make wood house or purchase gourd?

Welcome to the internet's gathering place for Purple Martin enthusiasts
Post Reply
jeff
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:43 am
Location: okeana ohio

I am deciding on either purchasing eight 11" gourds and rack from S&K or making a home made wooden house with four attached sections each with three 7" x 12" compartments.
Any thoughts on which you think is better and which one is better to attract PM's?
thanks for helping me make up my mind
DML
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:39 pm
Location: Gallia, OHIO
Martin Colony History: First year

Hi Jeff,

Drive up 32 and visit the Amish, they will answer your question with many options. Here is Gallia County I buy my gourds from the Amish who make them. Also make houses. They have many years experience and will give you excellent advise. Also purchase the “A Purple Marin Journey” by Andrew M. Troyer. Lot of information.
2020 one pair, 3 eggs & 3 fledge
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3077
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Hello Jeff,

I have purchased gourd racks and I have built a several T 14 houses. The first two T 14's I built, I fabricated the pole, winch mount, pulleys' etc. and saved a bunch of money. I built a T 14 this year for a friend of mine and the price of cedar has really jumped. Last year I built one and the lumber coast was $212.00. About two months ago the same lumber order in cedar was just under $400.00. That might play into it. He bough the pole and mounting kit from Troyers and all said and done it wasn't too much cheaper than just ordering the house directly from Troyer. Not sure if you would be interested or not but there is an Amish farm near Richmond IN (not too far from you) that sells assembled T-14 houses. They are ready to paint and just under $400.00 but they are made from pine and not cedar.

Hopefully someone with experience with the new S&K products will chime in on their gourd racks. Their Tri Tel poles don't have the best reputation and I have had bad experiences with them so I myself don't trust those poles. I don't know about the quality of their newer poles and gourd racks. Everyone's budgets are different but most times it's better to spend a little more money up front for a better quality system.
2021.................HOSP count-6
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Whippy
Posts: 818
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

Jeff,

As you do your research, look into the Troyer products as well. They have many different options when it comes to gourd racks.

I have the S&K fountain rack with 16 gourds on a 2 inch square pole they provided. The square pole is much better than the triangular or any round pole. I welded the joints of this pole to eliminate excessive swaying as those joints loosened up a bit in the wind over the last 4 years. I'm going to fill the pole with concrete this year to further strengthen it to handle my planned additions. Square poles are the way to go.

I've modified that rack over the 5 years I've had it to eliminate bouncing gourd arms, and to add additional gourds and perch rods and so on. I use a combination of Troyer Horizontal gourds and S&K gourds. So 10 Troyer Horizontal, 5 BO11 Plus, and 3 Big Bo gourds make up my rack. Total 18 gourds with two on the inner circle mounting positions available. (see photo)

For next year I will have the 10 Horizontal gourds, I'm adding 6 to 10 Troyer Vertical gourds and keeping the BO11 Plus gourds but moving them to 8 of the 16 inner mounting positions available. I'll ultimately have 24 gourds on this system. Then I'm going to hang 4 gourds on the corners of my Trio Wade to give me 10 total cavities on that system.

I hope this, along with other members suggestions, will give you some ideas to work with as you begin to configure your housing for next year.

Good luck to you. You'll really enjoy creating a colony and improving it year after year.

Coolwhips
Attachments
Gourds Happy Hour 7-7-20.jpg
Gourds Happy Hour 7-7-20.jpg (60.28 KiB) Viewed 2607 times
2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged
jeff
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:43 am
Location: okeana ohio

thanks for all the input. I think i am leaning toward gourds for less weight

I am now considering Troyer horizontal gourds with the ring rack.

Any suggestions to which is better horizontal or vertical gourds?
Whippy
Posts: 818
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

Jeff,

I've had great success with the Horizontals and the S&K BO 11 Plus gourds. As I mentioned, I am adding the Verticals for next year so I don't yet have any experience to share with you on those. You can't go wrong with the Horizontals or the BO 11 Plus gourds with tunnels. I like to have a bit of variety which is why I am adding the Verticals. However, as one of the members said not long ago, If you have a desirable site the martins will use available cavities. Regardless, I believe tunnels are the best way to go for sure on any gourd.

Hope that helps a little.

Coolwhips
2016 - late to put up, many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged
Spiderman
Posts: 801
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:19 am
Location: Gladewater, Texas

jeff wrote:
Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:59 pm
thanks for all the input. I think i am leaning toward gourds for less weight

I am now considering Troyer horizontal gourds with the ring rack.

Any suggestions to which is better horizontal or vertical gourds?
I have 3 of the Troyer ring racks with Horizontal Gourds. I think they are fabulous to raise Martins in. They offer superior protection from Hawk and Owl attacks.

You will need to add some 3/4" ells to the back of the gourds for ventilation and to prevent condensation in the nests. But they are pretty much perfect.

I started out with 4 wooden houses and wish I had gone to this system many years ago.
2008 - 33 PAIR - FLEDGED 96 YOUNG
2009 - 51 PAIR - FLEDGED 166 YOUNG
2010 - 45 PAIR - FLEDGED 146 YOUNG
2011 - 33 PAIR - 128 HATCHED, 97 FLEDGED
2012 - 37 PAIR - 119 HATCHED, 101 FLEDGED
jeff
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:43 am
Location: okeana ohio

thanks again to all the replies, I just went ahead and made a T-14 out of 1" pine, I guess the idea/fun of making one got the better of me.

Is it true - did i read somewhere the inside of the compartments should be dark? Should I paint the inside black?

Should i mount the T-14 now or wait till spring? Not an easy job to assemble and disassemble on the pole.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3077
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I have never painted the interior of a T14. The same amount of light will come through the opening no matter what the inside color. The only thing I paint on the inside of my T14's is about an inch or so around the opening just to help protect it from the rain. If I were you I would go ahead and put it up. Right not martins in our part of the country and fledging and preparing to go south. There might be some martins that were born this year that find your place on their way south and come back next year.
2021.................HOSP count-6
2020 Currently 42 nest, 110 babies, 64 eggs left to hatch(6-22-20) HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair last count 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional SY's stayed all summer but never paired/nested.
2016 1 pair fledged 4
2015 Visitors
2014 Visitors
2013 Moved 6 miles away, 1 pair fledged 2.
2012 30 pair fledged 100.
2011 12 pair (11 that nested), 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair, 21 eggs, 16 hatched, 14 fledged.
Post Reply