expand to 25 hens, maybe more.

Right now the fowl all have the run of my 7 car garage and are VERY free range. I can't heat it for the winter and need to get a coop for them that is reasonable to heat. Additionally I would like to have a coop for pheasants, a couple of turkey and maybe even a goose. I know that pheasant and chicken have many of the same needs and are similar to take of. Past that I have nothing other than geese can be mean and they need to have separate areas.

I have an 18' x 18' concrete slab that is just screaming to be made into a fowl palace. There is at least 10' of space for runs that surround the slab. Walls face N/S/E/W accordingly and it will sit in a nice spot.

I would really love to make it a slant roof so there is no peak. IDK if this is possible with teh size of slab and needed pitch for snow...

I just don't know the best way to design this. I have had multiple designs in my head and paper and have scrapped them all for one reason or the other any help would be super great. Even if it is to point me at something that someone else has already done!

I also need to be super smart and spend my money smartly. I would love to use 2x3 vs. 2x4 as they are 1/2 the cost around me. I also have many palates that I can use wood from but that will require a lot of time I feel like I need to spend on construction vs. deconstruction...

I can do all the work and what I can't do I can source a handy person or 2 to help me out. I have done many remodeling jobs and have worn many hats but have no formal blueprint reading skills so plans need to be simple-ish.

Thanks so much for any help!
I may need to elaborate and provide more info...

We just bought the property and the person that lived here did very free range birds and cows in the back pasture. We are surrounded by the north woods and have swamp that comes right up to the property.

We know there were geese, chickens, ducks and guinea fowl here. We asked if he would leave the birds and he said he would leave some. What was here is what was left after his buddies came and wrangled up a bunch. (Read decimated the flocks)

AFAIK these fowl all used the large 7 car as their coop and run. One of teh large doors is ratchet strapped open about 3 feet. He would also use it to keep young cows in or move them through the area.

I asked him a BUNCH of questions and he explained the birds get 1 scoop of cracked corn a day and that is it for everyone. Doesn't put out water but did run some heat lamps in the garage. Was planning a large garden shed and chicken coop combo on the fore mentioned slab. "They lay eggs all over the place."

We almost had a hen hatch some eggs when we moved in but she moved them or they got had by a skunk/both. Skunk is still an issue here but we have plans to deal with it/them in short order.

In my research here and other places I read that pheasants don't do well with chickens and such. My plan is to have 1 building that all the internal areas are separated for each type of fowl and their needs other than ducks. I am looking at:

Chickens 6-7 hen and 1-3 roo now, want 25+ hen. Nice coop and run.

Guinea fowl 3 roo??? now, wouldn't mind getting teh boys some hens and letting them do their thing. (they co-exsist now like champs with teh chickens) that have a well thought out coop. Most days they will just be free range. These will be kept over the winter.

(The rest below are add ons when we have a place for them hopefully in teh early spring)

Turkeys 2-5. I think that designing a mobile run so I can move them about would be better than an attached run to the coop. Maybe a detachable run is teh best answer there. Looking to buy/order chicks/young grow and butcher before winter.

Goose or 2. Kinda the same thoughts as the turkey but knowing they were free range before makes me think they can do that again. Also plan to butcher before the winter. Like the turkey, basically need a place to live and grow at night.

Pheasant unk Would like to grow from chicks/young birds and like the rest of the meat not kept over the winter. If the best answer is to build a special thing for these away from the rest of the fowl shack that is NBD to me. These may even get bumped into the year after.

Ducks. I have a separate garden shed that the young cows were kept in. It is right near the swamp. I would like these to be as free range as possible. I would prefer to not heat their building during the winter unless it can be done with solar stuffs on teh cheap.

So that is the fowl I am looking at getting and my overall plan on raising them. Outside of the chickens and possibly ducks I have little interest in trying to breed the fowl. I understand that it would be less expensive that way but it also requires a lot more equipment and time and space.

If I need to provide more info. LMK I am running out of time before the winters frost will start to set in and the ground will freeze, I suspect shorty after, the flock if I have no heated coop... :(

Again thanks for any help, advice or pointers...
Welcome to BYC!

he explained the birds get 1 scoop of cracked corn a day and that is it for everyone. Doesn't put out water but did run some heat lamps in the garage.
Not providing water seems cruel....and cracked corn is not a great diet if you want bird to lay well.

"They lay eggs all over the place."
You may want to be able to confine them to keep them safe from predators and 'home' them to where they sleep and lay.

the flock if I have no heated coop.
You probably don't need heat, but you do need ventilation.

We have x3 guinea fowl, we suspect they are all males and a few bantams and some others that are slightly larger. With our x2 rosters we have 9 chicken total. We are looking to expand to 25 hens, maybe more.
Right now the fowl all have the run of my 7 car garage and are VERY free range.
Pics of where they are living now would help......or are you looking to build a whole new coop before winter?

As always...
Where in this world are you located?
Climate is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, then it's always there!
I updated my Location. I live in NE Wisconsin.

As for the the things you mentioned:

Water: There is fresh swamp/bog water less than 50 yards from where they are. I guess in teh winter he let them eat snow. I have put out a clean water supply in the bottom of a food grade plastic barrel cut down. I swap it out when it gets gross. The chickens do prefer this.

Corn: The birds supposedly forage and eat free range. The corn is supplemental. We also feed them veggie scraps which some of them they like and some they don't. If the egg shell is any sort of indicator of health these birds are healthy as can be. I can barley crack them open! I would be open to changing what I throw down if they need it...

Home: The coop is a 7 car garage/pole building made of metal with a metal roof. There is a translucent plastic that runs at the peak for natural light. It has a concrete floor that we have spread hay on and there are 2 piles of hay in there that they move and nest in. There are nesting boxes and they do use it sometimes. They roost on the rafters. There are 4 large sliding barn type of doors that would be impossible to keep things like skunk or other small creatures out of.

If I could get away with leaving them in there over the winter I would, with a heat lamp or 2, and address the coop issue design over the winter.

The reality is we can't afford to heat that giant garage for the birds. I would be willing to put in some heat lamps and such but my largest concern is teh birds health and well being. Unlike their previous owner we LOVE our chickens and animals. We talk to them when we go in or they are near us. We always say thankyou for the eggs. I would butcher every bird there before I let them slowly freeze to death... hoping it doesn't come down to that...

Again I have an 18'x18' slab waiting to have a fowl shack put upon it... I will NEED my 7 car garage back to house my machinery and to make a farm style butcher area for deer, sheep, rabbits, turkey, ect. however this can wait until summer time next year if need be.

Thanks for the help. The fowl and I REALLY appreciate it!
Welcome! Your birds won't need supplemental heat, but they do need a much better diet! Plan on an all-flock feed with oyster shell on the side for any laying hens.
Pheasants are a different world; they need separate housing, and a BIG flight cage/ run.
Turkeys and pheasants are best not kept with chickens because of parasite issues, at least.
Drinking and eating pond critters is not best, again, there are parasite issues here, especially for pheasants and turkeys.
Start smaller rather than getting a mixed group at first! Read up on husbandry for each species, and then do what's best, and affordable.
It's supposed to be fun, not one disaster after another...
OK it sounds like what I was hoping to do was a pipe dream. lol. I am sure it COULD be done but in best practices not a great idea... It doesn't sound like chickens, unless I want 100's, don't need that much space. lol. So I will look into separate housing areas for the birds I want.

I will keep the flock over the winter in teh 7 car. I picked up a couple of heat lamps so I am less worried about when it gets perma cold here for the winter.

I will also check out teh all flock feed and oyster shell for them.


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