Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I was make to understand, most building materials shot up by at least 20 percent.
The bulk were on the steel and cement prices.
Those nesting planks were not spared.
They used to be around Rm 1,900 per metric ton. Now nothing less then Rm 2,400. The cost to deliver to your door step need to be further added.
So what will be the best think for you to cut down these cost down?
I met a few contractors and these were some of the things they resorted to:
1) Make the steel frame at home.
This contractor adopted the "Do At Home" concept. He will order those steel bars and make every feet accountable. Not a foot to be lost. He said that if you sent those steel bars to the work site, you will find some footage goes missing every day. They are either being taken away by those workers or some rags dealers coming over at night to cut those steel away.
So he will cut to size and form those shapes. Ship those that are required to the site. The rest will be in his storage yard.
2) Maximise the use of all Materials.
Another contractor resort to something that I called "Make To Fit". This special person have been in the construction business for more then 22 years. Now he do nothing else but constructing BHs. He employs more then 20 Indonesian workers at any one time.
His idea is to built the birdhouse based on the length of those steel that were sent to him. If they are 38 feet long, make the house to that length or half of it (19 feet) or a multiple of 19 feet. If you follow his style, you will have very little wastage.
3) Use Light Weight Bricks.
One of the latest technologies that will reduce a substantial amount of building materials is to opt for light weight bricks. They are made of low density cement and lightweight. They are also a low heat conductors.
Main reason given was the total weight of your building, BH only.
Using this 8 inches by 24 inches by 4 inches thick, the total weight of your BH will reduced tremendously. When the total weight is down, you need to use lesser steel bars and thinner columns to support the total structure.
The cost of these bricks might be a bit high but in total the cost will be much lower then those conventional bricks type building. How much reduction? At least 20% and perhaps 30%.
He might be right but I just hope the dimension will not cause any severe effect on the swiftlet flying or cornering abilities.
I know one thing, this guy can built a BH below Rm 56 per square feet.
If you have any requirements in your new BH just let us find a way to cut those initial cost down.
Call Harry at 017 755 1318 if you need some advises on how to cut those price down.......
Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri to all my Muslim Blog Readers..........
According to my in law the last few days the rain having be very heavy and last for hours.
It was also mentioned that this few days there is this Nine Son God Festival. The Chinese believed that the Nine Son of the Sea Emperor is visiting the land and brings those rain together with him. (Note: This was what my in-laws was trying to convince me)
But what really intrigue me are those questions when asked where do those swiftlets goes?
Come to think of it they will be out there somewhere in the sky and they don't stop over taking shelter. So where do you think they fly to?
The best for you to do is to take a car ride and observe the sky during raining period.
I saw most of these birds still flying around and the rain seem to give little effect to their feathers. I have a strong feeling that they secrete a kind of oil that prevent their feathers from being wet. As such flying in the rain will not do any harm to them.
But if you look at the horizon, those rainfall covers only a few areas and there are many that are not heaving those rain. They can easily fly across the raining areas and move to those that are not raining.
Maybe they can fly above the rain clouds. If you take a flight, you know what I mean. Those heavy clouds are lower then those normal clouds. So they are always at a very low level. If those birds can fly above them, they are actually save from those pouring waters.
Whatever you conclusion might be I always think that those swiftlets welcome raining weathers because rains bring out more food/insects from the ground, ponds and the trees.
You see more of them in the sky especially above those padi fields and jungle canopies.
So you make a close observations and make your own conclusion.....
1) Went to Kuala Kedah to meet Apek. The BH he was building was about to be completed. Just the top roof and by 2 months time everything should be in order, according to him. The BH looks massive. Three stories and can easily have 100,000 nests if fully occupied. The corner covers alone was 6292 pieces.
2) Later stop at an old house converted to a BH. I was very impressed with the finishing internally and externally. Externally it looks drab and old wooden mess but internally they turned the unit into a super BH. Very impressive and a big thumb up to my good friend Apek.
3) Drop by at Nakenzo BH at Mergong. He now have at least 4 BHs with a total of 1,800 nests. The growth was more then 20% a month. I am delighted and happy for him. The good news was that he have just finished designing one more for a piece of land he bought not long ago.
While running around got a confirmation about my trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah this coming October 11th and 12th. A blog reader wanted me to look at his family piece of land and make some close observations and recommendations.
At the same time an arrangement was made to visit Pontianak, Kalimantan, Indonesia on this 16th till 19th October 2008. The BH project in Pontianak is on the right track. Need to finalise with the land owner and some friends who have decided to come along.
I remember on the 20th October, I need to be in KL for that special meeting with the JPPD.
Well it will be a very heavy month.
I need to make some time for Raub's BH visit, Parit Sulong's new BH renovation, Ulu Bernam Agriculture Land new BH review and my trip to Kota Bahru, Kelantan. What about my own BH in Bentong and SPatani?
I might get an invitation for a GAPH Seminar too............
Oh blind me, I think I need to re look at my schedule and see how to fit all in one month......
Monday, September 29, 2008
The bird call gadget is to be used for the following purposes:
1) To check the number of birds in a territory or the property that you wanted to buy to convert to BH. If the number is above say 100 then there is a strong chance that the place is okay. If you get less then 20 then you might want to look for other places. For me I will consider only if the test result in 500 and above.
2) To check whether those wild birds flying around and area are those swiftlets. Note only swiftlets produces edible bird nest. If you happened to pass a place where there are lots of layang2 you cannot distinguish between walet and the rest of layang2. The best is to stop you can and put the gadget on. If they come over the gadget then they are walet. Or else forget it.
3) To check if can built one more at an area already have BHs. This is true especially when you play the sound I called Duress. Once you play them, all the birds in the surrounding will come over and those in the BH will also come out. So in this way you will have the opportunity to check how many there are in that area at that particular time. The actual number might be more then that, say 5 times more, if all are back from their hunting trip.
4) The best thing that you can use the bird call gadget is to check the effectiveness of any new sound that you have purchased. To be a successful BH owner, you need to have a collection of bird sounds. One or two is not enough. You need, may be 20 external and 5 internal, to use once they loose their effectiveness. As such you need this gadget to test them. Choose the right place that you know if you use the Duress their will be say 100 birds, then play those new sounds. Check at the number of birds responding and grade those sound base on the number that they produced.
There is nothing more exciting then having the test gadget.
While you conduct the test you should observe their size, their flying pattern (clockwise or anticlockwise), where they are coming from and where they fly after that.
You might want to observe what happen after you switch the sound off.
If you have the time you might want to come back at the same spot the next day at the same time and see what happen?
Yes you begin to learn more above them and in no time you will fall in love with them.
Once you have accumulated enough knowledge about them then you might make less mistakes...........
Sunday, September 28, 2008
After three weeks I can see that those nest markings are back to its original shape.
Hmm ...... Very interesting......
They are like a building machines who will immediately built those precious nests once the house owner complete their harvesting works.
I am impressed with my BH colony and there is no sign that they are leaving.
The best news that was indicated by my caretaker was that the number increased dramatically by at least 10%.
I begin to wonder why?
Same thing happened with another friend whose BH was burgled by those thiefs. The number of nests numbers multiplied.
I have yet to get the most appropriate answers. Maybe someone out there can tell us.
One person that I know gave his opinion about this phenomena. It seem that those birds, once their nests are being taken away and their babies trown on the floor to die, their mother instinct tells them to adopt other young birds and bring them home. Not all of them but some.
I am not sure how true is this explanation but I do take note.
He might be right ..........
I have these feeling that once your BH is being burgled there are lots of things that were thrown n your BH floor. This consists of eggs, baby birds, some broken nests and etc. Once these items rot on the BH floor they tend to give a kind of aroma that those young birds love to smell. These smell might invite more birds into your BH.
It this prediction is right then you might want to consider preparing some aroma that you mix those broken nests with broken eggs and dead baby birds.
They might work but no guarantee from me. I am just trying to use my logic.......
Happy holidays from me.......
I just love to give you new ideas .....
If you should try the above formula please let me know. I promise to keep it to myself but if it works, can I have the formulation????
I too want to try la !!!!
The other method, I already suggested before, you put a message at your BH door "Please Burgle My Birdhouse". He he he......
If you install those cameras, you will be able to have a better view of what is happening in you BH direct from your home or perhaps in your data room.
You can now restrict your routine inspection to maybe once a month while you can take a look internally everyday with those CCTV cameras.
You also get the benefits to view your tenants after 4.00pm without entering your BH.
I love to conduct my monthly tenant count from say 6.30pm to 7.50 pm. Using CCTV I can visualise those birds coming in and out of the entrance hole. The number added will let me know if my BH is doing alright or not.
After my stock take activities I love to switch the other cameras to watch how these swiftlets stays while they are back after those tiring food hunting.
You can clearly observed that they tend to pair and stays at the designated areas on those nesting planks.
Some will be climbing into their nests, some will hang closed to their parent and some will start building their unready nests.
I am sure if I can install those zooming and tilting CCTV cameras I can observe exactly what they do while in their nests.
There are lots of things to learn and I sincerely believed that CCTV can help you to get to know more about your swiftlets routine behaviours while they are back home.
The only caution that I was warned are those red infra red light emitted by those cameras. According to some people, they believed that the birds are scared of the red light.
From by experiences they are not however I took precautions by switching them off after my routine inspection.
Have a go and see what I mean.....
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
One of the most important section that many BH owners failed to manage is the sound system.
I think 90% of those who operate their BH do not have any clue about how those amplifiers works and how they are timed to run at the right time of the day.
Some depend so much on their electricians or their consultant to do what the consultant/electrician think right.
Do you think what the consultant set is right or worse the electrician who knows nothing about BH operation?
Their idea is simple, as long the sound is working from say 7 am till 7 pm it is okay to them.
I don't think this is right and my advise is to clearly understand what is best for your BH and make sure those birds like the volume, the timing and the type of sound you played.
I was at this BH during my Friday BH outing and was looking at the sound system. I was supposed to change the sound only but upon looking at the configuration the electrician seem to have mess up the cables and everything was haywire.
Everything that was done was wrong and I am not going to leave until I reconnect those wires.
First was to identify the right cables to the right tweeters.
Then to allocate them to either the internal sound or the external sound.
Finally which should go to the Left and which to the Right connectors at the back of the amplifiers.
Once done you need to be able to control the volume so that the one to be loud is properly set and the lower sound be subjected to proper sound testing.
The method which the timer was used was not right and I have advised the owner to get a new digital timer to get the internal sound be played on a 24 hrs basis.
After reconnection and fined tuning the BH seem to be more appropriate and those birds were on the roof.
I told the owner it is a matter of time that they will become his long term tenant.
He smiled and this was the best smile for a very long time.
He said that for the last 7 months he could not smile and can never have a good sleep. He put every penny of his saving in this BH and the "Consultant" let him down very bad.
"Thank you Harry for all the help".
I am so happy that I put that smiles back on his face.
Inside me I feel sad that his wife is not well. I shed some tears while writing this article. Main reason being I was told by his good friend that his wife is terminally ill and he will loose her shortly.
I just cannot understand why his so call "Consultant" do this to him while he channelled all his saving to this project.
I hope my small contribution will at least make him and wife happy that the money was well spend.
(Note: If you have the same problem with your BH sound system and need a second opinion, just call Harry at 017 755 1318.)
Reading my blog plus a few others turn a BH owner that I came to know to get back to his BH "Consultant".
This is something that I have expected.
I was in Pahang during my Friday BH visit and met a person who told me how much he learned from my "Swiftlet Farming Blogspot".
He and a few of his friends are fast turning into BH farm owners in a big way.
Their reason being, they are tired of doing those conventional business that employs so many general workers. Each worker is actually not an asset but burden. Just yesterday one of his worker injured his leg while carrying out his factory works.
So they started to look at Swiftlet Farming as their way out of these daily and boring routine.
They stumbled onto my blog and until today never miss reading all the things that I wrote.
The best so far is to teach their so call "Consultant" on all the things that he was not doing right in two of their Birdhouse constructions. I am sure he too is in the learning process.
Just imagine when I entered one of the BH he converted the temperature was above 32.5*C and the humidity was below 70%? All the ventilation holes were wide opened and the number of tweeters were below 1/2 a square meter?
There was no guidelines on how to manage the BH on a monthly basis. No humidifiers, no aromas, no changing of sound , no temperature and humidity measurement gadget, no digital timers and what they were told was to wait.
After seven months nothing happened. No birds in the house and they were wondering why?
Luckily they found my blog and have me to take a good look.
I have this simple method to check whether you have the right "Consultant".
Interrogate him with a few simple questions and see what will be the possible answers he will give to you.
1) What is the recommended range of temperature, humidity and darkness?
2) Why are they so important to your BH?
3) How many ventilation holes your BH must have and what are they for?
4) During early stage of your BH operation do you need to open all of them and why?
If he can give you sensible answers then you are on the right track but if he try to avoid answering like " Trust me I know what I am doing", then you are in a lot of trouble.
The answers for the four questions can be found in my blog, if you know how to find them. If not please send me an email so that I can give you the right answers.
Follow this technique and I am sure you will get the right person to work with you for your first BH.
Well whats next?
After you have built one with him, you can now built your own. What you need is just the knowledge and then you might want to consider doing yourself by arranging the right contractors to built the building, Install those electrical items and etc.
How long are you going to be dependent on your "Consultant"?
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I tend to be very excited if I see any new book on Swiftlet Farming.
Main reason being there are not many available in the market and at the same time you cannot get them from any bookshop that you walk in.
So where ever I visited, I will try to catch those books and perhaps let my blog readers be aware and if they do want to have one I will get one for them.
This is what I mean as helping.
There is nothing wrong and I hope these small services will not be miss interpret.
This book was seen at one of a Toko Swiftlet Equipment and I do not know the title since they are in Madarin.
If you wish to have one, please let me know so that I can make the necessary arrangements.
Give me about 7 days to work out the delivery and the cost is about Rm 100.
Call 017 755 1318
I am not very observant at one time.
Now I tend to be very careful when I pass the Immigration.
If you want to carry some bird nests across the border please be careful.
The immigration have the right to stop you and what they normally do is to ask you for the permit to bring those nest across.
I was informed that if the amount is less then 2 kilos they will confiscate while above that they will put you behind bars.
I was not very sure at first but after reading the following, I would say they mean business.
Try to get hold of their contact numbers and ask for their directive.
I recently found a Toko where I can get some new/old books for all my beloved blog readers.
The best and I wish to recommend is the book called "The Guidebook to Breeding Swiftlet".
Written in English by Dr. E. Nugroho of Eka Walet, Indonesia.
The price indicated was Rm75.
Currently there are a few books left.
If you need a piece please let me know and once you remit the money I will post the book to your address.
Call or SMS to 017 755 1318
The more you read the more to increase your knowledge.
Three mobile phone chats and all were from Sabah.
One of the most potential areas of swiftlet farming is in the state of Sabah Malaysia.
For some reasons there are so many calls from them and I am very sure there must be some good reasons for it.
Yesterday was with Mr.L who is working in PJ. We met for a cup of coffee and was informed that he is from a town, about 20 minutes off Kota Kinabalu.
His family owned about two pieces of land and wanted to know if these two lands are suitable to be converted into a swiftlet farm.
I am sure there are potential but I was very careful with what I said. I need to conduct a birdcall test first. If the calls result in positive response then he can go ahead. If not he need to perhaps think of doing something else like get a better location.
There are lots of Serinti and cave swiftlets. So he need to be very careful not to be carried away with the idea of constructing a BH.
The good new was that there is a BH in operation about 1 kilometer away.
Well in such a case his has a very strong case to do a full investigations on his plan to go ahead with his plans.
Mr advise still stays, do a birdcall test first and observe which direction they fly above the land both in the morning and evening.
He can also do some observations on the number of birds that are occupying the neighbor's BH by taking a closer look at the estimated number of birds coming back in the evening from anout 5.30 pm till dark (6.30 pm is already very dark in Sabah).
He indicated that he wanted to invite me over to conduct the survey and I am looking forward to be there. Maybe have a chance to meet some of my blog readers from KK or Sabah.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
How do you estimate the total number of birds that can occupy your BH?
Many of you do have some kind of methods to measure but there are many newbies who have never given their though about it.
In the first place do you need to know about it?
My frank opinion is yes.
You know why?
Because by knowing the maximum number of birds that can occupy your BH you will be able to plan ahead about what you want to do when they are going to be fully occupied.
Yes you might want to start building one more unit beside the present to harvest the next group of your baby birds who will be turning into adults.
The best method in calculating the number of birds that can occupy your BH is by using this rule of the thumb. Every square meter of those nesting planks, 30cm by 100 cm boxes, when full will generate about 100 nests of 10 cm each (approximately).
Example: If your BH is 20 feet by 70 feet, the total square feet will be 1,400. In square meters you divide by 10 so the total area is 140 square meters per floor. For two floors you should have about 280 square meters.
If you deduct about 10% due to staircase, toilet, data room and entrance hole area, you will have at least 250 square meters.
This will result is about 250 x 100=25,000 nests per season.
The maximum number of birds will be about 25,000 X 2 = 50,000 birds.
I assume that they will not be occupying those cement walls and the staircase areas.
So with this figure, 50,000 swiftlets, in hand you can keep a close tab on how fast your BH is performing.
You might want to carry out a monthly check on the number of nests that increases every month.
Assuming that they are increasing at the rate of 20%, you can easily tabulate how long it will take for the figure of 50,000 birds or 25,000 nests will reach.
With this simple tool you can plan ahead as to when you should precisely set up you next BH or expand your current BH.
Note: The above example is a good rule of the thumb. In actual environment, the number of birds are not 2 per nest. It can be as high as 2.5 or 3 per nest. These are due to those young birds who have yet to start building their own nests or maybe those gay birds who wan to remain bachelor. I choose 2 because it is much easier to understand by any layman.
Monday, September 22, 2008
The other day on the phone with one of my blog reader, he asked me about this special gadget that can measure everything that you wanted to in your birdhouse.
"Harry, this guy indicated that there is this gadget that can be used to measure all those four important environment in your BH. Do you know where to get them and what is it all about?".
A very interesting question and I was very eager to find out what the gadget he is referring to.
A simple tool that can measure Temperature, Humidity, Light density and sound volume all in one.
Are you kidding?
"Nope, it is the truth, can you please find out for me?".
This guy must be nuts, I said to myself. But you never know. Nowadays nothing is impossible.
I called my dear electronic shop owner and he said yes there is but he do not have the stock right now.
So I took the opportunity to get the picture given and would like to share with all my blog readers.
Price is around Rm 550 excluding any postage
This is something that you should have. It is more like a stethoscope for a doctor who is doing his daily run in the Hospital.
This is the full descriptions:
- Easy to use
- Measures sound, light, temperature & humidity
- 1999 count large LCD display
- uses 1x9V battery (included)
The 4 in 1 multi-function environment meter has been designed to combine the functions of sound meter, light meter, humidity meter & thermometer into one easy to use instrument with scores of practical applications in schools, offices, factories, homes etc.
During one of my birdcall outing I was asked by the land owner about the ideal size of BH that he should built.
"Harry, I wanted to built a BH about 40 feet by 140 feet on this piece of land. Can you advise your thought about the idea?".
Why so big?
Is it wise to invest in just one place?
Why can't he distribute his investment in more then one place?
Before I answered I asked a few sensible questions and I know that he was so excited about it. Must be very careful not to make him feel offended.
I asked: Do you have any other piece of land?
His answer: Yes I do have one more in this town somewhere in Johore.
Hmm...... I tried to be cool and wanted him to firstly be logical.
Why can't he spread his risks by splitting the 40 feet by 140 feet (He was thinking of this dimension) to 2 units of 30 feet by 60 feet BHs?
In wanting him to consider my frank opinion I told him to conduct the same birdcall test in the other piece of land in Johore. My idea is to spread the risk so that if one is not doing well he has the other to return his heavy investments.
One of the core lesson in swiftlet farming is to know that all that you need is one successful BH.
Say that you have 5 BHs and all the four are not doing well while one is doing very well, I would say that you are already successful.
With one successful the other four is no longer a heavy burden since you have enough harvest to service/pay those mortgages or loans that you took from your dad or your wife.
What is important now is to improve the successful unit, like increasing their nesting areas, and perhaps consider to sell those that you feel are not doing that well.
How do you know that they are not doing so well?
Simple, just monitor their growth every month.
If their numbers, I mean new nests, is stagnant for more then three to four months you know that the birds are not coming in. This BH is not doing well.
If your bird nest count keep increasing, say 8-10% a month, the house is doing well.
By selling those that are not doing well you might want to relocate your BH location at a more appropriate location which you know will be more easy to increase those precious nests.
You learn from experiences and this time around you have to avoid from making silly mistakes.
Choose the right locations.
Make sure the number of birds in the area is large enough to ensure you rip the benefits in the shortest possible time.
More questions and they need quick answers.
Today I was asked about Bird Call Sound.
"Harry I was made to understand that you must not play your Birdhouse call too loud since the baby birds will be scared and will never come back. Is it true?".
Hmm...... a very interesting question and I think I need to carefully crack my head on this.
It might be true but what do mean by birdhouse sound? Is it the internal or the external?
I normally will recommend my blog readers to use the following guidelines:
A New BH.
1) If you can gauge your sound from 0 (min) to 10 (maximum) I will ask you to play the external sound around 7-8 volume level. Main reason being your BH is pretty new and you need to catch those wild birds attention.
2) For internal sound, if you installed let say one tweeter per square meter, play around 1.5 to 2. This is due to the fact that there are so many tweeters and you do not need to blast those sound like those external sound.
3) If you happened to install tweeters playing external sound in the far end of your BH, I suggest that you go for like 3-4 volume level only for these selected tweeters. Main reason being you want the new birds that enter for the first time be dragged to the back of the house and stay. You see immediately after they passed the tweeters at the entrance hole, the sound will be gone. So the internal tweeters playing those external sound can take over.
An Old BH (With more then 500 nests).
1) Firstly I will lower down the birdcall sound to the minimum like 3-4 volume range. This is mainly due to the fact that your BH is now have enough birds to multiply by itself. With 500 nests, your BH can easily multiply 3-4 times that number a year. What you need now is to ensure that your BH micro habitat is perfect and no predators lurking in the house.
2) The internal sound should be lowered to 1.5. There are more then enough of your babies crying for food and water.
3) Those external sound playing at the back is not a necessity but if the owner wanted to continue he may go ahead. The volume should be below 3 since the entrance hole now is around 3-4 level.
I am very sure other people have their own opinions and if they do let us listen to their ideas and make sure they provide you with a logical explanations or reasons.
You cannot just swallow their ideas without using logic and your thinking cap.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Many of you must have known or read the background about Piezo Tweeters.
It was invented about 30 years ago and came into production under Motorola tradename. After 20 years of licensed production normally anybody can start copying the technology.
No matter what these other companies can do, the original is still something that you are sure of.
After Motorola stop producing a company called CTS took over the manufacturing works.
CTS currently operates its manufacturing plant in Mexico.
Today I was given the opportunity to view the product and to be very frank they looks very much the same with those produce by the Chinese in Taiwan and the Mainland China.
The price is very steep, Rm 90 while those Chinese made is about Rm 18.
I was very curious about its performance and the shop owner tried it out for me to listen to.
Hmm... not that bad. Crystal clear and perhaps those swiftlets might like them more then the Chinese made, I thought.
Something tells me that it might be worth to carry out a R&D.
Assuming you have a BH full with other tweeters, you might want to insert about 5 CTS tweeters among them. Mark them clearly and observe what happen after a few months.
If they are better then those Chinese made then I think you better start thinking of how to populate your new BH.
It one unit produces one nest, it is worth the money to install the original piezo tweeter's technology.
Yes you spend rm 90 and get yourself a nest that is worth rm 1,000.
Just imagine if you install 100 of them, you only spend rm 9,000 and you now get back rm100,000 back in property value.
A very wise idea and I will go for it. Try a few first and see what happen.
No test there will be no fun. Do something and see if they works .....
Friday, September 19, 2008
I have been asked this question many times: “Harry what is the most difficult thing in Swiftlet Farming?"
I guess if your birdhouse micro habitats are okay and the internal features are correct, my answer will be the get the first 100 full cup nests will be the most challenging. You know why?
This will be the time that you need to put lots of effort to ensure that your BH is on the right track.
To those who are lucky, like Mr.Lai of Kuala Krai, Kelantan who have 100 nests in less then six months, I think your million is just round the corner. Once your BH touches the 100 nests, you know that the 100 will easily multiplied to 400 within a year.
If you continue with the good luck you might hit 500 within less then 2 years. What happened after 500 nests? I would say that your BH now is in the auto cruise mode. You need to do very little but just to keep the house not to be burgled.
Your BH now have a decent flock of birds that will continue to multiply and there is no need to apply anymore fresh bird shits on the floor every 6 months. You might want to stop the application of those aromas and maybe lower those external sounds? Open a few more ventilation holes for additional fresh air but be careful not to allow the bird house temperature hit the ceiling.
The moment of truth is around the corner and just imagines the number of new nest multiplying every month.
You need to do very little but do not forget to monitor the BH health especially from predators like mites, cockroaches, geckos, owl, rats, termites, bats and etc. Now you can sit down and watch the number of birds entering your birdhouse from a far and be a proud owner of a successful BH.
Maybe by then you should call your master Sifu to thank him for all the kind advice and knowledge he have given you.
Or maybe the time have come for you to transfer what you have in your brain to someone else who is dear to you.
Good luck and be a good BH owner.......
I was in Bentong, Pahang and of course I visited my BH there.
The very good news is that the first signs of nests are pretty obvious. After three months at last my effort is showing the result expected.
The only sad thing was that the number of birds flying around Bentong Town is not many. There are lots of those migratory birds (Martin).
While in Bentong contacted a friend (blog reader) in Raub and told him that I will be passing thru. He was very happy to have me in his town because he wanted to show me what he has done with this B-I-L BH.
After a good Kepala Ikan Curry, stop at the BH under revamp and I was surprised with what they have done based on my earlier recommendations. Wow, the place much better then before and now I feel like in a BH.
Looks okay however the room temperature and humidity is still not to my specification. I told them to shut those ventilation holes and the exhaust fan. On the top of that increase the number of Humidifiers to three.
A new set of tweeters have yet to arrive and the data room new area is about to take shape. Told the owner to add a few more nesting planks below the concrete beams, hidden corners and that area below those cement protrusions.
This will create additional nesting areas with minimum intervention. I hope by next week the whole place will be in good shape before they start those new sounds that I have assembled for them.
I am very sure this BH is going to be one of the best in Raub.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I wish I know why but there is a strong chance that I will be able to give my best opinions on what the Government should do to help the farmers.
There are many things that the Government can do but at the same time there are also many things that the farmers can do too.
The date of the first meeting in sometime next week and I will try to advise my blog readers on some of the tangible points that are crucial in the draft guidelines.
To those who have some ideas on what they think the Government should put into the guidelines please forward them to my email address: email@example.com with the title: My Ideas On What are the Things The Government Should Do.
Yesterday I visited a place called Ulu Beranang, N 9. It was more like an agricultural land but were sold in lots.
While visiting a friend's piece of land I saw a 90% completed BH. The owner came over to meet my friend and he have this unique experience.
After starting the project he was trying to be good citizen and went to see the Local Council.
The moment he went in he was told that he cannot built any BH even in his agricultural land.
Two days later he received a letter from the Local PBT requesting him to demolish the BH.
He regretted for being a good citizen. His other neighbors, who stay away from those unreasonable PBT people, until today never receive such letter.
What a joke and these PBT people are making people erecting more illegal BHs. They are supposed to help but not creating the illegal mindset.
However in the case of Kedah, the PBT in the whole state have the opposite way of looking at legalizing BHs.
I was on the phone a few days back with Dr.R from Jabatan Veterinary, Putra Jaya. He was in SPatani when I called him and he indicated that he was on the way to meet the Local Council.
"Harry, some good news. The state of Kedah will issue license to all BH owners".
While in Besut, Trengganu, I received a call from a BH owner who recently received a letter from the local council penalizing him with RM 25,000 for converting his shop to BH. According to him, the local council warn him that they will continue sending more summon until he shut his BH down. Yes a RM 25,000 every month.
In Tanjung Malim (TM) , Perak, the Ketua Pengarah have a move positive attitude. He was there in the morning when GAHP seminar (June2008) was conducted inTM. He lauched the seminar and during its closing he was again there to give away those precious certificate of attendence. During his opening speach he gave the assurance that he was supportive of swiftlet farming and if anyone wanted to invest in swiftlet farming just come over to his office.
You can see what I mean by attitudes.
Someone have to convince them that they are not doing anything good to the Industry. They are in fact going against the call from Dato Najib Razak, the Deputy Prime Minister Who confirmed that the Government encourage this trade.
If I were the Government, I will do the followings:
1) I will set up a special "Lembaga" or "Department" to look into swiftlet farming in Malaysia. It is similar to Lembaga Kemajuan Ikan, Lembaga Penanaman Tembakau, Lembaga Kemajuan Kelapa Sawit Malaysia (MPOB), Lembaga Kemajuan Penanaman Padi and etc. This is due to the fact that this swiftlet farming industry is potentially very huge Industry. Total yearly income might touch a few billion ringgit a year. The Lembaga will be responsible in coming out with the action plans on how to promote the industry and how to help every farmer who are keen to invest in this new and popular farming industry.
2) Legalize all birdhouses in the whole of Malaysia. All BH owners shall be given the appropriate licenses but their license shall be conditional.
3) Once you have all their details you can now be in contact with all of them. You have a data base of BH owners.
4) Each license is valid for at least one year. The longer the better. Every time the license expired they need to reapply.
5) PBT should set up a task force specially dedicated to BH licensing matter. All inspectors who are involved shall be trained to enforce the proper rulings on the right ways of looking after a BH. Only those who comply with these rules will be given a clean bill or else they will be issued with a conditional license.
6) All BH owners must attend a few Courses that are sectioned by PBT. This include the GAHP or a special course conducted by each Local Council. They are compulsory.
7) BH should not be ugly looking. Those building that are converted should be nice looking from the external. They must blend with the surrounding and not a bad sore thumb.
8) Those monkey house on the top of the roof should not be given the license. Open roof entrances should be encourage or preferred.
9) Using open roof will also cut down the noise to the minimum. If they are still causing any nuisance, the owner should use those ultrasonic gadget.
10) BH should never be constructed in any residential home. Good example in a condominium where there are people staying downstairs and birdhouse on the top.
11) In a shop house or a shopping complex, they can be but must follow a strict rules that they are well looked after. A good practice on how to maintain the BH to an optimum condition need to be enforced.
12) Birdhouse can be located in a shopping area but they must not be too close to a residential area. A fair distance of about 20 meters is encouraged.
13) The government should promote the farming to be made on any farm or agricultural land within a limit of say 5 kilometers from main town center.
14) All BH shall be required to post a note on the premise the details of the owner or the caretaker plus their license details and when they expires. The note shall be properly framed in a waterproofed cover to prevent blotting and big enough to read by the inspectors.
15) Beside the owner details each BH shall be required to hang the appropriate certificate of attendance of GAHP seminars or any sanctioned Seminars by the Owner in the premise.
16) Each BH must have a proper log book to record any activities that are very important to the inspection works. Good example is the record of inspection done by the PBT Inspectors. What they wanted the owner to rectify. The owner will then record their rectification works when they carried out and the outcome.
There are a few more and I hope I can get myself ready to work closely with the Department for the sake for swiftlet industry.
We need to find ways to make both the government and the farmers to work together to harvest this special white gold from the sky.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I used to see photos and a few here and there construction of birdhouse kondo nesting planks constructions.
This time I manage to see the real full view of a Kondo configurations.
These pictures were taken in Kota Bahru Kelantan and I would like to share with all by blog readers.
Just look at the way those wooden planks were arrange both on the ceiling beams and the walls.
I am amazed with the complexcity of the construction and I just hope the wall and the ceiling can withstand the weight.
They look very nice and well done complete with a number of fake nets installed at many stratigic locations.
I wonder how much more wood were purchased to make make the Kondo in place.
A normal BH (20 x 70 feet)with normal configuration will need about 1-.15 matric ton of the red meranti. If with the Kondo I think it might be doubled or more.
As long as they are will done and no voids at the back then I fully back the construction.
Any gap or voids will be a heaven for those tick, bugs and cockroach.
What ever it is, I am very happy to see one that really works.
Enjoy viewing these pictures:
The above nest was the result of the use of raw bird nest soup.
The BH owner, Mr.C, wanted me to write a bit about it in my blog.
He was very happy with the soup and plan to apply more on a regular basis.
If you observe closely, double click on the photo, you see that the nest is actually built in between a joint. The gap must have provided more of the soup as compared to the rest of the placed applied with the soup.
The nest was pretty big. A bit dirty at the bottom but cleaner on the top.
Also the nest was closed to the ceiling and they are not at any corner.
You can make a few conclusions from analysing this picture:
1) Out of the many spots applied with the soup, this location was successful to attract the swiftlet to it. The gap must have accumulated more of the soup in between thus giving the smell more time to attract the bird.
2) The bird tend to built their nest close to the ceiling. This might be for them to feel save and protected. Normally if they built at any corner, the nests are located lower.
3) The nest was the largest found in the house. I believed the bird might be a sizable couple and they might not be a young swiftlet. They might have moved from an old house to this new home.
I have a few more comments to make but I think the above are more then enough.
What I wanted to teach my blog readers is about being observant. Everything that you see in your BH you need to do some assessment. Observe them carefully and come out with some reasons for you to learn.
These reasons can be very useful in providing you with the next step towards increasing your BH nests population.
How about applying your bird soup on only those wood joints?
How about applying them on a more regular basis?
How about make the soup much thicker?
How about applying the soup at corners?
You might not agree with me but there is nothing wrong to try those ideas?
Best of luck to all of you who are keen to learn something new.......
Last weekend I took my wife and her very close friend to Port Dickson Avillion Hotel.
We were thinking of getting to know this new resort that provide many special things especially their SPA and chalets which were built obove those sea water.
Well we were given the merry go around. There were two Avillion hotels along the same beach. The first was the Chalet style (Avillion Port Dickson) while the other was a hotel block (Avillion Admiral Cove).
We make a mistake of booking online and we booked the wrong hotel.
Well I think the owner was so stupid of misleading people to the wrong place. In the first place why should they use the same Hotel name along the same beach? I nearly lost my head but after listening to the cost per night, I think my wife mistake was not bad after all.
The Chalet cost per night was between rm800 to rm1,500 while the admiral cove was between 300 to 800 per night.
Anyway, immediately after checking in, one of my blog reader Mr.P, was at the lobby with his friend Mr.Y waiting to take me over to a field trip.
We, me, my wife and her friend, hooped into his car and we went to the piece of land, somewhere in Rembau, where Mr.P has been thinking about building his first BH.
We took almost 40 minutes to reach there.
Upon reaching the land, about 1 kilometer from the main road, I came out to view the land which he planted with palm oil seedling interlaced with bananas. The land was undulating and we stood on the highest part of it.
Hmm... I cannot see any swiftlets. There were a couple of Martins but not a single walet.....
May be it was too early to see them flying home to roost.
Upon a very close observations there were one or two in the horizon and my suspicion was right.
The land was not directly below a flying path.
Well to prove that there were some swiftlets around I suggest Mr.P to play my Duress using his car CD player, the gadget was not ready and yet to be fixed.
Within lest then 2 minutes, there they were. A few 10ths and later there were about 50 birds flying above the car.
The birds, the majority, came from one direction and we called in from the telekom towers.
I told Mr.P if he should use the gadget, the number can be easily increased to double.
He was so impressed with the sound. Before this he used to test using some other sound but the number was not more then 3. To make it more he have to add those mynah, merbok and martins into his tabulation. He he he...
Duress, to him, is still the best and the most powerful.
Monday, September 15, 2008
I was not alone. Last week Dr.U called and said that he got the same thing happened at his own birdhouse in Alor Star.
"Hey Harry, today there are not birds. All of them are missing. Where do you thing they have gone to?".
I thought I was the only one facing the situation and now I know that there are others who experienced face the same.
Dr, don't worry they will back soon. Just trust me. I told him.
This phenomena in general have something to do with the season and weather. During dry seasons, your swiftlets needs to travel further to find food. As such they tend to be back home very late in the evening and once arrived they will swoop into you BH and straight to the resting planks. They do not fly around anymore due to their long journey.
On a cool wet day, especially after a heavy rainfall, these birds tend to be back much earlier and maybe the rain might have activated those insects to fly out thus feeding these swiftlets to the max. You can see more of them flying around or above your roof top (subject to your bird call sound played.
How far can these swiftlet fly?
It was documented that they can fly for more then 40 hours non stop at a top speed of 120 kilometer/hour. Just imagine 40X120 = 4,800 kilometers of a non stop journey?
Sometime when look up on the sky and you can see, very high above the sky, those birds flying home and they seem to have little effect to your test call. Why are they not responding?
The reason,I recently discovered, was that they have a special timing to reach their home on the dot. If you carefully observe their home coming behaviors, they tend to be inside their house by about 7.50pm (in Peninsular Malaysia). To reach that particular time and the distance to cover, they timed their flight precisely. Once the time is up they will fly straight home and nothing can distract them.
During breeding season, especially when they have those babies in their nest, the birds also behave the same. They have this instinct to fly straight home to feed their babies and bring home water. During their flight home, nothing will distract them.
So if you play those bird call sound and you can see many above you and they are not bothered to come down, just think about this new findings. Well of course your sound also do have their part to lure those birds.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Just wanted to advise all that I have initiated a new forum on swiftlet sound forum.
You can find it at: http://groups.google.com.my/group/swiftletsound
This special forum is dedicated to those who purchased those birdcall Gadget from me.
My idea is to help them to test some of those birdcall sounds that I have collected. Currently I have not less then 50 external sounds and 20 internal sounds.
As advised, if you want to be a successfull swiftlet rancher/farmer you need to start a library of swiftlet birdcall sounds. Trust me, the more sound that you have in your collection the better you will be.
Those who only have one or two you will have a very tought time to pull those wild birds onto their BH and worse to pull them into the house. Just imagine after two to three months, no birds are responding to your old sound, what choice do you have?
I came out with this idea where those who have bought the gadget can share some of those sounds in my collection. I will download at least one sound a month, about 1-2 minutes.
In the event they are good, shows lots of response, they might want to purchase the whole sound. Each sound will be within an effortable range of RM 150 to RM 500. The money collected will allow me to put more effort in collecting more sounds in the market for all you guys to try.
The best is that you will will not be wasting your money since you can listen and even test first. If they are good then you can decide to buy them.
If you have purchased the gadget, please advise your purchased date, and let me have your email address.
To those who have yet to purchase the gadget, I advise you to do soon. You will miss the golden opportunity to be a member of this unique forum.
Call Harry at 017 755 1318 and book the gadget now.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
She was frantically is distressed and I begin to understand why.
It was all about a broken relationship (closed to) with a childhood friends just because their BH was not doing well.
Well the story was like this:
Both of them went into a venture in swiftlet farming about one year ago and after 6 months they were in a very big dilemma where the BH was not showing a fair result.
They did exactly the same like many others. Give the BH key to their so call "Consultant" and let him managed to the best that he could.
After reading my blog, they become inquisitive and started to pay some attention to the house.
They keep asking the "Consultant" on why their BH was not as good as their neighbor and so on.
What happened next was the last straw. The "Consultant" move out of town.
This unforeseen action makes both of them loose their confident. This eventually led to a very strained relationship just because their BH was not progressing very well.
I can see their body language and I have a very strong feeling the partner blamed the other party who dragged her into such a venture.
What I did was just to provide my honest opinions on the BH status.
Once arrived I took great pain to observe what the house were lacking and to my surprise the BH was well done. Better then the one in Raub. Fine and well thought off except for some minor issues.
This was the first BH that installs a kind of additional nesting platform about 30cm width and all along the BH walls. They have a roof to cover those birdshit from any nest above. Another marvelous idea to increase the nesting area in a BH especially those that are full to the maximum.
After closing those ventilation holes, I advised her last week, the room temperature and humidity were perfect.
I took lots of time to study the house condition and played a few new sounds that I brought along with me.
At around 5 to 6 pm have a good look on the flight path. Yes there were a number of birds passing by above the BH. Looks good but not as good as that in Kota Bahru.
After the long visit, I confessed to them that the BH was well done and there were birds flying above them. They only problem that they have is how to lure those birds into their BH.
Well I promised to prepare a short recommendation and provide a few new sounds that I got in my collection.
I am very sure there is a very good chance to pull those birds into theirs.
Soon after, I saw some change in the way they talked to each other.
They feel much better and there are some light in the horizon.
I just hope they will stick together as a good friend forever and do not let the BH be the cause of loosing someone that you know from young.
I am quite sure that my soft assurance has changed their stand on their swiftlet farming decision. They did the right thing but they choose the wrong person to be their "Consultant".
Do you know why?
Simple, because once you are below them the chances for you to lure those birds down are very very great. Trust me on this particular issue. Just imagine every morning and evening there were 100 to 500 thousand birds flying above your birdhouse. Just pull a fraction of those birds, you will have a new beginning.
Every season there will be many young birds that will fly out for their maiden flight to the eating ground. When they pass you BH in the morning they can be easily lured down to inspect your new BH. When evening comes, again you can lure them with those sweet melodies.
If you do this seduction every day for 365 days a year, I am sure some will come and stay in you BH.
I was with someone in KB a few weeks ago. He was fairly new in this swiftlet business and was eager to find a suitable land to be used as his maiden venture.
He took me to a few of the BHs that he was building for some of those millionaires in KB and showed me several pieces of land that he was offered.
Every time he stops at those pieces of land he will pull the test gadget he bought from me and there he goes luring those wild birds above his car.
After 20 minutes he will estimate the number of birds responded and asked me: "Harry what do you think of the result?”
I always smile and say that: Hmm.... not bad but maybe we should try another place.
What I was doing was more toward giving him the knowledge on how to conduct those birdcall tests properly. He always forgot to stop his car in an open area for the test. Due to those soft laterite roads it was difficult to find suitable open space to conduct the test.
After every test I will provide a kind of remarks that let him to do a few more.
You know something, for every test he conducted, he learn something new.
On the very last day of my stay I advised him to be with me for a drink at around 6pm.
We met and after those drink, I took him for a closer look at those successful birdhouses along the Olympic Jalan Tikus, Kota Bahru, Kelantan.
I asked him to observe what is happening and how many thousands and coming back to the houses. There were at least 30 to 50 thousands a minute (from about 7pm to 8 pm only).
I asked him: Can you tell me which direction are they coming from?
He followed the direction of those birds and retorted: "Harry, they are coming back mainly from those directions crossing the river".
Are you very sure? I asked as if I do not know.
"Yes Harry I am very sure of what I saw".
Okay now let me ask you, where do you think you should choose your dream birdhouse?
"Hmm... below their flying path, that should be on the other side of the river!!"
Now your brain is working. All this while what happen to your thinking cap?
"Oh ya Harry, you are unbelievable and logical. I will make a trip to the other side of the river tomorrow at about the same time and observe their flying back path. Will call you when I find those spot. Thank you and thank you Harry. You are a marvelous person".
No don’t thank me, thank God that he arranged for you to meet me.
I did very little but just to activate some of your brain cells to think and make the most logical decision.
The next day, I was already back in KL, at about 6:30 pm he called.
"Harry I am here a crossed the river as promised and you are damn right. They are thousands of them flying above my head and very crazy man. As promised I will try to locate a piece of land for my swiftlet venture. You are fantastic Harry and you are so sincere in teaching me the right things to do. I owe you one and I will always treasure our relationship".
Well I was very happy that I done something to this guy. I am very sure he will be a very successful swiftlet rancher.
At least he will not be in those failure brackets.
Hope all my blog readers learn something from this simple episode as a blogger.
Have a good day...
Monday, September 8, 2008
Just imagine you use the word and suddenly those white nests in your BH turns red?
All these while I was on the impression that you can only harvest red nests from Caves.
If there are those who claimed that their BH are producing red nests, they might be something like 20 to 30 years old. The house full of bird shit on the floor and the smell of the ammonia stinks.
Well what about if I tell you that there is a very simple way to do this.
No no, I am not going to tell you directly but what I want to let you know is that there is already people doing this in Malaysia and are successful.
I met him in person and he showed me the nests (processed and raw). Both were reddish/dark yellow.
I was very impressed and feel very great that there is such a technology available in our country.
For those who are interested you might want to consider but at the moment they are only for selected customers who are genuine and are willing to pay for the technology transfer.
Main advantage of this technology is that the raw nests value will increase by at least one thousand ringgit per kilogram as compared to white colored. For process nests, the ceiling can go as high as RM8,500.
Just imagine if your BH is currently producing 30 kilos of raw nests a month. By spending something like 100K plus you will be getting an extra of RM30,000 every months.
No doubt this will be the trend in the next few years and I am sure you will be next in the cue....
For more please write a short note to firstname.lastname@example.org
Only genuine house owners and those who are willing to pay shall be entertained...
Hope all my blog readers read one of my old article about "cross fostering".
Cross fostering refers to using those Serinti birds to adopt AF chicks or eggs.
In many parts of Malaysia and Indonesia, you may find lots of Serinti birds. (Serinti is very similar to AF but they built their nest from casurina tree leaves or fern from tree barks plus 20% saliva). They eat the same food and have rather similar breeding pattern like AF.
The term cross fostering is actually defined as you remove those eggs or young chicks from these Serinti nests and replace them with AF eggs or babies. Need to do them when the birds are away and make sure the item placed are not with human smell.
Today I came across a person from Sabah, Malaysia who is pretty successful in doing this technique.
He started the Serinti farming by accident and after 7 years his house now have a total of 4,000 nests.
He started the cross fostering sometime back and stop about 2 years ago. After looking at the number of birds growing and his neighbors harvesting them he feel that the time have come to do this in a more serious manner.
He intent to install sound system, enclose those areas slowly and perhaps improve the temperature and humidity by stages.
The most effective method of cross fostering, according to him, is to go for chick replacement.
Import those eggs and incubate them. Once they are hatch, swap these babies with Serinti babies. Mark the nests that were replaced.
I am very happy to have met him and I am sure one day I might be able to stop by in Sabah and visit his unique BH.
Want to join my trip?
Call Harry at 017 755 1318
Sunday, September 7, 2008
There is no right answer for it but you might want to try experimenting yourself.
Main factor is that there is no one aroma that can be effective in all locations, as every body thought off.
I have experimented with a few and the results are not that encouranging until today.
It is quite similar to those external sound. They can be good in one
place but they might give very little effect to another location which
might be just a few blocks away.
So you cannot blame the fellow who sell you the aroma but you can do
something that can cut down your cost of experimenting.
My best recommendation is to try something that is cheap and if they
work then stick to them.
Why dont you read all those articles posted in the duck egg swiftlet
special and try to figure out what aroma can and will do to a BH. Go to http://groups.google.com/group/duck-egg-swiftlet-special/topics?hl=en&start=
After you have finish reading all of them, you might get the idea what
is the cheapest way to start with.
Yes, use the duck egg. Buy let say 5 eggs (about 70 sen a piece, get
the greenish colored shell), remove those yellow york and collect the
white in a container.
You can stir the white and get a brush to apply at one selected area
where you think the birds will be interested to built their nests.
Yes close to the tweeters and possibly near to those corners. Apply
the egg white by soaking the brush (1.5 inch wide) and make a swipe to
about a spot of about 1.5 inches by 4 inches length. Once you have
done one then you make another one. Finish all the 5 duck eggs
application and get some brown box paper and place below the nesting
plank where you have just applied those whites. If those birds
should occupy the area, there will be some signs (birdshits) below on
the brown paper.
Do the inspection every week.
If there are signs of birdshits, your experiment is working. You
should straight away go to the market and buy more duck eggs (make it
10 eggs this time). Repeat the application on the same spots and
extend a bit more.
Remember "do not be greedy". Do them phase by phase.
If there were no signs of any birdshits, then you need to look into
what is the next cheapest method to start a new experiment.
I suggest the birdnest soup.
Call your good friend who owned a BH and ask him for some broken
nests. Say that you want to experiment with bird soup.
Pay about 30 ringgit or so and start doing the boiling like what was
mentioned in the duck egg special.
After slow fire boiling for one hours with the feathers, you need to
pour into a container and cooled it in a fridge.
After that take to your BH and apply the soup similar to the above.
Follow the progress fo about three weeks.
If they works then you need to call your friend again and buy a bit
more for making a new batch of birdnest aroma soup.
Do the same and apply to those same spots and perhaps expand the area phase by phase. DON'T BE GREEDY.
If again this soup also failed, then you need to go a buy a new aroma.
This time you might want to start with your own formula or buy some products, ready made,on the market.
There are many and I am sure you know what I am saying.
If you are still blank, call me at 017 755 1318.
I sincerely hope you will find the right aroma that suits your
location and BH.
Happy trying and don't blame any one if it does not work. Keep trying
and I am sure one day you will find the right aroma......
Saturday, September 6, 2008
There was an exhibition conducted by TEKUN (a government organisation) on various business opportunities available for business orientated people.
There were at least 100 plus stalls and you can imagine the number of ideas on how to be on your own.
The best was the three stalls that display swiftlet farming business opportunities.
Well when I arrived the friend of mine was away and what I did was to be a busy body and waited in his stall.
The moment he arrived I was taken to the Riverview Coffee house for a teh tarik.
Surprise, surprise and surprise. The moment we sat down, Mr A, a big player in swiftlet farming saw us and he sat down and as usual spoke about how busy he has been with his activities.
The best news was the allocation given by TEKUN, about 2.5 million ringgit for his swiftlet farming projects.
His son, just complete a thesis on swiftlet farming, completed his degree from University Utara Malaysia in Sintok.
The best that I would like to share is the receipt on how to be a successful swiftlet farmer.
His idea is to challenge any body who claim to know a lot in swiftlet farming.
His method of operation is to give the guy a piece of paper and let him write down everything that he/she knows that will make a birdhouse failed.
The idea was to make these items as a checklist when ever you built or owned one.
Our Mr.A is willing to double the list if he is challenged to it.
A marvellous idea and I surely recommend all my blog readers to do what this guy is saying.
The lesson here is, if you want to be successful in your swiftlet venture it is good to have a checklist of all those things which might destroy your project.
Split the items into micro and macro. Micro for internal measures and macro for external environment.
Well you might want to start writing immediately after you finish reading this.
Internal Temperature must be .....
Entrance hole must be.....
The area must be located on a flat land.
The area must be away from tall trees.
Good luck my friends.
Yesterday I was invited to this small town called Raub. A very small town with about 30 BHs and human population about 70,000 people.
The town is about 1.5 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur.
I was promised a special dinner, fresh water fish (tapin), if I should drop by.
Well since I was already in Bentong, 30 minutes away, I took the opportunity to meet this Mr.Y and his gang.
Three of them seem to spent hours reading my blog.
Immediately after meeting at the rest house, I was taken to view a BH in the center of the town.
I was surprised that there were at least 5 BHs in this row of shops alone.
The moment I entered the BH I can easily guess how knowledgeable the person who help to renovate the unit.
The temperature was 31.9*C, the humidity was 75%, the aroma was nothing to hurt your nose, the brightness was 10 lux, all ventilation holes were wide opened, the tweeters were less then 20 units, the data room was at the back of the house (you need to cross the main hall to the back), the direction of all those tweeters were wrong, the nesting planks were not with 30cm X 100cm box, all corners were installed with those rectangular planks cut from those nesting planks left overs and many many more things that boggle your mind set.
What surprised me was, the person who renovated the house claimed to have 10 BHs in his home town.
I just don't understand how he can be so mean to someone who put every dollar that he has on the project. After more then one year, there was not a single trace of nest markings.
Adding salt to his wound, other BHs, about two units away, were doing well (okay).
So what is wrong with the house Harry?
Oh Dear Mother Theresa, please help these people who put so much hope on those so call "consultant" and who failed to deliver.
I just could not stop shaking my head all the time when visiting the house.
I will try to get some sketches done and perhaps provide the owner with a list of things that he should do. Let see if those birds will start to come in.
After that we went to view a piece of land, about 5 kilometers out of town, then visited a cinema which was just converted to a BH, a row of 8 BH shops owned by people from Kota Bahru and lastly the promised dinner.
This was when the question on Raub was thrown to my lap.
Well, as I always says, in Peninsular Malaysia, most towns are having these sudden surge of swiftlet population. This might be due to many reasons and I am pretty sure Raub is no different as compared to Kota Bahru 15 years ago.
Those who have accumulate lots of knowledge about swiftlet farming will benefit from those wild birds. It's a pity that there are many, who started late and with little or no knowledge they will find it hard to be successful.
If they are serious and willing to learn, I am sure they can and will be successful.
I just hope my blog will contribute some information.
I do not want to claim that my blog is the best (on swiftlt farming) but perhaps it can be a very place to start on the right track.
Friday, September 5, 2008
While browsing through the shop I was taken to a special room where there was a video clip being shown.(Sorry that I did not asked for it)
A few visitors were in the room. I was introduced to the owner and those few in the room and what I learned there wass something that I think all my blog reader should know.
The video clip was taken in Kata Bahru and the show was about what happen when the owner tried to shut an old entrance hole and opened a new one. He thought that when he opened the new hole the bird should straight away enter them and not knowing that these wild birds takes time to get used to the new environment.
The house owner in actual fact did a heavy extension of his BH and tried to lure the swiftlets to enter a newly open hole on the upper floor.
What happened was, the birds simply refuse to enter the BH via the new hole. They were not familiar with it and could not enter until darkness fall. There were about 50,000 of them and can you imagine having 50,000 flying around and do not know how to enter their house.
It was very fortunate that the owner rushed upstairs and open the old entrance hole. Immediately after that all the birds entered the house without any problem.
The lesson we learn from this episode was that you should never close the old entrance hole in one go but do them in stages.
First you open the new hole complete with those tweeters placed at the exact same location. Remove those tweeters at the old entrance hole.
If you can in the morning allow the birds to exit only using the new hole. Shut the old hole in total and open only after,let say, 8.00 am.
You do this for at least one week.
After a week of familiarization, you should now slowly reduce the size of the old hole by stages. First lay one layer of bricks at the bottom section of the old hole. Then after a few days another layer to the side. Then you can proceed with another layer and so on. (See picture at the bottom).
By say three to four weeks you can close the hole to the smallest possible size where only one bird can enter at any one time.
You should stop there and let the smallest hole be there until such time the hole is no longer used by the birds.
If they continued using, you just let it be there and do not shut the hole in total.
I hope this article do make sense and what is good for your BH should be remembered.
There is nothing like learning. The more you learn the better you are in avoiding making silly and costly mistakes.
Just imagine if he continued with his drastic move and not opening the old hole. The birds will be greatly stressed and they might find a new BH around the area.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I was very impressed with those many BHs in this small town.
The sky was littered with swiftlets and I just could not stop taking so many pictures.
Out of so many BHs I choose a few that shows a very heavy activities.
The above is one and one more at the bottom.
The bottom clip shows an old BH with 20 kilos a month while the top clip was a new BH which have a very aggressive owner. He has his entrance hole facing the other heavily populated BH and his intention is to suck those young birds into his.
Just listen to the beautiful melody which makes those birds go wild. The attack the tweeters and the walls around the tweeters. This is what a good BH should looks like. The owner put in place a very attractive sound to lure those wild birds to his entrance hole.
Remember once the sound no longer pull the crowd, change them to a more attractive sound.
Well as I always mentioned in some of my articles, you need to think for your investment. The quicker they populate your BH the faster you get the return of investments.
Zang Toi ancestor's house was on the front lane of the white painted BH.
My Mr.E, my guide, shop was on the same row. He has yet to ask the tenant to move to a new place. I told him that the unit is fit to be a gold harvester. Yes make money from the air.