The Troyer Horizontal Plastic Gourd

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Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

The Troyer Horizontal Plastic Gourd

I just received four Troyer horizontal plastic gourds for my new multi-purpose pole with two modified Trio Pioneer houses. This gourd design has all the attributes of an excellent purple martin cavity: horizontal depth of just over 12 inches; tunnel entrance foyer of about four inches in length and width; nesting chamber dimensions of about eight inches in width; and a secluded internal environment. Even though the gourd is white inside, the horizontal depth with the narrow tunnel entrance area gives a more darkened interior.

Andy Troyer, the designer, has also addressed a problem that surfaced sometime ago relating to difficulties that martins may have in exiting the gourd because of the slick interior surface. The gourd now has a matt/turf that is attached to the inside and provides a walkway from the bottom to the entrance. The turf is ?rubberized? and martins can easily cling to it and waddle up and down. Andy also advises folks to create a solid pre-built nest up the tunnel entrance. However, the turf walkway will still allow martins to exit easily from the nesting chamber.

The Troyer horizontal is offered in both round and crescent holes and Andy notes in his ?Birds? Paradise? catalog that martins prefer round holes. However, if starlings are a problem, you can use the crescent entry. Since I don?t have a starling problem, I ordered the round hole version and it comes with a cling-plate. A cling-plate does help support a martin as he/she hangs vertically at the entrance hole. However, I do not provide any kind of cling-plate to my funnel naturals and martins have no difficulty entering their nest.

I did find the access door caps to be somewhat translucent so I painted their insides to minimize sunlight intrusion.

I am so impressed with this plastic gourd that I believe next season I will offer more of these Troyer horizontals and hope to have a complete rack. These plastic horizontals are similar to my naturals where I create an entrance at the neck end or add a PVC coupler. Martins have flourished in my funnel naturals.

For folks who like horizontal gourds, but don?t have access to appropriate naturals or don?t have the time to prepare them, then I would strongly recommend the Troyer. It appears to be a winner. If other folks have used the Troyer horizontals, I would appreciate your comments. Thanks.

Steve
Emil Pampell-Tx
Posts: 6743
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: Tx, Richmond (SW of Houston)
Martin Colony History: First started in Gretna, La in 1969 with a small homemade house, have had martins ever since at 2 different homes in Texas

Steve, I have said from the very start that this should be considered as one of the very best designed plastic gourds available..I know they received some bad press recently, but I still like them very much..the design is outstanding
PMCA Member, 250 gourds, 6 poles, 2traps
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Emil,

Thanks for that comment. This plastic gourd is truly outstanding in design and provides the perfect environment for a family of martins. I must admit I like it as much as my naturals! Well, almost as much! Hopefully, Andy has satisfied his "critics" with the internal "walkway matt" and a warning to provide a thick pre-built nest. I believe the criticism was over done. I can't wait to see how the martins respond to these Troyers.

Steve
Dave S (Texas)
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 11:42 am
Location: Round Rock, Tx

Steve

Nice to have you onboard with the Troyer Horz gourds. I bought/installed my first 4 back in Feb '01. These have been a winner from day 1 at my site! The Troyers 'average' more eggs/nestlings than my SGs. I had to 'fix' these first-run gourds, but I solved the problem quickly. The Horzs are the first taken each season. I've consistently recommended these to every new or experienced landlord. The only modification needed, at least in the hot states, is a top-vent.
Patrick W. Dusek
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Nov 13, 2003 9:35 pm
Location: Sugar Land, Texas

I agree the Troyer is a great gourd. I have only 2 Troyers on my 12 gourd rack and they are always the first 2 fill. Patrick
Spring time yet???
John Atteberry

Hello Steve,
I bought 4 Troyer Gourds too and love them! I am going to put up another Deluxe Gourd Rack next year to hold 18 of them! All round holes! Then I'm adding another layer of 6 traditional gourds like the supergourds to make 18 of those gourds onto my 12 gourd deluxe gourd rack too! By the way Steve, Is 14 feet tall enough to hold 18 gourds? Or do I need to add the the 2 feet extension pole onto the rack to 16 feet? I didn't want the wind to be a factor on the 16 feet rack verses the 14 feet rack! Thanks Steve, John!
roblrich

Who is offering the improved version of the Troyer Gourds ? The PMCA?
John Atteberry

Hello Robert,
Yes, PMCA has the gourds that have been improved! John!
roblrich

Kool, glad the PMCA has them. I noticed that they hadn't updated their description yet, the reason I wondered.
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

I appreciate everyone's reply about the Troyer Horizontal gourds. This confirms my impression of these outstanding plastic gourds.

Hey John,

I would get the 2 foot extension to create the 16 foot pole. I have 3 of the ?old? Deluxe racks that were 16 feet in height without having to add the 2 foot extension. I like these racks the best. The 16 foot pole will give you more room/height for the 18 gourds. I have 18 SuperGourds on the 16 foot pole using the extension and it works great. The Deluxe square aluminum pole is VERY STRONG and can withstand significant winds. When I had 24 SuperGourds on this rack/pole, the ground stake bent during a violent storm in 2005; the pole was undamaged. I also have two of the 14 foot Deluxe poles and they work fine with 12 gourds.

Steve
geneinmurphy
Posts: 347
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 12:09 pm
Location: North Carolina/Murphy

Steve....I use several Troyers and are usually the first gourds taken by the PM's. I would love to see someone come out with a plastic horizontal gourd with the WDC entrance already on it similiar to the Troyer. As is, you have to add your own. One thing I don't like about crescent entrances is that the PM's sometimes get their wings caught in the sharp corners when fighting. Also, on my Troyers, I add a few pieces of non skid black tape to the inside floor for better traction and fill the nest up to the tunnel level with pine needles......
Guest

Steve,
I really like the THG. I offered one my second year & it was heavily wanted, guarded & fought over by the male martins.

I added a PMCA 4 gourd rack to my set-up last year that included 2 Troyers, & 2 Supergourds. The Troyers seemed to have been chosen first. With the 12 inch nesting cavity it appeals to the martins for their nesting safety & security. I had my first 7 egg nest last year, and it was in a Troyer!!! All 7 successfully fledged with the excellent attentive parents. I couldn't believe it when I counted 7 eggs!!!! Even more surprised at all 7 making it. Those parents were busy!!!

I have modified mine to include the tunnelled WDC entrance with porch. The modification was extremetly easy and the martins had NO problem learning the WDC entrance. I have also included the non-skid traction tape from the bottom of the nest bowl to the end of the entrance & fill with pine needles.

I like the way the look and the martins really like them as well. :grin:
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Gene,

Thanks for your impression of the Troyer gourd.

I have seen some problems with crescent entrances on aluminum houses. Last year, we found four dead martins that had become lodged in these crescents. Usually the martin had one wing out and its body lodged in the crescent. We found just in time a pair of martins that were almost starved to death after a male martin lost his battle with another one and had become stuck in the crescent while trying to escape. Martins must flatten their bodies when entering/exiting a crescent with its 1 and 3/16 inch height and tapered corners; martins are generally thicker and can?t just quickly enter like they can through a larger entrance. During the stress of fighting, it is easy for martins to become lodged when they don?t follow ?protocol? and shape shift smoothly from a more rounded torso to a more flattened one! We have never used the WDC entrances, but may try some next year as an alternative to the more restrictive crescents.

The updated Troyer horizontal does have a ?rubberized? turf walkway that goes from the entrance to the nesting chamber. This should provide plenty of traction for martins to enter and exit without slipping on the plastic surface. But I will still add a thick pre-built nest of pine needles like I do in my other cavities.

If a large number of martins return this year to my second year colony, I may just add a another gourd rack of all Troyers, probably 12 to my site. I really like this plastic gourd a lot.

Steve

Hey Angela,

Thank you for the review of the Troyer Horizontal! So far, I am getting great feedback on this product. This plastic gourd appears to be extremely attractive to martins and they often select it first. I don't have a starling problem, but if did have one I couldn't control I would certainly consider the WDC entrance. This sreh appears to be a great alternative to the more restrictive crescent.

Continued great success with your martin colony in 2006.

Steve
Guest

Steve,

The WDC I have bought had a 1 3/16" radius at the top and bottom of the center hole but had a center opening height of 1.215". I think this is why the martins learn them so quickly and it's so easy for martins to use them. Also easier on their feathers.

Pretty nice when it's easier on the martins and still prevents most all starlings. I think you will like this entrance.
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Hey Hogwild,

While I don't have to worry about starlings around my home, we do have starlings around Bob's various satellite colonies, particularly those near Shreveport. Our colony at the downtown Lowes is in the heart of starling country. We have all standard commercial made crescent holes with the 1 and 3/16 inch height. Perhaps we can try some WDC entrances next season and see what happens. Bob sometimes makes his crescents slightly larger and I have noticed the martins can enter them easier than the commercial 1 and 3/16 inch size. Starlings have not been a problem using Bob's crescents.

Steve
Sharon - Central TX
Posts: 643
Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2004 9:20 pm
Location: So. Central TX
Martin Colony History: All Troyer Horizontal Gourds with Conley Entrances
PMCA Member since 2004

Last year I purchased some horizontal gourds on the recommendation of a friend who has been in martins a while. It was my second year (none stayed the first) and the one family of martins that came claimed the Troyer immediately. We installed the WDC entrances that can be ordered (extra of course) and like Angela said they are easy to install. It was pretty awesome watching the martins learn to enter this opening. After a short time they were actually speed demons at entering :-). Several starlings tried to get in but couldn't. Eventually their presence was almost nil.
This year I ordered more and I too am very impressed with these new ones Steve. I believe I would have had more martins last year if it had not been for the snake incident. In the beginning, the ASY daddy was very territorial and chased all the other martins off. But when the babies hatched and he got caught up in feeding, other martins were seriously checking out the other horizontals and he didn't have time to chase them off - parenthood came first. It was during this time that the snake attack occurred and, of course, they were all scared off. I'm looking forward to a much more successful year this season with the horizontals and can't wait for the martins to arrive here.
It's good to know so many people agree with you as it gets my hopes up that this WILL be a good year!
Sharon
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Hey Sharon,

Thanks for your comments concerning the Troyer Horizontal gourd. The Troyer appears to be a big hit with folks on the Forum and with the martins! I hope you solve that snake problem with the bird netting this season. Good luck.

Steve
klcretired
Posts: 2174
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 3:06 am
Location: Grand Prairie,Tx

Steve,
I as well have had the THZ's and have had great success, in year's past i have always added alot of pine straw into the Nest Cavity so the PM's can come & go freely w/o causeing them any problems.another satisifed customer to add to your list,lol,lol.
Pictures Taken with Canon Rebel XT Digital using a Sigma 50-500 Long Lens.

Wishing everyone a Great Martin Year
Happy Martining for 2020 to everyone,

K.C.

klcretired@tx.rr.com
Steve Kroenke
Posts: 4342
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:49 pm
Location: Louisiana/Logansport

Hey Kenny,

I plan to build substantial nests of pine straw in my Troyer gourds. I do like the turf walkway and it should really help the martins climb from the nesting chamber to exit the entrance hole. Thanks for your comments. The Troyer continues to look like a winner.

Steve
geneinmurphy
Posts: 347
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2003 12:09 pm
Location: North Carolina/Murphy

Steve.....another thing that can be done to ensure inside traction on the THG is just to drill several 1/4" or 3/16" holes in the slopeing part of the gourd with a drill from underneath.........no more maintenance required, and also helps with rain drainage........
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