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Joined: Mar 2014
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A nesting pair of woodies showed up this morning! Looks like I can put up the NO VACANCY sign. The wife named them Fred and Ethel.






Last edited by ToddM; 04/13/16 03:09 PM.
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Another neat thread here about wood ducks.

I was able to get mine mounted today. I'm going to try in the water this year. My water level is so far down that I have to take a guess at what the height will be from the box opening to the water level once pond goes back to full pool. I think the jump height for little ducks (hopefully they will come) at full pool will be around 5-6 feet still.

I have 'DUCK HUT' brand houses and really like them. But their mounting brackets are designed for thin wall electrical conduit of the galvanized metal type. They call for 2". By me, a 10 foot piece of this runs $35! I wanted to make two set ups. So instead I went with PVC. The problem is the 1.5" PVC is too small for the mounting bracket and the 2" is too big. For PVC the 2" must be the inside diameter and outside is a bit bigger. So I ended up getting longer bolts and the two halves of the brackets that grip the poles are not quite touching nicely but they are gripping tightly. A sheet metal screw from the bracket into the PVC pipe will keep them from falling down.

I hope the slippery surface of PVC will keep predators from climbing as well as the metal conduit pipe would have been.

I had some left over 2"x2" wolmanized garden stakes. I rounded over the corners so it would slide inside the 2" PVC. I took a 4' piece and pounded it about 2' into the ground with 2' sticking up. It ended up about 4" above the water level but soon that will be 2-3' under water. I then slid the PVC pipe over about 2' of wooden stake.

I had some metal pipe that I could have used for a stake but the 2" PVC with duck house on it would have rotated round and round on a metal post. I figured with the wooden stake it was a pretty tight fit and the direction the duck hut is facing should stay the same.

This way I can easily slide the pvc mounted hut off it if we get no takers this year and it won't end up being a visual distraction. The mounting stake should stay under the ice and we can reuse it next year. If we don't like it the stake will eventually rot or fill in with silt if I can't pull it back out.

It looks kind of stark white against the pond colors. Hopefully the woodies don't mind. I hope I have it in soon enough after ice out as I've read the wood ducks kind of pick their spring nests in the fall!

I tried to choose a spot about 10' out from shore and in the corner of the pond with least traffic from kids and pets and still see it from the house. I wanted the opening pointing east or NE to keep winds from hitting the front of the box as well. I used my 90 degree angle level that straps to a 4x4s that helps get both sides level at the same time on the wood stake. And even though I stopped to level multiple times, the post still ended up in a bit on an angle. Add the white pole and you really see it isn't straight. Not sure I can get it back out and do it over at this point.. Hopefully the ducks don't mind that their pole isn't laser straight.

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Last edited by canyoncreek; 03/13/21 05:17 PM.
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CC, that looks good. How many gallons of sap do you plan on collecting?


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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esshup,
We are trying to keep it on a small scale. My 7th grade son wanted a way to raise some money. It all sounded good to him, just run around collect sap, tend the outdoor fire enclosure after school and on Saturdays and he could make money! We are about 2 weeks in and have had wonderful weather conditions compared to last year. Warm days and cold nights, well until we had a little warm spell earlier this week. But hardly any flow today even though really good conditions. It will get cold/rain/snow this weekend and we probably will call it quits early next week.

My father in law lives down the road. He tapped 20 spiles on about a dozen trees, we tapped probably 20-25 more trees on our property using about 40 more spiles? Last year we did about half that many but had a very short collecting season.

Our outdoor fire pit goes OK, but we cheat and do some of the work on a 6 burner commercial gas stove that I have in my basement. We do the finishing in the basement (or on the kitchen stove). We don't have a fancy sugar meter or anything, just shoot for 218 or 219 degrees and call it good.

We leave doors and windows open in the downstairs for good air flow, yet, we found out our carbon monoxide detector does work as one day the air circulation wasn't so ideal with a lot of burners on the big commercial stove going to town for too long. Those things must be super sensitive which is a good thing!

So I think we are up to about 8 or 9 gallons total. We have a couple gallons to finish tonight. If we end up with a dozen gallons that would be fabulous and a big success for our little operation. If it is true that it is 40 gallons of sap to one gallon maple syrup then somehow we boiled off 480 gallons ?? My wife puts final product in pint jars and seals the lids by putting the full jars in the oven like she does when she is canning produce. This way they can stay stored on the shelf for quite a while.

I sell them to folks at my work for $10 a pint so do the math, my son can make a nice chunk of money. Of course we don't charge him for the expensive stainless steel boiling pan, the pre-heat pans, the buckets and lids we collect in, the spiles and tubing, the pint jars and lids, etc etc.

By this week he is getting slower at collecting and it is feeling a little more like work! Imagine farmers who have to get up and do the chores EVERY DAY!!

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Thanks! I got a call from the Amish family that I buy syrup from saying that it is ready for pick up. Last year they didn't have enough, this year I think they have a bumper crop.


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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).
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I would imagine everyone is going to be flush with syrup this year. I was thinking of how in Canada it is tightly regulated with quotas, illegal stashes, semi trailers of syrup being hijacked and stolen, etc. But I guess since it is a commodity that takes a lot of work to produce with relatively few shortcuts possible, and retains its value with constant demand... I can see how it becomes attractive for a black market or to go around the strict government rules. Glad we don't have that here.

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