Quail Tractor Beta

In the quail husbandry R&D department I’ve devised the Quail Tractor beta model building on and revising the quail tractor alpha design I built in the spring.

The Quail Tractor Alpha Design

The Quail Tractor Beta Design

  Design differences include:

  • A larger footprint. The alpha was only 2’x2′. This seemed a bit small for any more than four birds. I’m making a beta that’s 2’x3′ and another one that is 2’x4′.
  • Relocating the feed and water systems to the front to better balance the load. With the plywood roof and additional framing elements the back of the tractor is heavier than the front. The beta attempts to better balance the load.
  • Water system revisions including using a larger water reservoir (5 gallon bucket) and using water cups instead of nipples to better conserve water.
  • Partially open bottom. The alpha had a full hardware cloth bottom. The beta only has hardware cloth around the edges with the center open. This will allow the birds access to the ground while offering some security.
  • Streamlining building process and materials reduction. The beta model only has access points from the top front and top back of the tractor. The alpha had some extra access points in the sides that turned out not to be that useful.


Laying out the feeding system components

Another process difference is painting the components before assembly and attaching hardware cloth. Much easier to paint this way. 

The partially open bottom. I cut out the center section and ground it down smooth. The duct tape is just a little extra precaution. Note how the hardware cloth extends past the front and back. The tractor is on 3/4″ high sleds so there’s small gap in the front and back. I didn’t grind down the hardware prongs to deter anything trying to squeeze through that gap.
Preparing to attach the roof.

Two completed beta models. The one in the back is 2’x4′ and the one in the front is 2’x3′