quail tractors

Discussion in 'Quail' started by tokies, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. tokies

    tokies Chirping

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    is it worth putting the boys in a tractor? or the girls?. I was thinking about getting some and putting them in the backyard. in a tractor to cut down on cleaning. Has anyone got this system to work out and how long do you keep them in one spot if you did?
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the word!

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    Tractors really aren't good for quail. Predators can get underneath really easily and you would need to cage your quail each night. Quail are not big grass eaters and you would still need to provide gamebird food for them continuously. So there is really no point to a tractor.
     
  3. Quailsong

    Quailsong Songster

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    If you can secure the bottom with wire mesh & bring them in every night I say why not. They can get fresh flowing air, feed on bugs hopping through the grass, etc. I'd personally let the grass grow through the mesh a week then move the tractor. Also keeping in mind they will need access to fresh water & a hidey space.

    In the end, your judgment is best based off your birds' temperament, predator risk, & local terrain influences.
     
  4. LJpnw

    LJpnw In the Brooder

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    I have built a bunch of Quail Tractors and the birds seem to love them. The main downfall is being careful not to hurt the quails feet when your moving the pen. Over time i came up with a design that does not hurt the feet or break eggs when i drag it over them. I pretty much use plastic garden edging for the front and back bottom 2" of the cage so when i drag it there is no crushing of feet or eggs. Every once in a while a quail is let out by getting dragged over but the plastic does not hurt them.

    Quail will eat the weeds in your yard before the grasses so they are great for weed control. And the manure will bring your yard to life like never before. I will try to post some pictures to show how well they do on grass in suburban yards.
     
    4 people like this.
  5. Quailsong

    Quailsong Songster

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    Welcome to the forums & thank you for a great post, LJ. It's good to see another person who's willing to go the distance to make their critters happy. There's too many folks out there who think quail should be confined to tiny metal cages w/ wire bottoms. Lead 'em by example, let's see some pics! *cheer*
     
    yallapilko and LJpnw like this.
  6. wishful suburbanite

    wishful suburbanite In the Brooder

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    I'm about to use a hardware-cloth reinforced rabbit hutch as a quail tractor. I'll let you know how it goes.

    I'm adding a hardware-cloth bottom, but it will be on the ground, and have backed the much wider bars with hardware cloth as well. It comes with a little house but, in drenching rain, I've realized it doesn't do much good. I'm planning on a little lean-to roof over the open run area to compensate.
     
  7. Quailsong

    Quailsong Songster

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    As a suggestion, you could pop a tarp over it on high wind/rain days. Cheap & reuseable.
     
  8. wishful suburbanite

    wishful suburbanite In the Brooder

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    Thanks. Yeah, we do have some tarps laying around for when the rain decides to go horizontal, I guess.
     
  9. LJpnw

    LJpnw In the Brooder

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    In this picture the quail tractor with 70 adult Coturnix Quail has been getting moved once a day starting in the far right rear corner of the yard moving side to side and towards the camera position. You can see how the grass close to the fence is a darker shade of green and as you get close to the tractor it is yellowish. Once you get ahead of the tractor you can see the yard is a yellowish color but not as yellow as it is just after the quail have been on it.
    [​IMG]
    In the picture below you can see the shades of grass a bit clearer. The middle of the yard where its the most yellow is where the tractor has recently been. Its kind of hard to tell from the pictures but there was a good amount of weeds in this yard and they are gone where the tractor has been for the most part.
    [​IMG]
    In this picture you can see where the tractor has just been and the part of the yard it has yet to reach. Notice the weeds here and there in the distance where the quail have not been.
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    In this pic to the left is where the tractor has been and to the right it has yet to reach. If you look hard you can see the weed differences.
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    In this pic you can see how patchy the grass is and see the weeds a little better.
    [​IMG]
    This is a trick i use to clean up weedy areas the tractors wont reach. Just a simple rabbit type cage with the bottom removed. The bottom is flipped on top and used as a roof. Also doubles as a medical ward or time out area :+)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    P.S. I also added a water filter to the hose for this yard. This is equally as important as the quail if you want to bring your soil back to life and use less water in arid areas. You can order the filter housing and filter cheap on e-bay or buy a simple throw away models from a RV supply shop or at some retailers.

    Weed your yard without chemicals, bring your soil back to life, use less water and get eggs & meat if you like. Oh and most of all give your Quail a much better life than in some cage with a 8" roof and metal floor. Talk about not getting to express their Quailness.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013
  10. Quailsong

    Quailsong Songster

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    I love all the pics, thank you!

    I have a garden plan for the next house I move into (this July!) but I think I'll make my raised beds spaced further from each other so I can fit in a quail tractor. Just the thought of the extra bug prevention, free-weeding there w/o a lawnmower & quiet mornings makes my heart flutter. Hehe.

    I like how you used the rabbit cage. I gave away my extra large one a few years ago (24"x36"ish) & now I'm kicking myself. Never thought I'd have a use for such a 'small' rabbit cage again. >.<
     

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