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Author Topic: Quail tractor  (Read 3524 times)
pocketsierra
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« on: February 11, 2005, 05:29:29 PM »

Has anyone here done the chicken tractor thing with quail?
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deadeye1
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« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2005, 12:36:22 AM »

Never heard of that method,would you please explain how it is done
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stewaw
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« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2005, 08:06:00 AM »

Tried it once last year.  Problem I had was most of the birds would hard flush when I went to move it banging their heads on the wire etc.. They tended to fly rather than just settle down and go along with the ride. I also wasn't satisfied/pleased with the risk of foot injury during movement.  Disclaimer- I "tried" it with my chicken tractor which has 1inch poultry wire for the bottom and you can pinch a lot of quail feet with that sized wire.  My advice- If you are going to try it, use 1/2inch hardware cloth for the bottom (either new construction or cut a panel to place on top of your regular bottom).

Deadeye- Chicken tractor is in the simplest terms much like a fully fenced/contained johnny house on wheels.  It is used to house a small volume of birds that are frequently moved to new forage areas.  Minimizes a lot of the problems with raising on soil.  Once the birds begin grazing down the grass you just move it a few feet to a new area (roughly once a day).  Useful for folks with a limited budget for building pens or those concerned with diseases from wet muddy coops.  Great for chickens....IMHO, less so for quail. Might work fine with Coturnix or some other "docile" breed.

David
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CharlieHorse
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« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2005, 11:37:49 PM »

I've often thought of trying it myself. One of the biggest problems that I was concerned with was the fact of other animals such as dogs and cats harrassing them all the time just by walking by and such. My pens that I have now have metal roofing about 2' high around all sides so that animals do not disturb the birds and can not be seen by the birds either, therefore not disturbing them and causing a "hard flush" like stewaw had described. Most "chicken tractors" that I have seen don't even have a floor in them, but like stewaw said, I would recommend a 1/2" floor for quail. It would be hard to move them without a floor, chickens are big enough that they usually just go along with you as you're moving it, but I could see injuries and escapees being a major factor with smaller birds. Of course you also have to figure that there would not be any "flight conditioning" involved either in such a confined area.
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pocketsierra
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2005, 04:51:08 PM »

One idea I've had for a small quail tractor is a 3x5 rectangle covered on the bottom with 1/2inch vinyl coated wire. The indoor portion would be provided by a plastic barrel cut in half lengthwise and laying down to form a dome type house. However, this doesn't solve the issues mentioned here about screening predators visually for the bottom two feet.  

I've had other ideas that may involve a triangular frame of PVC pipe with some polycarbonate or other corrugated roofing over a portion.

Has any else had or tried any other ideas?

Do people reccommend a certain size of bird netting or wire for the top?

I'm in the Pacific Northwest, so I believe the quail tractor idea is probably only appropriate for the warmer months. Dry, clean ground is more rare during the winter.

I still don't know how they will react to the automatic sprinklers. But that's just like rain, isn't it?  :wink:

I have Coturnix right now and have considered Valley Quail.
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pocketsierra
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2005, 05:08:33 PM »

Here's one gallery I've found of chicken tractors:

http://home.comcast.net/~kkskinner/tractors.html

If anyone has used one for quail they can post pictures or tell which of the ones in the gallery it looked like.

Many of these use chicken wire, which I've heard isn't very appropriate even for chickens, because it keeps chickens in and doesn't keep predators out. It would also contribute to flight injuries for quail.  So I'd want to consider some toprite netting or something else for the top and probably 1/2in hardware cloth for the bottom.  

PVC pipe isn't necessarily cheaper or easier than wood, but it would be a lighter thing to move and more water resistant.

Nathan
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