Vent holes

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Rafke77
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:47 pm
Location: Plymouth, IN
Martin Colony History: 2020 first arrived 3/27. 21 pair, 92 fledged, 9 non viable.

2019 first time with Martin's, first arrived 4/24 10 pair, 24 fledged, 15 eggs non-viable.

For those who have added vents into your gourds. I am debating on adding some but unsure if we need them, we have the Troyer vertical gourds. I am asking this because our last nest check we lost 3 hatchlings, not from the same gourd, 3 different, their body's were not in the gourd either and we did not find them during our daily walk unders. We do not know if this is just natural or possibly from the unusually dry and hot summer, this is only our second season so we don't have much experience to know whether this is possibly normal. We know finding bad eggs is normal, but last year we didn't lose hatchlings. We live in Northern Indiana, Marshall county, which is second county south of the Michigan border. I know people in the southern states that get a much higher sun angle and much hotter weather add supplemental vents but I don't know how far north people decide to do that. We've been in the low 90's for several days and no rain for weeks. Troyer gourds have four notches at the top that could be drilled out I just don't know if I need to.
We are up to 21 pair and 87 hatchlings currently with still some eggs to go.
Thanks in advance for your opinions.
-Rob
SSMartin
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

I'm in the south and mine are drilled out. One thing is for sure it couldn't hurt and at 90 degrees it would certainly help with some air exchange in the gourd. You could always use some white caulk or silicone to seal them back up if the need arises.
Rafke77
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:47 pm
Location: Plymouth, IN
Martin Colony History: 2020 first arrived 3/27. 21 pair, 92 fledged, 9 non viable.

2019 first time with Martin's, first arrived 4/24 10 pair, 24 fledged, 15 eggs non-viable.

SSMartin wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:30 pm
I'm in the south and mine are drilled out. One thing is for sure it couldn't hurt and at 90 degrees it would certainly help with some air exchange in the gourd. You could always use some white caulk or silicone to seal them back up if the need arises.
Thank you, I appreciate the response. Another reason I was debating on it, is because I know in the springtime even though it doesn't last that long and especially this spring with its late frost, I figured it would help keep it just a tad warmer in there. But you're correct I could always fill it in with some caulk.
white-out
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:21 am
Location: ohio

I talked with a lady a Troyer and she recommended stuffing the elbows with cotton balls when cool/normal and remove in heat. Today it is 94 degrees and 99 inside the gourd.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2962
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

It has definitely been hot in Indiana (and other areas) but I have not experienced any jumpers yet. When I have experience jumpers in the past it has been when they are a little older than mine are right now. The time's I've had jumpers they were pretty close to fledge age. How old were the ones that went missing do you know? I have Troyer gourds and I have the small vents drilled out. My thoughts are they are more likely to suffer from the summer heat then they are to have it cold enough to cause major problems. I have been hosting martins in IN for over ten years and have only had to supplemental feed twice. Once was a few years ago but was more related to rainy cool temps. I fed some this spring following a few days of freezing temps in the spring, not all of them took food which tells me they didn't truly need it, as they survived the cold snap.
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.
Martin man RI
Posts: 416
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 7:04 pm
Location: MA/RI area

Vent holes are Very Important even way up here in the northeast. Rhode Island. And within few feet of Narragansett Bay which is a cool 65 Degree.
With out vent holes the Chicks will cause condensation in the gourds and will look soaked and when they are old enough they will jump from over heat to the ground.
Take a Cordless drill and drill holes in the dimples in the back of the troyer Horizontal gourds and in the neck of the vertical gourds. I manage over 200 pairs
of Martins in Troyer gourds. and never have issues since i drilled vent holes in all the gourds... Think about five or six chicks in those plastic gourds in temps of 90 or
above. PLEASE VENT THE GOURDS TODAY... YOU WILL FIND MUCH COOLER BIRDS....

Ray Marr
Rafke77
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:47 pm
Location: Plymouth, IN
Martin Colony History: 2020 first arrived 3/27. 21 pair, 92 fledged, 9 non viable.

2019 first time with Martin's, first arrived 4/24 10 pair, 24 fledged, 15 eggs non-viable.

flyin-lowe wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:41 pm
How old were the ones that went missing do you know?
6/22 nest check
Gourd 1, 3 hatched, 3 eggs
Gourd 9, 5 eggs
Gourd 13, 4 eggs
6/28 nest check
Gourd 1, 6 hatched
Gourd 9, 5 hatched
Gourd 13, 4 hatched
7/5 nest check
Gourd 1, 5 remaining
Gourd 9, 4 remaining
Gourd 13, 3 remaining

Ray, yesterday afternoon I started with the top rack, figuring they are getting the most sun and not shaded by gourds underneath them. I drilled the two back dimples on the top, hoping for any cross breeze, as well as changed the nesting material, damn blow flys are back.
This afternoon we're going to try and get the next row down cleaned and drilled as well.

Thank you white-out, I was thinking of stuffing something in the gourds, but with these small holes drilled out, I don't know if it would be much heat loss in the spring, but hopefully enough during this weather.
flyin-lowe
Posts: 2962
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

Someone smarter then me will chime in, however I have never had babies that are less then 2 weeks old jump (that I know of). I would think at 2 weeks or younger missing young are from a predator or SY male.
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.
Dave Duit
Posts: 1815
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.

I put in 1 inch PVC elbows 2/3rds the way up from the back of the gourd. Face the elbow openings downward. In the cold spring when they arrive, I simply use pieces of swimming pool noodles to plug the openings of the PVC elbows. Once it warms back up, pull the plugs.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Rafke77
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:47 pm
Location: Plymouth, IN
Martin Colony History: 2020 first arrived 3/27. 21 pair, 92 fledged, 9 non viable.

2019 first time with Martin's, first arrived 4/24 10 pair, 24 fledged, 15 eggs non-viable.

flyin-lowe wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 1:35 pm
I would think at 2 weeks or younger missing young are from a predator or SY male.
I would only guess a male, I've never seen any predator come close. I do have the guard on, no large trees anywhere near, and no bushes. It's just strange, I figured I'd find something in the grass, any remains, but nothing. We do walk unders together, crossing paths so we both double check our inspections
Dave Duit wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 3:24 pm
I put in 1 inch PVC elbows 2/3rds the way up from the back of the gourd. Face the elbow openings downward. In the cold spring when they arrive, I simply use pieces of swimming pool noodles to plug the openings of the PVC elbows. Once it warms back up, pull the plugs.
Before I add in the PVC, I'm going to see how drilling out the dimples will work, I'm hoping it'll be fine since I had nothing before. We'll see... Thanks for the info though!
DuckCamp
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed May 27, 2020 10:03 pm
Location: Indiana
Martin Colony History: 2020 - 1 ASY pair, 3 nestlings

As I am also concerned about this heat wave here in northern Indiana I've read this thread with some interest. I have my first pair with three nestlings currently at 12 days old. I intend to follow the suggestions given here next season when I am better prepared with a much nicer setup, but my current 4 gourds are S&K Bo Basic gourds. Round entrance hole, no porch, no ventilation holes. Not ideal, but to be fair I was not intending to attract purple martins. Anyhow, due to my concerns with this heat I drilled six 1/4" holes in the upper neck of the gourd on Sunday. I planned to plug these once rain was forecasted. Are holes this size doing anything? Any other suggestions for me to try in a pinch? The forecast cools a bit this weekend then back to 90s again next week.
2020 - 1 pair (ASY), 3 nestlings
SSMartin
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:05 pm
Location: FL

Those small holes in the neck will allow built up hot air to exit to some degree anything helps. The bo basic has a good sized round hole and is almost flush with the nest so it will vent pretty good on its own. Only other suggestion would be to drill more holes in the bottom but this is difficult if they are occupied and there is no access cap to remove the babies temporarily.

I suggest if you keep them to add a cap to access the inside next year or if you’re like me the new ones with the caps are so cheap it’s almost easier to just replace them.

Then you can add custom porches/tunnels and custom vents.
Rafke77
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:47 pm
Location: Plymouth, IN
Martin Colony History: 2020 first arrived 3/27. 21 pair, 92 fledged, 9 non viable.

2019 first time with Martin's, first arrived 4/24 10 pair, 24 fledged, 15 eggs non-viable.

DuckCamp wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 8:14 pm
Anyhow, due to my concerns with this heat I drilled six 1/4" holes in the upper neck of the gourd on Sunday. I planned to plug these once rain was forecasted. Are holes this size doing anything? Any other suggestions for me to try in a pinch? The forecast cools a bit this weekend then back to 90s again next week.
I have drilled out 12 so far, and I'd imagine it would be like adding ridge vent on a house. It should do a lot, at least create some air moment.
GFB
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Location: Ontario NY
Martin Colony History: I Started my first colony with my father in the late 1960's. Started building custom vinyl Martin houses last year 2018 and was successful with 10 birds fledged and it looks like several dozen birds are hanging around. Time to expand.
2018: 1 T-14 and 6 gourds. Fledged 10
2019: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 70
2020: 2 T-14's and 6 gourds. Fledged 111

I just had my first jumper a few minutes ago, most likely due to this relentless hot spell. I noticed around 8 to 10 birds on the ground for some reason, as soon as I walked over all but one took off. This season I have a large age difference with my hatchlings and with 123 of them I'm glad I did a nest check a couple of days ago, so I knew what gourd it jumped from. For my vents I also use the 1 inch PVC elbows with a black furniture screw cap with a nut epoxied on the bottom and at the top of the elbow I drilled a hole that a 2 inch screw slides through and threads into the nut. so all I need to due is lift up on the screw to close the vent and push down to open.
bootjack farm
Posts: 67
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.

I actually asked this question to Andy Troyer. He claimed that in the northeast, drilling the vents on his gourds is all that is needed. I doubt this was based on science but rather years of experience.
Northwest PA
Dave Duit
Posts: 1815
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.

1 inch pvc elbows will not hurt the gourds. Simply plug the holes with swimming pool noodle foam pieces in the early part of the season when they arrive in your area.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
Rafke77
Posts: 30
Joined: Sun Jan 12, 2020 10:47 pm
Location: Plymouth, IN
Martin Colony History: 2020 first arrived 3/27. 21 pair, 92 fledged, 9 non viable.

2019 first time with Martin's, first arrived 4/24 10 pair, 24 fledged, 15 eggs non-viable.

GFB wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:23 pm
I just had my first jumper a few minutes ago, most likely due to this relentless hot spell.
Glad you were able to get the one back in the right home!
bootjack farm wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:08 am
I actually asked this question to Andy Troyer. He claimed that in the northeast, drilling the vents on his gourds is all that is needed. I doubt this was based on science but rather years of experience.
I was going to call and ask that same question, good to know. I prefer experience over science sometimes.
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