Suffocation risk?

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bootjack farm
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:30 am
Location: Russell, Pa
Martin Colony History: 9 years of trying hard...finally in 2017 I had 3 pair w/ 11 babies. T-14 +4 w/ 4 Troyer horiz. gourds. Troyer Super System 24. Fast forward to 2020... 64 fledged.

Ok, the weather has turned bad. Yesterday was low in 30's. I have two ASY returns so far. They are in the top left gourd which has the entrance plugged with snow. Should I brush it away of just leave? The only incoming air would be from the two small (about 1/4" vents) and any air that gets in/out from the hanger area. If I brush the snow the north wind will go directly into the entrance.

I added a hand warmer yesterday but it is now used up. Should I lower and add another?

Tonight it is predicted to be 24. high tomorrow 43. Tomorrow night 30 and finally to 59. My birds haven't had anything to eat for at least a day already. They don't take to supplemental feeding. Your advice is appreciated. Thanks[
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Northwest PA
Dave Duit
Posts: 1932
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2020, 60 pair with 285 fledged youngsters. 83 total cavities available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified deep trio metal house units, 1 fallout shelter, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President and founder of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Continue to use the hand warmers. Lower the house, put in the warmers, wipe of the snow from the entrance, and place crickets just inside the enrance to the side of the tunnell, but don't block their entrance. You need to supplement feed. The hand warmers are a bonus for the martins. The entrance really needs to be cleared of snow.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
bootjack farm
Posts: 80
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:30 am
Location: Russell, Pa
Martin Colony History: 9 years of trying hard...finally in 2017 I had 3 pair w/ 11 babies. T-14 +4 w/ 4 Troyer horiz. gourds. Troyer Super System 24. Fast forward to 2020... 64 fledged.

Thank you. I reached out to another off line and got the same advice. Great minds...
Northwest PA
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