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Using a Quail Tractor... Good idea or not??

Discussion in 'Quail' started by Chookemon, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. I am wondering have any of you used quail tractors in your quail keeping? Does it make it easier or more difficult? Would it make a suitable winter home for them as well? I would like to raise a small batch of quail but I need all my cage space for when I start my spring chicken hatching so I thought maybe I could use a quail tractor.
     
  2. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have not done it, and I do not have quails. But what I have heard from the few people who do it say it works. It sounds much better than a wire cage with no ground access. Just make it predator proof with strong wire, like hardware cloth.
     
  3. SterlingRanch

    SterlingRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    I asked a similar question a few weeks ago and don't think I got much of a response. My main concern was/is nighttime predators. My dogs are in the area during the day and nothing gets past them. At night I need the quail to 'coop up' so I can lock them into a predator safe compound. Not sure if they'll do that but may with some training.
     
  4. Sill

    Sill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they have access to the ground they will need to be wormed at least once a year. Also like it has been mentioned predator proofing is important if they are on the ground where hungry critters can get to them. Other than that a quail tractor is a good solution.
     
  5. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My thoughts, I started my quail in a tractor and they loved it, I trained them to use steps to get in there coop to show them where the food was and water. Worked fine.

    PROBLEM...

    After about 3 weeks they started acting a little skittish. So I let it go for a little longer and came home from work at lunch one day to find my friend the Sharp-shinn sitting on the side of the cage with one of the roos in his talons... The roo survived and I remodeled the tractor and put some Half inch mesh over the 1" chicken wire. all was good for a while. Then 2 weeks ago someone decided to show up again. This time they couldn't get through the mesh but some how managed to get 1 foot under the 2x4 on the ground because of a tiny gap caused by my lack of care for how pretty my lawn looks... That hen didn't survive, though the hawk never got a meal out of it. He managed to scare the hen to death and she just died with no wounds. I then noticed another hen with a bloody head (caused by their spring ability) she hit her head on the mesh above and yeah... She survived and is growing feathers back now.

    All in all I don't suggest it. Yes it's nice that they can be on the ground but Unless you can't fully keep predators out or even away from the Pen its just not worth it... I'm building a 25'x25' garden next year and I am completely enclosing it with nets and wire around it and I will have the quail in there (hoping to have at least 25-30 running free). I think quail are just to wild to keep confined out in the open available to predators...

    I now have a 5'x2'x1' cage with double mesh floor along with a 1" netting on the roof so they can't hurt themselves anymore... I'll get some pictures tonight and post them. I think it should be pretty predator proof, only concern now is if the stupid buck tried to rub on it in the spring. He might have to meet my 12ga...
     
  6. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    I just really like it when birds are allowed to do what they naturally do, instead of being confined in wire cages all the time. Sounds like H*ll to me.
     
  7. Thanks for the info guys. Yeah sounds like there could be a lot of potential issues when keeping them in a tractor. I have a tractor I use for small chickens which is too heavy for a raccoon or anything to turn over and even if they were to dig under I lock the chickens in the box part at night. I could do something similar to this for the quail, but from what I've read and seen online it seems that quail can be active even into the night which my make it difficult to get them into the box in the evening. So like Sterling mentioned I wonder how hard it is to get them into the coop at night?

    I sometimes have hawk issues too.

    Here is a picture of the chick tractor on its first run of service. It's not fancy but it works. I was hoping to make a smaller one for quail
    It's had a few updates since then.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. James the Bald

    James the Bald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have used a quail tractor, but I don't keep my quail in it for very long. I usually put the quail in my tractor while I am cleaning one of the cages or doing some other cage maintenance. The max time I kept them in was for 3 or 4 hours. Then after placing the birds back into the cage, I rotated another cage of birds so they can play. My tractors dimension are 6' x 2' x 1'. If you do an advanced search, there was one member who kept his quail in 4' x 8' x 2' tractor 24/7, with no issues. He'd move them from one spot to another and the quail took good care of his lawn. I couldn't imagine having them in the rain or snow.
    James
     
  9. Invision

    Invision Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can get them to go inside at night if you find something that they are afraid of. In my case it was a aquarium fish net, they hate the thing with a passion. Right now I have 2 females that prefer to sleep inside the coop area at night but I have 1 female and male that refuse to go in at night. But I put them in an elevated coop now. suggestions for a tractor would be to make it short maybe 12" high width doesn't matter, but double up the sides inside and out. Maybe 1" chicken wire outside 1/2" hardware cloth inside. But if you want them to go inside at night you have to do it about an hour before dark (or earlier) otherwise they will prefer to sleep outside.
     
  10. Ok good, that will be great if I can get them to go inside at night. I might have a chance at doing this. I actually had to use a scary object to get chickens into the chicken tractor coop at night. I used a bright yellow bucket which was apparently absolutely terrifying LOL. It's no big deal for me if I have to take a few minutes to round em up.

    I'm definitely using 1/2 inch hardware cloth. I'm to afraid that a cat or hawk may get at them if I don't

    If I can actually get them to go in at night I think it will work just fine since that's how I do the chickens anyways. Now I have to build one!
     

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