What type of housing?
Results of the Poll- What type of housing do landlords prefer?
Natural gourds (20 votes) 14.29%
Martin housing is at the top of the list for anyone involved with or getting started in the hobby. The 'house' seems to be the most critical element in raising martins, similar in many ways to humans.
The poll shows the obvious, landlords prefer wooden condominium style housing and they have a strong 'liking' to add a few gourds on or around the house. It also shows us that all styles of housing are useful and effective and it just depends on personal preferences, where you live and what works best in your back yard.
Of particular interest during the poll, is the number of people who looked or searched for information on plans to build housing. There are many *do-it-your-self-types* out there who would prefer to build their own units. Thanks to the people who wrote in and shared their comments and housing stories.
To paint your Martin house or not?Suzanne writes...
I have a cedar PM house and am getting ready to put it up this weekend. Does it have to be painted or just kept as cedar?Suzanne--
This is an excellent question because it brings up two separate issues, whether or not cedar needs painting and a second consideration that's more important, what's best for the martins.
With out getting into the many types of wood and their individual properties, cedar for the most part is very stable and has "natural" preservatives that make it last longer in outdoor conditions. Therefore, it really doesn't need to be prepared for "weather protection" which is what paint does along with providing a cosmetic solution.
On the other hand, Martins are attracted to "white" housing, it's reflective qualities keep housing cooler, a major consideration for the Martins. If you didn't paint the cedar, over time it would "weather" cosmetically and turn to a "silver/gray". This would absorb more heat and be a factor to drive Martins off or make them less comfortable. If you paint your cedar house white you'll eliminate that factor.
Some suggestions for painting: Use a good "oil based" primer for the first coat and follow with two additional finish coats of "oil based" or "latex" paint. It's also a good idea to paint the interior for added protection, easy cleaning and to help with spotting parasites. If you have a parasite problem in the future the small creatures can be seen against the white background and cleaning them out with a mild solution of bleach and water will be easier since the paint won't absorb the water like natural wood. This means longer life for the house, less problems and hassles for you in the future.
Best height to place your martin house?
Clearly the votes say it all!
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