House types and climate

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Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:54 am
Location: TX/Katy

The first year I tried being a PM landlord down here close to Houston TX I tried a wooden house. I move here from NE Okla and that worked up there.
Well, not here. I managed to cook what few eggs were layed.

Next year I tried white PVC thin-wall plastic pipe 8" diameter. Same thing but not quite as bad as the previous year. I had ventilation holes in both types.

Then the 3rd year I got a 12 hole aluminum box. That really surprised me in how the PM's took to it and I managed to fledge about 12 chicks that year.

Question - what other type of material can be used in hot climates? Do natural gourds work? Have people had any luck with plastic gourds this far south?

I would like to find a cheap way to make a PM house, single or multiple, for this climate that would use readily available material, be easy to make, that PM's would use. Cheap enough to be disposable after 1 season.

The cheapest I've made so far looks like a Yurt (google it) that is 7" in diameter made from aluminum flashing painted white and nailed to two 7" wooden plates (top and bottom). A cone for the roof that hangs over the sides about 2" and a 6" starling excluder for the entrance. A piece of thin wood is on the bottom for the front and back porch. I made two last spring for my son and they were both occupied last season and this season. They were cheap (my cost $0.00) but they do require some tools and some skill.

Any ideas?
John Miller
Posts: 4769
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:11 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Shade is the best way to keep housing cool, especially when used with venting. I have made disposable shade panels cut from Styrofoam and some people use the corrugated plastic -- sometimes old political signs. Nest trays made from cardboard or Styrofoam can be used one or two seasons. But any housing itself that's disposal seems to me might not hold up to storms or let water in and I think would potentially be harmful.

You can make housing from thick, dense Styrofoam insulation boards. check for posts in the archive by Bernie Nikolai in Edmonton. But by the time you add access ports, and treat the surface to be hard enough to withstand hail -- there some type of surface treatment that Bernie uses -- you'd hope it would last several years.

All that said...when I was a kid and Lyndon Johnson was President, some milk company used to make a little kit with a plastic roof to turn a milk carton into a bird house - ha. I had a few of course. John
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