Winter maintenance of martin housing

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Dave Duit
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:05 pm
Contact:

Winter maintenance of martin housing

Postby Dave Duit » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:54 pm

Hey everyone,
As winter approaches we all take part in the yearly ritual of cleaning out gourds; but there are other duties landlords may over look. Checking cables for fraying or rusting and its possible replacement is a huge safety issue and responsibility. Next, has any of your housing become unsafe for your martins due to deterioration ? Look for sharp points around the entrances do to cracks or hail damage. Have your push pins for tunnels become deteriorated and need replacing ? Does your housing need repainted ? Are there hardware issues, such as loose nuts and bolts or screws ? Have you considered oiling the winch and crank ? Has your gourd rack rusted and need fixing ? Gourd rack arms can fall off in a good wind because rust has weakened the rods. Is the tunnel rubber traction strip cracked or split and need replacing ? Have you cleaned out all the hard to get to nooks and crannies with a 1/10 bleech/water solution ? Some people wait for gourds and cavities to dry out and then either shake in a teaspoon of sevin dust to ensure all possible stowaway winter bird mites are killed off prior to next spring or over winter. Lastly, are there improvements to your set up that need added ?

SYmywa
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:50 pm
Location: rural TRF Mn.

Re: Winter maintenance of martin housing

Postby SYmywa » Thu Oct 25, 2018 10:23 am

Howdy Mr. Dave

Always good to hear from you.
Thanks for sharing, all good information!
Would like to reiterate, check/service those winches, cables & ropes!
Do u have safety stops, have u considered a Winch Offset for those heavy systems❓
Anyone upgrading or adding new systems for 2019?
We have a new pole in place, that will support 6 individual cubbies & requires no winch
or rope to raise or lower!
Also raised above pole for a friend, have pole guard, houses & perch tower set to install
in May :)

Have a safe 2019
Jerome

Dave Duit
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Winter maintenance of martin housing

Postby Dave Duit » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:21 am

5 1/2 months and they will be knocking on our doors. Months go by fast as we try to make changes, maintenance and improvements. I actually enjoy working in my wood shop on martin housing over the winter months. A good cup of coffee and music in the background taking my time on the housing.

SYmywa
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:50 pm
Location: rural TRF Mn.

Re: Winter maintenance of martin housing

Postby SYmywa » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:01 pm

Ya, kinda fun to experiment with fresh housing, little deeper, better nest conceal, should
be safer for occupants. Be fun to see if accepted.
Also building hanging oyster bars for the new systems, ones we hung past season, were
used extensively by residents n visitors ;)
Not really expanding, yet, if accepted, the new system will replace an old Treo that
gets no nesting interest!
Take it u got a heated shop Dave, wow, would be nice!
I shuffle little quicker, before the snow and minus below, or cut n carry into my
basement hideaway ;)

Five n a half months beats 8

Jerome

Dave Duit
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Winter maintenance of martin housing

Postby Dave Duit » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:26 pm

Yes.Heated wood shop with all the bells and whistles. I built two T14s in the past years and it was fun. I would love to make an all cedar T14, but it would get very costly. Experimenting is the only way to see what martin like. I always think of safety for the martins when designing any new concept. I focus on anything that could go wrong when designing.

SYmywa
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:50 pm
Location: rural TRF Mn.

Re: Winter maintenance of martin housing

Postby SYmywa » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:24 pm

Yep, shop solitude enhances the thought process for me too!
Cedar, up our way runs around three times, tho weight reduction adds value.
I built a T style straight 8 for our site n two for friends, but am Trending away from
large winch/cable systems, for safety n visibility reasons.
Latest offering is designed around a tilt pole, that supports up to 6 individual cubies
facing my favorite window & requires no winch or rope to raise n lower!
Its a simple/low cost system, for starting in this hobby, to which cubies can be added
on demand :|

Dave Duit
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Winter maintenance of martin housing

Postby Dave Duit » Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:57 am

Is your tilt pole allowing for the cavities to remain horizontal when raising and lowering ? The two T14s I built were donated to public education satellite site colonies for our Iowa martin organization. Less weight it a huge plus in design. I use 1,000 pound winches for my T-14s. Cavity depth is a big factor on keeping my martins safe from predators. I do not have bent elbow entrances on any of my set ups; but they are straight deep tunnels. Most of my set up is troyer horizontals and metal grandpa style modifieds.

SYmywa
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:50 pm
Location: rural TRF Mn.

Re: Winter maintenance of martin housing

Postby SYmywa » Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:20 am

Hi Dave
Yes, cubbies n oyster tray self level, as pole is lowered.
Cubbie, nest tray design, includes containment, to prevent Nestlings
from appearing on porch, before wings are ready!
Pole design moves operator out of Harms way, with no fear of being struck
by Heavy house or Rack :roll:
Way nice gesture, donating the housing, keep up Good Work ;)
Jerome

Dave Duit
Posts: 91
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:05 pm
Contact:

Re: Winter maintenance of martin housing

Postby Dave Duit » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:01 am

Hi Jerome,
Glad to hear it is self leveling. It the cubbie a new product for nest containment of young martins to prevent early fledge ?
I'm always looking for new improvements for my colony set up.
Dave

SYmywa
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:50 pm
Location: rural TRF Mn.

Re: Winter maintenance of martin housing

Postby SYmywa » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:37 pm

Beside the cloud of wings overhead, am already reflecting on our Founding pair in 2017.
The Solitude and Wonder of witnessing the propagation process, just out our picture window
and being able to watch the interaction of individuals in the Family group, including nest construction, egg production, noting hatch date and witnessing the 1st egg opening (chick standing in 1/2, wearing the other on its head :lol: ) nest maintenance to control pests and finally the fledge, including all the hoops the Family swooped thru during the process of Flight train n Insect recon.,
will remain etched foremost in our memories!
New housing is designed for PM Security & our Safety n Visibility.
Intent, is to fledge more young, with fewer pairs & to Support the effort, thru helping others,
raise Quality Systems, across our areas.





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