Help with logistics of T-14, pole, and predator guard

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Birdiegirl
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:03 pm
Location: Scott County Kentucky
Martin Colony History: 2020- Late start, lots of visitors
2021- One pair, 5 fledged

Hi martin friends... happy update! Our single pair successfully fledged 5. It's been fun hosting visitors that stopped by for the 'fledging party'. This morning there were over 20 martins perched on our utility lines- wow will I miss their chatter. I have learned so much this year- and thank each of you that took the time to weigh in on my many questions.

We purchased the lumber to build a T-14 house for next year. Lumber prices are pretty high here, but we were able to find reasonably priced, locally milled hemlock- which is used around here for barn siding and lumber. We think it will also make a good martin house.

Several of you veteran landlords shared some great advice regarding upgrades to our pole, merits of a winch system, and suggestions for digging/reinforcing the hole/ground sleeve. Our very kind neighbor has since offered us two really nice- and really heavy!- steel poles. They are round, 3.5" in diameter and 16' long. It seems they would be plenty strong- but challenging to install. I have some questions about assembling the overall setup- choosing the proper bracket, how to make it work with a predator guard, etc.

I'd really love to chat with someone that has built/installed a T-14. I don't know of anyone near me that has one- but if you're on this forum, live in central Kentucky- and wouldn't mind a visit- I'd love to see your setup. If someone on this forum wouldn't mind fielding some questions on this topic with a new landlord, please message me directly.

Thank you :)
Martintown33
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:21 pm
Location: Laplace,La
Martin Colony History: 21 year colony. 2 s&k modified houses and gourd rack

Hi birdiegirl. I emailed you some answers to your concerns. You can email me back if you have more questions.
Rob
Martintown33
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2021 6:21 pm
Location: Laplace,La
Martin Colony History: 21 year colony. 2 s&k modified houses and gourd rack

P.s. you can email me at Rwmong@comcast.net
daveh
Posts: 710
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Kingsville Mo.

Birdiegirl, I built my t14 in 2005. I bought the plans from PMCA. It's an easy read and has lots of pictures on the house build. It also shows you how to build a nice straight laminated post which is still straight after 16 years. The plans also show how to make slide out trays for each compartment. They make nest checks easy to do. I bought two five foot U beams, heavy duty, and sunk half in the ground using 8 bags of concrete. The two beams are spaced apart so that the wooden post will fit inside the beams. I ran 3 bolts thru the beams and post with nuts to secure. I can take two of the bolts out and swing post down to a sawhorse for maintenance. This is without the house. To heavy to swing house attached. I do this in the off season. If I leave house on post after season, I cover with my home made nylon cover to protect in the winter. If house needs maintenance, like paint, I take off post and take the four sections upto my workshop to work on. Everything is wood so house and post will occasionally need maintenance. This year we had 13of the 14 compartments occupied. All 4 gourds below house were occupied also. One other thing. I vented every compartment with a 2 inch louvered vent. I got them at Lowes. They are called soffit vents. I placed them in the back just above the slide out trays. They work great. Have fun building the T14. I have a placard in mine showing when I built mine.

Dave
PMCA member
Birdiegirl
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:03 pm
Location: Scott County Kentucky
Martin Colony History: 2020- Late start, lots of visitors
2021- One pair, 5 fledged

Hi Rob and Dave- thank you so much for the suggestions! We've got our shopping list. I'll be curious to see how the birds take to this style next year. Housing in the area is primarily S&K barn housing- a few people to the way north of us have gourds. We plan to offer a mixture to increase the chances of building our colony.

Enjoy the off season everyone!
Jones4381
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Apr 25, 2020 10:54 pm
Location: Rocky Mount VA
Martin Colony History: Newbie 51 years old 2020 and stumbled onto this by accident. Amazing bird. Just wanna help and give/receive happiness and be one with nature. Don't mind shooting an intruder of any kind though. Have a blessed day.

June 18 2021...3 hatchlings. New colony creation established

Love the look of Hemlock on barns, coops, etc.. Would love to see some photos' when completed. Hard to find Hemlock around here anymore but looking as I plan on redoing a 30x30 barn on my property built in '47with it.
51 year old HY beginner. Year 1 for me!
Whippy
Posts: 878
Joined: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: Plano, Texas
Martin Colony History: See Signature

BG,

I like the idea of multiple housing options. I have 24 gourds, a 6 room Trio Wade and a T-14. I've mentioned that before but wanted to address it directly here to support your idea. I began with gourds while the Trio was across the alley at a neighbors house. My colony started with a pair that over flowed from the Trio. The Trio had been neglected and had been encroached by trees and bushes as years passed so I got permission to move it to my yard last year. The occupants from the year before found it and began to use it as usual. I added the T-14 this year thinking I was taking down the Trio but left the Trio. The two units are 8 feet apart. I had 3 pairs in the Trio this year and 8 pairs in the T-14. They seemed to enjoy bouncing from house to house.

I believe the multiple housing options has increased my colony in size this year. I went from 15 pairs last year to 29 pairs this year. Next year may be off the hook.

I'm going to add 4 or 8 Troyer Horizontal gourds to my T-14 for next year and may add 4 Troyer Verticals under the Trio.

Leave your barn that started it all and add systems to your colony as the years progress. It's kind of fun. When selecting gourds tunnels are preferred, and large cavities are preferred which is why I have the Troyers and the S&K Bo11 Plus gourds.

Good luck to you. I look forward to hearing of your additions and their success. Pictures are good too. :wink:

Coolwhips
2016 - many visitors
2017 - 1 pair, 3 fledged
2018- 2 pair, 12 fledged
2019 - 4 pair, 21 fledged
2020 - 15 pair, 67 fledged
2021 - 29 pair, 117 fledged
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3176
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

I have done exactly what you are talking about, all the way down to the hemlock. It is what I built my first T14 out of approximately 15 years ago or so. So far it has help up perfect. I also DIY'd my poles, both of them are 3.5 inch steel pipes. Only difference is, both of mine are 20 feet tall. The ground sleeve I used must be a common size because both times I built mine I was able to find a piece of pipe with about a 4 inch ID so I buried it in the ground and slid the martin pole into it. Both times I found them at local scrap yards. Doing it that way is not too tough to raise since we only had to lift it a couple inches and then drop it in. I put my ground sleeve 48 inches deep so the top of my poles are 16 feet. The first one I did 15 years ago me and friend did it by ourselves. Now that I am in my mid 40's and not my late 20's it took three of us to raise the one I put in a couple years ago. I think I sent you a link in another post (can't remember if it was you or someone else) showing the carrier I built to attach the T14 to the round pole. If it wasn't you, let me know and I can dig it up again. If you have any other questions feel free.....
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
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 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
Birdiegirl
Posts: 44
Joined: Sun May 24, 2020 7:03 pm
Location: Scott County Kentucky
Martin Colony History: 2020- Late start, lots of visitors
2021- One pair, 5 fledged

Hi flyin-lowe, I don't think that link was for me- but I am very interested in seeing it. Visualizing the carrier part has proven to be tough- I'd appreciate seeing what you crafted. We really do have similar situations! Happy to hear that your T-14 is holding up so well with the hemlock- sounds like we made a good choice. It must be a great feeling to see birds using a house you've made yourself. In total optimism we actually bought enough lumber for TWO T-14s, but we'll build one and see if the birds like it before tackling a second one.

And for those on the forum that asked, I will happily share pictures when it's complete. Hopefully with tons of martins sitting on it ;) Thanks for all the helpful responses!
flyin-lowe
Posts: 3176
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:49 am
Location: Indiana/Henry Co.

This thread has some pictures.
I built a box out of treated 2x6"s and used a hole saw to drill the hole for pole to slip through. Then I split it so if I ever need to I can just remove some screws and pull the carrier off the pole. I cut a slot in the top of my pole with a reciprocating saw (saws all) and used a garage door pully in the top. I also had a friend use some steel to weld up a box that I bolted to my pole to mount my pulley. The entire system (house, winch, pulley, etc.) have been in use for 15 years or so and still in good shape.

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=36956&p=296820&hili ... er#p296820
2021 Currently 62 nest 138 babies plus 110 eggs (6-317-21) HOSP count-9
2020 42 nest, Fledged 164 HOSP count-8
2019- 31 Pair over 100 fledged
2018- 15 pair 49 fledged
2017 3 SY pair nested, 12 eggs total, fledged 10. 4 additional lone SY's
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 43 fledged.
2010 5 pair 14 fledged.
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