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Discussion in 'Quail' started by Wifezilla, Nov 25, 2009.
Anyone doing this?
What'za quail tractor?
Like a chicken tractor...but smaller. Something I can put them in during the day that I can move around to different spots in the yard. That way they wont totally trash the grass, but can scratch a bit, eat grass and weeds, fertilize my lawn, snag some bugs and do other fun critter stuff.
Or is everyone here keeping them exclusively in cages?
Up until a few weeks ago, I only had 2 boy quail. We kept them in separate cages, but would take them outside most days and so I set up some runs for them. The boys love love love being outside, and they do indeed tear up the grass wherever they are. I also put their runs in the garden a lot this summer, and showed them how to get cabbage worms off my cabbages, and tried to teach them to dig for worms (they didn't do it naturally, and never quite picked up on it). The runs I made them are simply hardware cloth, bent into a tunnel shape. I use landscaping cloth anchoring pins to hold the runs down firmly on the ground, but can move them easily. Only problem is that this is a very imperfect arrangement. I've had quail escapes and hawk attacks. Right now, I haven't put the boys outside for a week, after the last hawk attack, I feel the boys need something safer than their cages.
I would love to do a tractor, and asked my husband to build some, but he didn't get around to it, so I ended up buying a used rabbit hutch when I bought a bunch of hens recently. I'm not entirely thrilled with the hutch solution, because it is a bit too big to be portable like a tractor, and I'm not really wanting to leave it in one spot. We will be creating a run for the coop, and eventually bringing the boys to live with the new girls. They won't be moving into the coop with the girls for a little while--the main roo for the hens was the one injured by the hawk, so he needs to heal for a while.
I do have hawk issues, but I think I can keep them safe. After they got two of my ducks I invested in plenty of netting. I do have hardware cloth and could make a nice tunnel that I could butt right up to their cage door for daytime play. I can also put some netting over the whole shebang in case I have an escape artist in the bunch
The girls want to scratch so bad they are scattering stuff all over their cage.
Thanks for the ideas!
oh, that netting over the cage and run sounds like a fantastic solution. I will try that!
I made a "tent" out of hardward cloth and put it up to the open cage door. My son walking by spooked them to fly out of the cage and in to the tent. Apparently they have never seen grass before. The poor things were confused!! After about 5 minutes of laying flat to the ground, they got brave and started pecking at some leaves. After a few more minutes, they hoped back in the cage.
I have off the rest of the weekend, so as long as we have nice weather I will take them out. If they don't take to outside time, I guess these will just have to be inside/cage only quail. I can hatch out a new generation of outside birds once I dust off the incubator.
Haven't done it yet, but I think it's a nice concept. Adding to the upside would be cleanliness if being moved to a fresh spot on the lawn regularly.
I did it! I noticed that when i had it on sand they almost dug themselves out from underneath. I added chicken wire to the bottom and put it on the sand. I dumped some more sand so the wire is under it. they dust and love it sooo much! I will take pic's tomorrow.
Sorry I don't have pics but yes I have tractors for my quail. 1 is a mini version of the hoop coop. 4ftx3ft house a bob trio. I have another made from an old plastic playhouse My birds are on the ground but I move them every other day or so. (how can those little things put out sooo much poop?) There is a skirt around each to keep critters out.