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Permaculture • Homesteading • Organic Gardening • Self Sufficiency • Sustainability

Pasture Raise Quail By Building A Quail Tractor

Raising Coturnix quail has been the easiest and most rewarding livestock I’ve ever raised on my homestead. For years I have raised quail in cages but my desire to give them the best life possible while also getting the most benefit from them has led me to pasture raising my quail.

Pastured Quail

What Are Pasture Raised Quail

Simply put, pasture raised quail are raised in a more natural habitat in the grass. Unlike chickens, quail must be contained on all sides and top as they will fly away. This means the quail must still be put into some sort of cage or pen but also have the ability to live on the ground.

Benefits Of Pasture Raising Quail

Pastured Quail Will Consume Less Store Bought Feed

During the warmer seasons when the grass and weeds are available for the quail to eat they will supplement a fair amount for their feed.

Quail will also eat every bug they can get their beaks on, so raising them in an environment on the ground makes this available for them.

Coturnix Quail Eating Grass

Quail are notorious feed wasters as they enjoy shaking their heads while they are eating and throwing feed out of their feeders. When the quail are raised in hanging cages the feed will end up going to waste as it falls in with their waste. When they are throwing it out of the feeder on the ground they can easily eat it from the ground and waste much less.

Quail Will Get A More Diversified Diet

Because your quail are able to eat a variety of plants, bugs, and their feed it makes them a more healthy bird. A healthy bird means fewer problems for the quail and fewer possible issues for you to deal with (not that quail have many).

Healthy birds also provide us with healthier food. Quail eggs and meat are great sources of nutrients and even more so when they come from a bird with a diverse diet

Coturnix Quail Eggs In Grass

Quail Are More Comfortable In Their Natural Environment

Raising quail on pasture lets your quail be the quail they were made to be. You can actually tell that your quail are much happier being on pasture than in cages.

One main reason many people get into raising their own animals for food is because of the ethics of it. The inhumane conditions of many factory raised animals that are raised for consumption is a terrible thing and if we can give animals the best life possible while providing for us then we should.

Quail Will Eat Weeds And Fertilize The Soil Below Them

In true permaculture fashion, it is ideal if you can move your quail tractor over a piece of land that needs fertilization for planting. The quail can help rid the soil of unwanted weeds and grass while providing wonderful nutrients for the soil in the form of manure. This function stacking method is a great way to get the most out of raising your quail.

How To Raise Quail On Pasture

In order to raise quail on pasture, they still must be contained like in any cage as they will fly away. The goal is to be able to move the cage on new grass as often as it needs to be to provide them with plenty.

The quail like all animals require 3 main things to survive; food, water, and shelter. Even with your quail eating plants and bugs you will still need to provide them with a high protein game bird feed. They will need to be watered daily. Their “cage” will need a place for them to escape the elements, this can be accomplished by building a quail tractor.

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What Is A Quail Tractor?

Basically, a quail tractor is a movable coop with an open bottom or a wire bottom like a cage that allows them to eat the grass below. A quail tractor can be built in a variety of ways depending on the desired size and ease of movement required.

Some quail tractors are small, housing only a few quail and can easily be drug across the ground. Larger tractors may be easier to move if they are built with wheels at the rear to help with the daily move.

How To Build A Quail Tractor

Below is a short video of me building a quail tractor using mostly scrap materials I had laying around the homestead. Building a quail tractor doesn’t have to be complicated or very expensive as long as it meets your needs.

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Conclusion

Raising quail on pasture is a great way to provide your quail with a better life as well as benefit you. The savings in feed cost and the increased quality of meat and eggs will be well worth it. Also using your quail to benefit the soil is another added bonus.

If you raise quail in cages consider switching to pasture raising your quail in tractors. I think you and your quail will be much happier.

If you want to know more about raising Coturnix Quail check out this article 9 Great Reasons To Raise Quail On Your Permaculture Homestead.


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