Wednesday, October 29, 2008
It was a very long drive but I completed my task in helping a couple who were keen in having a second opinion about their agricultural land.
After the gruesome journey found out the land was deep inside a palm oil plantation, on the top of a small hill.
I pushed my small car up those slopes and luckily it was not raining.
The result was not that good but I showed to them that the land in below the flight path however the number of birds was low.
Played the birdcall test gadget and the response was not encouraging.
I was very sincere and told them to either conduct the test again on a wet day or perhaps look at the other pieces of lands that they purchased sometime back.
Before my Ipoh journey, I drop by in Gombak for an interesting conversation.
This young man, about 29 years old, wanted me to look around for suitable investors to develop his family land bank.
They have not less then 9 pieces of agricultural lands in Selangor, Perak, Johore and Melaka.
Most of the land have been tested and their result were encouraging.
I told him to sent me those video clips of the tests made.
The terms are reasonable and I am pretty sure there are ways to make a win win scenario.
I will be taking some interested parties to have a look at those selected pieces and I hope I can help some of those friends who failed to have a good piece of property for swiftlet farming.
Those of you who wanted to take a good look please arrange to call Harry for the visit next week.
Call 017 755 1318
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
One of an eye catching products that he was very attracted to was this Solar plus Wind energy Harvester. It convert both solar and wind energy into electricity.
The two in one equipment can generate a total of about 500 watts, according to him.
Remember you need only about 300 watts for a normal BH (three stories 30'X75').
The cost was affordable and if I am not mistaken he quoted the figure around US 1,500 a set excluding taxes (if any), installation and batteries. You can get those batteries locally if you look around. Add about RM 400 for the installation.
Total cost in ringgit will be about RM6,000 or lower or about RM 20 per watt.
If you pull those electricity cables to your land, the cost will be dependent on the number of poles that are needed to reach land from the nearest electricity pole around the land. One pole might cost not less then RM200. If you need 50 poles then the cost will be a whooping RM10,000 and on the top of that you need to pay the electricity bill every month.
I will try to get more details during the coming weeks and make them available on this blog so that those who have difficulties to convert their agricultural land with no electricity to BH can now do them.
Hope this new thing might be the best news to all.
I believed with this affordable gadget you can now explore to built BHs anywhere in the country where there are lots of birds hunting for food. Put aside the electrical supply problem just focus on which land are available to turn to swiftlet farming.
Also this will encourage more people to get ready to move from town areas to agricultural land.
Remember, those local council will one day come out with strict guidelines and I am very sure they will no longer allow any new BH to be built in town areas.
They want all of us to move out of town.
This gadget might be the answer to your electrical supply problem.....
Monday, October 27, 2008
"Harry those birds simply do not enter my BH. They came and circled above the roof top but refuse to enter. What do you think is not right?"
There are many reasons that I can list but the most critical is the sound that you are playing might be the problem.
They love to circle above but are not attractive enough to pull them in. Good example is the "Duress" sound.
Whenever you play this sound (Duresss), the birds will flock above your tweeters but never dare to enter your BH. This is probably due to the fact that the sound emitted by those young baby birds are a kind of signal telling the rest that there is a kind of danger in the area. So please stay away.
I believe the best solution is to replace the sound that you are currently playing and perhaps play a new sound that might change their movement. I have this new external sound called KB Melody that was proven to pull those birds from the roof toof straight into the BH.
If you are the experimental type, how about trying this crazy idea.
Install a hexagonal sound above your entrance hole, about 5-6 feet above the hole, and time your sound players to play about 20 minutes, say from 9.00 am till 9.20 am, of your current sound and after the 18th minutes play your new KB Melody for the rest of the hour i.e from 9.18am till 10.00 am.
You might want to try doing this say 3 hours in the morning (9.00am till 12 .00 noon) and three hours in the late noon (3.00pm till 6.00pm).
Use those digital timers to make the combinations works. The rest of the time just spin the KB Melody.
KB Meloday was tested and proven to work in Kota Bahru.
I will be trying it out this week in Raub and Sungai Patani.
If you wish to have a copy please call Harry at 017 755 1318.
No guarantees but there is nothing to loose if you try.....
One of the most preferred method is to provide a water pool on the roof top.
Base of normal theories, those swiftlets will have a water source to drink or wet themself. If you rear some water plants in them, they might also produce insects for food (swiftlet).
Having a water pool on the top of the roof can be a very big headeach especially when those water seep through your birdhouse cement pores or minor cracks.
Once they seep through, you will have a terrible moment with your nesting planks and not to forget your whole BH floors will be wet.
I was in a BH in Seberang Prai yesterday and this was what happenned. You can firstly see those pool of water on the floor in the BH. When you look up on the ceiling, you can see those wet ceiling beginning to soak those wooden planks. First the top part of the wooden planks are wet and later the whole plank will be soaked. Once wet and not properly dried, those mould (fungus) will start to grow on them.
Birds hates these fungus.
My advise is be carefull before you decide to have them in your BH.
Make plans to ensure that they will not leak. Get an expert to give you all the precautions you need to do before you pour those water into the pool.
I am sure there are ways in preventing those water from seeping through.
The best is to avoid having them if you can.
If you already built them just dry them up and apply whatever necessary, like a layer of water proof paint or a specially made canvass or perhaps a fibre glass boxes, to ensure that they are leak proof.
Just imagine a nicely built birdhouse but the roof is leaking?
Sunday, October 26, 2008
They are either too lazy to use their brain or a pious follower of what their "Consultant" have set in their BH.
Please consider these points:
a) Outside air is no good for your BH.
I advise you to buy a thermo-hygrometer and check the normal air temperature and humidity. Just do this for a day or two and record them every hour.
Record those hourly readings and plot a graph to see how do these readings moves for a 24 hrs cycle. Start as early as 5.00 am and finished the next day at 5.00 am too.
Once you have the graph you will observed that most of the daytime, from say 10.00am till 10.00pm the readings are not suitable for your BH.
Remember your BH internal temperature should be within 26*C to 29*C and the Humidity level recommended is 80% to 95% RH.
Outside air, their day time temperature now is around 33*C and Humidity around 62%RH. Absolutely not healthy for your BH.
b) What happen when you operate those exhaust fans?
Most of the time those exhaust fans are installed on the ceiling or on the BH walls.
The moment you switch the fans on there will be a suction mode. Those fans will suck the internal air out but at the same time the outside air will replace those vacuum caused.
In the real fact you are pulling in outside air, unhealthy air, to replace those air you are blowing out.
If you know that outside air is not healthy for your BH why are you operating those fans continuously for the whole day?
What happen to those aroma smell that you have introduced by placing those fresh bird shits, ammonia powder/liquid and the rest?
You are infact trowing your money away.
c) The right way.
The best way in using your exhaust fan is to use them to cool and replace the oxygen in the house by switching them at a specific time of the day when the air are cool and rich.
When do you think the outside air is faily cooled and healthy (rich with oxygen)?
I believed in the wee hours of the morning. Like from 4.00 am till 6.00 am.
So the best option is to re time those timers so that the exhaust fans will operate only during the morning hours, about 30 minutes, where you suck those air out and bring in the cool and rich air in.
Do you get me????
d) How do you keep your BH cool during the day time?
If you cannot operate those exhaust fans during the day time, how do you intend to keep your BH cool?
I am sure there are some equipment that are available in the market to do that. You can consider to buy those cool fans or the smart cool. They use water curtain blown with soundless fan as the coolant.
You can also install a water filled containers and blow their surface using normal stand fans. Be careful not to expose those fan in case your young birds might be suck to the fan blades.
Well I might be wrong but in normal circumstances I am right.
If I were you, remove those exhaust fans but use only one small computer fan, one or two per floor and placed it at the ventilation hole opening. Place the fan at the mouth of the ventilation hole. You activate it by using a digital timer running say at 5.00am till 5.30 am. You suck the air into the BH and make sure you place a pail of those birdshit just below the fan.
In this way you allow cool, fresh and rich air in and at the same time you mix the air with the shit aroma . Hmm ... just close your eyes and feel those birdshit breeze oozing into your BH.
If I am one of those birds, I will thank you for being so genious.
A very intelligent way of getting the best out those exhaust fans.
Remember use a bit of those left over brain tissues and do not follow any advises that do not make any sense.
But first I badly needed to Post Laju those swiftlet books to two guys in Johore and Sabah.
After finishing the posting proceeded to Bukit Mertajam to meet Dr.Koh. I conducted a Birdcall test a few weeks ago and the result on his piece of land was outstanding.
He planned to proceed with a trial birdhouse which I proposed and he wanted to be ready before February 2008.
A task that I was looking forward to and I hope the unit will be up before Feb 2008. I am very sure it can be done.
While with him I was taken to Mengkuang Lake and have lunch at a mamak stall facing those swiftlet houses in BM.
After a good lunch went over to Sunway Hotel, Seberang Prai to meet Mr.Y.
Mr.Y have something very interesting to share with me. He brought along a gadget that I was very impressed with.
I called it "Smart DNA". DNA is for "detection and activate."
This beautiful piece of equipment allows you to:
a) Detect and log your BH humidity and temperature for at least 72 hours operation.
b) Activate your humidifiers or cool fan base on your precise setting instructions.
c) It comes with the necessary timer to run your amplifiers both your internal and external.
d) If you want to receive any sms message, in any events, you just need to plug in a mobile phone card system. This is optional.
e) You can also attach remote sensing equipment to detect any intrusion in your BH. This is optional.
f) The sensors can be placed anywhere in your BH and connected via cable.
Very impressive and the best news was that it was assembled in Penang.
Modular concept and affordable. I wanted to have one for myself and I hope to receive my unit by next month. Price, minimum configuration, is RM 3,500 plus installation of RM 400.
By 3.00pm I was in Gurun, Kedah meeting a school teacher Mr.O. He wanted my help to look at his Rm70K renovated BH with only 2 nests after 7 months.
After about 45 minutes in his BH I set down to write about 5 pages of hand written recommendations that he should look at.
Immediately after reading my recommendations Mr.O jump into his car and start the turn around operation with little time to waste.
He took me back to his BH and push me up the roof. What a tough job. On the roof detected his tweeters were not working. Changed for him.
Risk my life for a living but what ever it was I enjoyed being respected and feel honored when he solemnly declared that I am the best "Sifu" he has ever met.
Hey, what did I do? I just wrote 5 pages of recommendations and climbed to the roof top.
"Harry you are genius and every thing that you recommended make sense. Your willingness to share is the biggest gift to all BH owners."
Thank you very much. I just feel good if those I help do feel good.
I feel very bad that after spending rm70k he only have two nests.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
I told him that I was not invited to attend or to give my presentation. As such I have decided to make my trip to Kedah with my wife.
While talking he indicated that he was invited to be on the board of committee members of the Negri Sembilan BH owners association. He is the only Malay to be in the committee, he claimed.
The president is Dato Lee. I am not sure who he is.
The association will be responsible in looking after members needs and any negotiation with local councils in the State.
A very good move and I encourage all BH owners in N9 to be a member of this Association.
Other states should have the same organisation and I would be very happy to prepare the list of their set up plus contact numbers of their President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and committee members.
Please email their list to me at email@example.com.
Thank you Hj Aziz and your contribution to the swiftlet industries in Malaysia is appreciated.
Today have a BH in Gurun that need some advise plus revisit a BH in Pinang Tunggal too.
Yesterday before my trip back to Kedah Mr T of Setiawan, Perak came to KL just to have a few words with me.
He was lucky that I have 1 hour for him.
His problem was something to do with his BH population suddenly stop growing.
It used to increase from zero to 50 nests but after 2 years they stop multiplying.
"What do you think happened Harry? Where do those young birds went to?"
Well his question is logical. What happen to those baby birds that were generated in his BH every breeding season? How come no new birds enter and populate his BH?
I scan my brain and it takes a few good minutes to give the most possible answers.
The problem is that I was not invited to view his BH and see what went wrong. If I can stop by at least I can give a better and accurate answers.
Well I know for sure he is not sure of the BH room temperatures and Humidity (He ask me to get him a thermohygrometer).
He sketched the internal orientation of his BH.
Hmm ..... it looks okay but I think they are a bit too bright.
So what do you think the problems were?
The best is to go and have a good look at the house. From those short descriptions I assumed that the house is sick and the most probable reasons have to do with the BH temperatures, darkness and humidity.
I gave him some list of things that he needed to work our and allow me to drop by next week to get a better picture of what is wrong with his BH.
I planned to visit his BH on Wednesday and if you wish to join the fun please call me at 017 755 1318.
My main concern was to ensure that they perform well but will not disturb those precious birds returning home.
Just imagine if you have all those blowers, humidifiers, exhaust fans running and their noise were loud?
Do you think those birds will be affected?
My answer is: Don't take any chances. They might not like their sound.
So to be on the safe side it is wise to install those digital timers and ensure that all mechanical equipment are off one and half hour before total darkness. In Peninsular Malaysia, I would say from 6.30pm till 8.30 pm.
Let us not disturb them when they reach their home and wanted to rest for a good night sleep.
Friday, October 24, 2008
I was given the opportunity to enter a 1 1/2 years old BH with about 80 nests and a few new markings.
Three days ago I got this new multimeter that allows me to measure the room temperature, humidity, lux and sound level. So it will be with me during every visit.
I was impressed with the birdhouse outlay and the smell of those fermented birdshits was enchanting. They were thick and pungent. They passed my expectation.
I was not happy with those ventilation holes being all opened.
Nearly 30% of those nests have some kind of cracks and some have chips on the edges. I immediately know why. The room humidity was absolutely not right.
Took my new gadget out and zammed. The room humidity was 61.8%. Temperature was 30*C.
That was at 4.00 pm.
"Harry is there anyway to increase the nests population?"
There are a few things that need to be looked into. Most of them are minnors but you need to look into getting your BH humidity right and lower down those room temperatures.
I know you have read my blog many times and I stressed that the humidity must be between 80%-95% RH but yours is 61.8% RH. Do something to prevent those birds from migrating to other BHs around you.
You can see those cracks nests plus some chipped off. They are serious problems because they will do lots of harm to those young birds. Yes when they grew bigger they cannot fit in the nest. They are forced to cling to the nest. If those nest are brittle, they will surely fall down and die.
If you are the parent, will you continue nesting in this kind of BH?
Get at least three humidifiers and operated them using one hygrostat to activate the machines.
Try to also use a digital timer so that you can block the machine from operating during their coming back home to sleep time, i.e from 5.30pm till 8.00pm.
Shut all those air ventilation hole except one. The one that you open should be shaft with those rubber sponge laced with some aroma.
"Anything else, Harry?"
Try to tackle this issue first then we see how those birds react. If they do well then we shall tackle the next problem.
I was in Tamparuli, Sabah the other day and it was very funny that the place was with very little number of swiftlets.
I used my Duress sound and there was very few, like three to five birds, responded to those sound.
"Harry what do you think are the reasons why there are not so many swiftlet?".
If you crack your brain a bit you might get the proper answer.
This is the best answer that I come up with:
" To me swiftlet is not a normal birds. One of their weired behaviour is that they will not built their nests anywhere in an open areas, like shopping areas corridors or on trees or on any unenclosed buildings. They do not feel save. They need suitable enclosed areas or buildings or caves."
"In view of this unique behaviour, they need a proper place to breed. "
"If there are no place to breed, there will be little chances for them to propogate. As such your area might be facing the exact problem."
"In the event that your area have lots of food, they will one day come and feed here. As such you can built a small unit for them to start a colony but they might take a longer period to fill up your BH."
So if you face the same situation, you need to tell yourself that the reason of the little number of swiftlets is not due to nature but due to no proper place for those swiftlets to breed.
Once they have a proper place to breed they will start their colonies and spread to your new BH.
Hope the above explainations are good enought unless you have a better explainations.....
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
"How much knowledge do you thing this Datuk Len Talif Salleh have about Swiftlet Farming? He need to attend a two days crash Seminars on Swiftlet Farming before making those uncalled statements about diseases and bird shits dropping on the roadsides".
You read them and make the judgement yourself.
Sarawak will not hesitate to take stern action against illegal swiftlet farmers for causing environmental and health hazards, said Planning and Resource Management Ministry’s Deputy Permanent Secretary Datuk Len Talif Salleh.
Due to the lucrative returns, he said a total of 1,500 swiftlet farmers in Sarawak are now operating illegally compared with two farmers who had been issued licences by the state government.
Referring to the recent action against illegal swiflet farmers in Mukah, he said most of these illegal swiftlet farmers operated in shop lots in urban centres and this could lead to the spread of airborne disease.
In addition, Len said the noise from speakers imitating the swiftlets’ call was a nuisance to the public when the volume was amplified. “Swiftlet farming in urban areas is detrimental (to health). The birds' droppings are dirty and unhygienic. They can carry the Enterovirus 71 (EV71) (which can cause severe neurological damage).
That is our fear,” he said after the opening ceremony of the 15th Malaysian Forestry Conference here today.
“We encourage swiftlet farming. However, it must be established in rural areas or agriculture land and farmers must adhere to rules and regulations,” said Len, who is also the managing director of the Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).
He said these illegal swiftlet farmers have been given warnings to cease their operation and notices directing them to move out from their premises were given to them since February last year.
Despite giving them ample time to move out, including conducting a series of dialogues explaining the state government’s action against illegal swiftlet farmers, he said they still refused to budged. — BERNAMA
More at: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Monday/NewsBreak/20081020191924/Article/index_html
How can someone like him make a statement which is one sided and not benefiting the Swiftlet Industries.
I would say that these ADUN are not fit to be a proper leader and yet behave as if they know better then those who specialises in this field.
Met Dr.R from Veterinary Department and he confirmed that the department have make more then 5,000 swap tests on swiftlets during those bird flue case. There was no traces of any diseases.
If that is true what have the Forest Department do to prevent those martin from staying or perching every night on wire cables, in all remote towns in Malaysia? .
Good example Raub and Bentong towns. There are millions of these wild birds that return to the two towns every evening and do their shitting on everything below their perching areas.
Don't you think that is more of concern to Public health since AF never perch and they only shit in a control BHs?
What a crap and how can he make those kind of unproven statement?
In order to maximise my trips, I will from now on, place my itiniary on this blogsite.
Those who wish to meet me for getting to know or perhaps wanted to enter a BH or to see how I conduct the Birdcall tests please make your booking as soon as you can.
Call Harry at 017 755 1318 and tell me what kind of visit trip that you wish to join. Remember this trips will be good for those who are new and never enter any BHs before. Main purpose is to give you a chance to enter those BHs and learn on their mistakes. Every mistake is costly and by learning about them you can greatly minimise your risks.
For each trip you need to pay a minimal fee that you can effort (Min 250).
Week of October 2008, 21st till 28th, will be as follows:
Visit a newly built birdhouse in Muar Johore. Will start at about 10.00am and return by 8.00om.
Maintenance visit to a New Birdhouse, empty for 7 months, for installation of new gadgets to attract those wild birds. Will start at 10.00am and finish by 8.00pm.
First visit to a birdhouse that have only 2 nests after more then 7 months. Main purpose is to identify what are the main causes and recommendations to the owner.
The meeting was to discuss on Housing Department Guidelines For Swiftlet Farming In Town Areas.
There were at least 30 representatives from various PBTs in Peninsular Malaysia.
Dr.R did a splendid job in ensuring that all participants agree to the fact that Swiftlet Farming is a positive Industry and being approved by the top brass.
It is a lucarative Industry plus it helps those investors to bring in hard currencies into the country.
Everybody who finished listening to his Introduction seem to behave positive and the Chairperson was very reasonable towards a win win situation between the Local Councils and farmers.
The only problems that need to be arrested shall be those noise pollution and dirty looking building structures sprowting in the town.
I have a very strong feeling that the guidelines will be favourable to all parties.
The only negative point shall be no more lisence be issued to farmers, new comers, who built their BH in town areas.
So fellows, there is hope in this business and the best is to focus in building BHs on agricultural land.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
What do you think this offer looks like?
I wish I have the Rm1,000,000 and I am very sure I will not go for such an offer.
In the first place, why must it be so steep?
How much is an acre of land in Trengganu? I think it should not be more then say Rm60,000. I mean outskirt of a major town like Kuala Trengganu.
What about the cost of a new building, I mean a BH?
Two stories high will not go more then Rm250,000.
So total is probably about Rm310,000.
If someone offer you at a whopping Rm 1,000,000, something must be greatly wrong.
Maybe there were 3,000 birds flying above the land when they play those Duress sound?
May be the house is already readied and there are more then 600 nests (fully formed) in them?
Or may be they are going for a kill and you are the sucker?
Hmm ...... I am beginning to wonder what is going on with this swiftlet business .....
The question came from a guy who already have a BH at the same location where he is building a new BHs.
Luckily I was there one whole evening observing where those birds are coming from.
I sat there for almost 1 hour from 5.30 till darkness.
At first I was given the impression that those birds comes from only two directions. However after one hour observations, plus lots of mosquito bitting my legs, it seem that they were flying home from all directions.
If that is the case, for your BH, you should go for an open roof concept where you can allow those birds to fly in from which ever directions they are coming home from.
Will this apply to a cross flight path? Yes it is. If those birds are coming from more then one directions, the best is the open roof type.
If they are coming home only on one single path then it is okay to go with a side window and let the window face the coming hole direction.
The sound tweeter should be placed at an angle such that you can pull those birds towards your entrance hole.
Disclaimer: The above recommendations are valid if your BH is located on an agricultural land and not in a shop houses. For a shop house location, you need to do more then the flight path observations but in most cases roof top entrance can cut down lots of sound.
No, you should not do that.
What about using them for your own benefits?
How to Harry?
I mentioned that those young swiftlets will tend to move to the BH where there shits were moved to.
If this theory is right then you might start using them for your own benefits and as follows:
1) Well if you have a new BH in the same vicinity, you can move those young birds over to the new building. As such your new BH will be populated much faster.
2) You might want to move those birdshits to a different floor of your building where they grew up. Say they grew up in the first floor, you move their shits to the lowest floor. See what happened.
3) You might want to be nice with your neighbor who owned a successful BH. Tell him you would like to help him to clear all his BH birdshits. Take all his house Birdshits and move them to your new BH. I am sure those young birds will move to your BH without the owner's knowledge.
(Hope he will not read my blog.)
4) You might want to spy on your neighbors activities. Check on when he will clear those birdshit and once he did that follow him to the spot that he disposed them. If he sells it to a shop, you quickly buy them up and place them in your BH.....
5) You should try to befriend your neighbors BH caretaker. Tell him that you are willing to pay him a handsome money for those birdshits that he clears from his boss BH. Once you get those shits you are actually getting those young birds too......
Well I hope the above suggestions are of help but just don't tell any one about our top secret story about birdshit......
Friday, October 17, 2008
According to a reliable source, if you do that, those young birds from your BH will move across to the new BH with their shits.
Just be careful and try to considerate to your self.
The test was carried out in Alor Star Kedah and just trust me that this works for the new BH owners.
So before being too kind, think about your own self.
The best is to get those bird shits from some other people but not your own BHs.
They behave as if they are above the law and killing those young birds just seems inhumane.
They gave no notices what so ever and used force to break open those BHs.
This I believe is cruel and those who carry out these acts have very little respect for those wild animals and the BH owners.
There are no rules stipulated that allows them to enter BHs and remove those equipments.
The best that we can do is to be united and make a serious attempt to get the attention from the top.
I hope Dato Beh who was recently appointed to lead the various BHs owners association will provide us with some help.
Perhaps those people from the Veterinary Department can help too.
To those affected I feel sorry that you've been treated unjustly.
I will be loading those photos once I am back in Kuala Lumpur.
Now still in Pontianak, Indonesia.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
My room mate, I am staying at Orchardz Hotel in Pontianak, Indonesia, Mr.T was asking me:
"Harry can we increase the birds by increasing the number of birds breeding season?".
A very challenging question and I keep thinking about how those people in Kedah improve their harvest by first doing twice a year planting and some time back they got a new hybrid that can grow at a much faster rate. Now from one season a year, they can now plant at least three times a year.
Can we do the same to swiftlet farming????
My logical answer is yes. But you need a very strong determination to follow what I have in my mind.
Okay are you ready to listen to my idea?
If you do, start thinking about this idea.
In a normal breeding method, the birds will breed three times a year. This is equivalent to four months a cycle. Each cycle consisted of nest building, eggs laying, incubation period and the feeding of those two babies until they are able to fly.
What if you can cut down the breeding cycle from four months to three months?
I have a very simple idea and I can tell you cutting of 4 weeks per cycle is simple.
First you help to built those nests by using fake nests and secondly you replace those eggs with a ready incubated young babies.
Each will cut the cycle by two weeks.
What about having a barn close by to your BH where you generate insects for the mama birds to harvest those insect and get back within less then 3 minutes? In this way the mama birds do not need to fly very far. Their babies will be well fed and grow much faster as compared to normal fooding method. May be we can cut the feeding period by at least one week?
So total breeding period now is lessen by 5 weeks. We can now cut down from 4 months or 16 weeks to just 11 weeks.
As such one year, if the seasons are okay, there will be 5 X 3 = 15 weeks extra.
Hmm.... I beginning to think of doing this in my BH.....
Call Harry 017 755 1318 for more interesting conversations.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A land situated just below the flight path of two streams of birds coming home to the roosting house crossing at one point.
How marvellous if that happened on your piece of land or property.
After the two days trip to Tamparuli, Sabah, I took MAS flight to Sibu, Sarawak.
Mr.K was at the airport to receive me very early in the morning.
We have breakfast and checked me in one of the best hotel in Sibu.
Immediately after that he waste no time to take me around and proceeded to his piece of land where he wanted to build his "Dream Birdhouse".
Mr.K is a Civil Engineer. A graduate from USA Uni and his father was just a Vegetable Farmer. With their hard earned monies managed to buy a couple of land and sent all his kids to Universities in Taiwan, Local ad USA.
The piece of land that Mr.K intended to convert to be his "Ranch" was not very far from his father's house.
Currently being used by a neighbour to plan vege and lots of bushes and trees. The ground seem to be very soft and when it rain they might be covered with water.
I was pretty concerned over the cost to pile the land before constructing any high rise structures.
Anyway, I looked for all the signs that can help me to determine the location and those birds.
Nothing much since it was noon.
I insisted to view all the BHs in the vicinity. His brother took me and K to all the units that he came across. Luckily I wrote to K to make sure he identify all if he can.
There were many around but not all have the qualities that I have seen like in Kota Bahru or Kuala Krai or Padang Serai. Mild and not many birds circling above them.
Well I told hi that I wanted to do more on the next day.
I woke up at 5.00 am and start my inspection of the land. Look at all the signs until 7.00 am. It rains thus we quickly make our move for breakfast.
I was not satisfied and insist to come back in the evening to do the "Bird call Test" .
By 4.30 pm I saw a few locals already waiting for us and I was surprised that they knew of this special event. Later there were a few more and their number swell to 10. Who are they?
My friend and neighbors who came to know about this special even. They have never seen before.
The moment we blast the gadget, the number of birds immediately swelled to 150 in less then 10 minutes. Encouraging but I am not that fascinated. By 20 minutes there were about 250 of them. Some will come but many do leave the area.
I switched the gadget off and make my next observations.
Initially those birds were flying from the South to the North. Their numbers were consistent and continuous for about 40 minutes. But something struck my eyes, beside from South to the North there were also coming from the West to the East.
Wow, a fascinating thing to occur. They were actually crossing on the piece of land. A very wonderful and rare thing to happen.
I have never seen this phenomena and I think he was very lucky to own the piece of land.
I will be writing a report for him and I hope he will benefit from all the things that I am going to say about his land.
I am very happy to have help him with all the observations made.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Landed at KK new airport and was received by Mr L.
He wasted little time and took me straight to the piece of land that he wanted to convert to his Dream BH.
It was raining when I arrived but manage to make some observations on the surrounding.
After a few test and observation, make my way to his parent's residence on the top of a Hill.
The view from the House was "Breath Taking". I was so attracted by the green surrounding and those hills and the sea view.
The next day, about 5.00am make my way to the same piece of land to view the flying path of those wild birds.
Taught Mr.L with the technique on how to determine these path. And he was very grateful in the ability to learn a new art in swiftlet farming. He was never so observant before. Now is become an expert.
In the first place he never woke up at 5.00am before, when in Tamparuli.
After determining the flight path we pull the test gadget and got some birds responding.
Interesting however the number of birds were not that many.
After finishing with those chores went to Tamparuli town for breakfast.
Before breakfast I took a good look at a building that were filled will Serinti and Gigas, all around the building. Thousands or more.
After completed the task given make my way back to KK and met with two of my blog reader. One was Mr C and we met at Green Lane where a successful BH was located.
The other was Mr. K. We managed to catch up at the airport.
A marvellous two days and I am happy that my duties were done and I am on my way to Sibu, Sarawak.
One more blog reader who asked me to drop by.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
"Nope, no one have ever told me".
I was reading a book on how to increase your BH nests population and among all the topics that I came across this particular page caught my eyes.
It was about "The Type Of Sound To Be Played and When To Play Them".
According to this book Author, his name is Ade Yamani, when you have a new house you need to ensure that you choose the right sound and play at the right time of the year.
According to him there is a report written by Kraton Walet, who conducted a kind of experiment, and they found that a proper sounds do effect those birds into your BH if you play the right sound during the dry season, the start of the rainy season and in the middle of the rainy season.
For dry season with lots of gust wind you play the sound of birds wanting to mate.
For the start of rainy season you need to play the sound of birds building their nests.
In the middle of the rainy season you need to change the sound to mimic those young baby birds crying for food.
I am very sure that the Author have some facts to support his statement.
To me they sound logical and what we need to do first is to identify which sound is the mating sound, which is the nest building sound and which is the baby crying for food sound.
Once you know how to differentiate them you might want to drop by at your local weather station to ask them when exactly are the dry season, the start of the rainy season and the middle of the rainy season.
Once you get hold of the exact week of the year you will able to place a chart in your BH when to play the right sound for the right season.
Best of luck to you and your BH......
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
After that will make my way to Kuching, on 15th, for a transit to Pontianak.
Full schedule and I hope there will be a lot of swiftlet activities.
In KK will be visiting a land in Temparali. I need to carry the bird call gadget with me.
In Sibu, the same thing to have a good look at a piece of land plus carrying out a birdcall test.
I just hope that those birds will respond and make my trip more interesting.
I am a bit concern since my last trip to Brunei, there were too many Serinti and Cave birds. They are not bothered by any call.
Might need to get Ben Chai's help if those swiftlets do not respond.
While in Kuching will meet Mr Y. Mr.Y was very unfortunate. His BH in Sungai Besar Selangor is dead. His appointed consultant and contractor took his money and never came back.
Need to see what can be done to salvage his dream.
After Kuching will make my way to Pontianak. Meeting Pak Elvin of Jungkat Beach. He is proceeding with two new BHs for us to be a foreign partner. Three other friends joining the trip.
Might be meeting Pak Eddie. Pak Eddie is looking at getting someone to represent him on the "Smart Birdhouse" software which he developed.
Maybe will try to get someone to take the agency and help to promote the item.
Well I am sure there are a few exciting things along the way but let's hope there will be lots of new stories to tell.
Mr.N whom I met in Ipoh came to know about swiftlet farming through a guy who ordered specially made marble for a BH.
Mr.N operate a marble cutting factory in Ipoh. They are mainly used as your home floor layer. They are cool and easy to clean.
He was never an enthusiast but this client make him curious on why swiftlet farming is so attractive. Well you can guess how he stumbled to my blog.
He said this crazy client order about 700 pieces of those 8 feet by 6 inch by 1 inch slabs plus 300 pieces of 2 feet slabs plus 800 of those corner covers. (Price is about Rm 5 per foot). He has never obtain any order like this before.
He was asked to cut specially made grooves and anchoring holes on each slab.
He was amused and wonder why must it be "Marble" as the nesting planks?
Well I just heard about this new idea a week ago and I never know that I am meeting a marble slab manufacturer.
There are a few interesting points why marble might be good to consider. The only negative point is it's weight. They are pretty heavy and to hang from those ceiling you need to have a specially made hangers that will not give way and drop onto your head.
Main advantage is the coolness of the marble surface.
The marble surface duplicate those rock surface in a cave. These birds might like them.
Those fungus might have a tough time to grow on marble surface (?).
Since I have never visited any BH using marble as the nesting planks I do not want to make any assumptions.
I can see their good points but they are heavy.
Please make sure that you anchor them properly for if not they will drop onto you head.
An interesting new items to do my R&D. Oh yes I was given a piece (FOC) to try.
Well if you need any marble slab for your BH call Harry (017 7551318).
I was in Cheras in the morning and by 3.00pm was in Ipoh, Perak.
In Cheras met Mr M to discuss about their BH project in Ulu Beranang while in Ipoh help Mr N to conduct two bird call tests at his two properties.
The Ulu Beranang project is a construction of three stories BH on an Agricultural land.
I was asked to be their Advisor. So from this month every Wednesday of the week I need to be around in their office and at the construction site.
As for Ipoh, Mr N is a newbie in swiftlet farming and I spent more then 6 hours with him.
Reached home at 11.30 pm and received this email from a newbie asking about advise on his venture to convert a BH in his small town.
His problem was more towards a "Consultant" who helped him to conduct a Bird call test and the result was 20 birds. This so call result was good according to the "Consultant" and pushing him to go ahead with the conversion and insisted that he wanted to have 19% share of the BH.
Luckily he stumbled on my blog and asked my sincere opinion.
Well this story is common and these so call "Consultant" is actually trying to push these newbie into parting with their money and he capitalised on the newbie lack of knowledge.
Common sense will tells you that the "Consultant" is not sincere in saying that 20 birds is good enough. He has some hidden agenda to cheat.
I think 20 is too low and risky.
My reason being out of those 20 birds only 20% (4 birds) are those young birds. The rest are matured birds with nests somewhere in the area. You can only attract young birds to your BH. Those matured birds have their own nests with eggs or babies and they are not an easy target.
Why is this "Consultant" was so bold and shrewed to push the project ahead while he knows that the project is not viable?
You think for yourself and please use your logical thinking.
If you are not sure call Harry for free advise (On the phone only).
In Ipoh, I conducted two separate tests. One was at a shophouse while the other was in an empty piece of land.
The shophouse area was without any response while the open area there were about 30 birds at 6.30pm.
I told Mr.N to do more tests and perhaps choose a better time (around 5pm.00pm) and closer to the pond.
He took my advise and took one of the test unit for the task.
I told him that one test is not adequate. He can conduct more frequent. Each test he needs to look at which direction those birds are coming from, the estimated number of birds roving above the set, the direction of rotation (clockwise or anticlockwise) , the size of those birds and after some time where do they fly off to?
It is also very good once finished or after 20 minutes switch of the sound and observe their behaviours. What will they do and where do they fly off to.
If you want to have some fun, get a piece of cloth or a tree branch and wave to the sky. Just observe how do those birds react?
Every test have its own peculiarity. Every test you will learn something new.
The more you conduct these tests, the better person you will be. When you become a better person, you will eventually make less mistakes.
Remember mistakes are costly.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
The answer is very simple and straight foward: By looking at those electronic gadget call thermohygrometer.
This gadget comes in various shapes from various manufactures. They can be square or rectangle or perhaps round shape.
Basically the have this digital display that allows you to check your BH temperatures and relative humidity in percentage.
Most of these gadget will allows you to read either the Farenheight (F) or Centigrade (C).
Do you know that most of BH owners do not know how to actually used them?
Some don't even install any in their BH but some have them on every three feet apart?
But my question is "How do you use them effectively or perhaps correctly?".
You know that your BH should not be too hot, above 31*C and, and too dry, below 85% RH.
But how do these thermohygrometer helps you to determine that you are on the right track?
So far only 20% of those BH owners that I met or visited their BH knows how to use the gadget effectively.
If you think you want to know a bit more read these pertinent points about thermohygrometer:
1) Make sure you calibrate the gadget.
If you have two different models placed side by side, I can assure you that the readings given by the two are not the same. So which one is the right one?
Get the them calibrated or perhaps check how many degrees or % are they out of the actual temperature and humidity. You write them on a sticker and paste on the unit. So when you read them later you need to add or deduct the value you wrote on that sticker.
2) Read the Maximum and Minimum.
Most BH owners are not aware on the proper method in using this gadget.
If you want to monitor your BH temperature and humidity, you need to look at the maximum and minimum values of the T and H.
To get these values you need to press the bottons provided. Once pressed their will be an indicator telling you that the readings provided are Max or Min.
These are the important readings that you should record onto a chart.
3) Reset the Max and Min Readings.
Once you have recorded those values (Max and Min) you need to reset the readings.
This can be easily done by clicking on another button that says "reset". Be carefull and please recheck if they have been clicked properly. You can check by clicking on the max and min reading again and they will be that temperature and humidity on that time you are operating.
If you do not reset, you failed to use these important gadget effectively. What happened is that the next time you come in the Max and Min readings will cover that strech of period when you last reset the gadget.
So make sure you reset the gadget every time you have finished taking the readings on to a chart.
4) Get a chart close to the gadget.
The best is to paste or hang a white board beside the gadget and everytime you read the reading record onto the chart or board.
Once this is done you can now determine how your BH doing. If those figures are not within range you have to plan how to rectify or install any equipments to improve them.
You need to ensure that the temperature and humidity are within range.
Just to remind about the recommended ranges:
Temperature : 26*C to 30*C
Humidity: 85% to 95%.
I hope the above informations are usefull and if you face high variations from the recommended value, call 017 755 1318.
I was on the phone for almost 30 minutes discussing about this subject matter with one of my blog reader.
He indicated that he read on one of a swiftlet blogger that there is such thing. He wanted to know if he can get the technique and how much will be the cost.
As far as I can remember this article was once written by me about 8 months ago. This technique was developed by a group of researchers in UTM, Johore. If you search using Google search engine you might find it.
I cannot remember the name of the Project Leader but I remember he delivered a topic at GAHP Seminar conducted at Dynasty Hotel Kuala Lumpur in August 2008.
After his maiden talk I took the opportunity to ask him about the Flotation Technique invented by his Department and can we have them for our swiftlet community.
His answer was no way. Upon his dead body. He was quite rude.
According to him, the technology belongs to the Company who sponsored the research. If I am not mistaken they pay almost 1 million for that research.
I asked if the delegates can know what was the name of the Company? His answer was still the same. Confidential.
He said that if you wish to you need to sign a contract with UTM, pay about 1 million ringgit and let them come out with something new.
I think the project was not successful and he don't want to elaborate about it.
I am sure Dr. Reduan can clarify about this incident.
This UTM guy was so secretive, no one was allowed to have a copy of his seminar paper.
I told the organizer to never invite him again. Useless and no meaning to the swiftlet community
Friday, October 3, 2008
1) Failed BH
This BH was in Pinang Tunggal Penang.
The owner built the BH at the back of his house and he did the construction by himself. It took him more then a year but the marvelous thing that he did was to built his dream BH by just listening to other BH owners.
Not a very bad designed BH but after two full months the birds refuse to enter the BH.
Pak Harry please help to bring those birds in.
I entered the BH and the first room was the Data room. Hmm not a bad arrangement and some of those equipments were new to me. I took a closer look and as usual their connections were done up by his "Electrician". He got no inkling ideas how they works. The sound settings, the volume, the cable connections and the sound played were not very right to me.
He was running my Duress sound??? Oh... That might be the reason why those birds refuse to enter his BH.
I did some adjustments and removed the Duress. Put in my Batu Gajah.
Now entered the first floor. As usual there were many important things that he did wrong but the strange thing was that he got a fair ideas how to construct those tunnel to bring those birds into various floor of the BH. He have a big pond below the tunnel and have a constant water falling down into the pond.
He uses steel channel iron to support two of the four ceilings. They were not to my liking. Some he covered with cement board panel and most were exposed. Due to the steel channel the box crossing do not touch the ceiling. Hmm.... wide open and there are lots of thing to do.
Well I promised to do the recommendation during the weekend.
Since making those adjustments and placed the Batu Gajah, those birds seem to like it.
At around 5- 7 pm there were more then 50 birds hovering over the BH, Some ware biting the external tweeters. They called to confirm.
I am so glad to see those glow that came back to the owner's face.
Pak Harry I am so Happy for what you have done. Please drop by and let me treat you with the best Fish Head Curry in Pinang Tunggal.
2) Bird Call Test In BM.
Received a phone called on Hari Raya day from Mr. K of Permatang Pauh. The town that was very hot with the bi election activities a few months ago.
Mr. K planned to purchase a four stories building for RM350K. He planned to convert the building to BH.
He was pretty smart after reading my blog about the bird call test. So he make me drive up to see him.
I know inside him he do not believe much but I want to change that perception.
I used the plug and play unit. Played for more then 20 minutes only 10 to 15 birds that came over.
I told him that it is not very promising.
He was cooled and was in deep though. Suddenly he sprang with a surprise. "Harry I want you to follow me to BM".
So we went to this piece of land for sale. Harry this is my family's land and i wanted to sell.
Can you conduct the call? Oh sure I am ready as usual.
Before that I was very sure the time was right and there were a reasonable numbers of swiftlet flying home.
The moment the sound was switched on, the birds congregate over our head. More and more keep coming and by 20 minutes we were looking at more then 1,500 birds.
"Harry you are a real Sifu and I don't believe what I am looking at now."
Mr.K, I am no Sifu or a Bomoh. I am just a friend who knows slightly more then any normal person.
His wife was also there to be his advisor. She too was so excited to see something she have never seen before. Keep looking up there on the sky and enjoyed every minute of the test.
Mr.K, can you make the right decision now? Oh yes this place is much better.
I am glad that he now believed in what I have been promoting and I am sure he will be a better investor now.
Received this email this morning from him:
It was great meeting you yesterday and many thanks for the demonstration of birdcall and most important of all, the wonderful feeling and experience!
As encouraged by you yesterday, I would like to invest approximately RM 1xxK to construct a BH in this area and would be very much obliged if you kindly advise me how to proceed further.
Enclosed herewith is the site plan of Lot 12 for your kind perusal.
Thank you and with best regards,
Thursday, October 2, 2008
While in my friend's car on the way to Padang Serai, I posted this question to my friends.
He was a bit unsure but I remembered at one time I visited a BH in Sungai Pasir, Johore The owner complained that his BH have a weired problem where those swiftlets only stays at one corner and refuse to colonise the other parts of the building.
I entered the BH and make a quick evaluation on why this weired phenomena arises.
Once on the affected floor I was shown the area where those birds congregate and after that I was taken to those areas that the owner claimed to be emptied.
While watching I open my ears wide to listen for any extraordinary things.
My two eyes were wide opened to see if there were any spiritsin the BH that might be causing the weired thing. (I can see GHOST)
Well it took me not more then 5 minutes to reason out why.
The areas where those birds love to stay seem to be with the internal sound while those without any birds were dead, yes without any sound. The wiring of those tweeters were screwed.
So the conclusion here is that those wild birds will prefer to stay at those areas with internal sound.
Using this finding you might be able to move those birds to built their nests where ever you wish them to.
The only think that you need is to properly plan on how to wire you tweeters correctly and segmenting the zones where each zone you wired those tweeters separately.
Once you have done that you need to identify which cluster of wires belongs to which zone.
Once that is done, you place the wires to those areas where you swiftlet should first built their nest on let say the right connector and the rest to the left connectors.
You put the sound volume higher for the right and lower volume to the left. As such you will be able to push those birds to the right zone.
Once the selected zone is occupied, say 50 nests, you can now target the next possible zone.
Just do the reconnection of the wires and let the new zone have the next 50 nests. Do this until you complete your mission.
There are many interesting reasons why you should consider this idea.
The first is you will be able to keep you BH clean and proper. You might want to place those plastic mats below those zone or to be exact below those nesting areas. You can schedule the cleaning operation on a monthly basis.
The nest is that you will able to scrutinize their activities to the maximum. Good example you can concentrate to view their activities by using those CCTV camera to a specific location.
You can capitalise the use of those fake nests. You see if you install many fake nests in the first zone, once they were used, at least one, you can recycle its use by moving them to the next targeted zone. In this way the rate of population increase can be higher then those conventional method.
You can maximise the use of those expansive aroma. Now you will only apply those aroma on the zonal basis. As such your monthly usage will be greatly reduce. Using normal method you might need to spray one whole bottle per month per floor but now less then half a bottle?
What about your BH humidity? Yes, you can minimise the use of humidifiers. Initially you buy one unit and place it below the zone that you wanted to populate. Move the unit plus the Hygrostat to this target area first. The other less important zone can get their humidifier once their turn takes place. So less electricity consumption.
I might be too much to suggest this beautiful idea but I think it is worth to consider.
Those who objected please put forward 10 good reasons why it should not be called a marvellous idea??????
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Once those sound loose their effectiveness, you need to be ready with another new sound for an immediate change. If you continue using those outdated sounds you will face this "Empty BH Syndrome".
So my advise to you is to be always ready with a few good bird call sound in your drawer.
Once your rooftop get lesser and lesser number of birds playing you have to quickly decide to slot in those new sound.
Well beside this simple and straight forward things that you can do, using sounds, what else do you think you can do to make those birds just could not resist in tenanting your new BH?
How about conducting a "Bird Sound Combination" test and I term it as "Let's Rock"?
Let's Rock is actually very simple but you need to be very patience and diligent in carrying out this technique.
What you need is to install a rooftop tweeters and link them with a set of amplifiers and players.
Once you have this installed, make sure the tweeter on the roof top is not more then five feet high and close to your entrance hole.
If you can,, try also to install one CCTV camera to view those birds coming in and out of your BH entrance hole.
Okay now you are pretty ready. Oops, I forgot to let you know that you need a few high quality latest bird call sounds from Pak Harry.
Now once you are ready, you can start by using the most enticing sound for your entrance hole and another better sound on those roof top tweeters.
Yes you are playing two sound in combinations. One the standard entrance hole sound while the other is the roof top tweeter's sound.
You set the sound at the entrance hole, say 6 out of 10 loudness, and fix to that.
Now you turn your attention to the roof top sound player. Put in one of those latest sound and try to pull as many birds as possible above your roof top.
Once they are up there you not can slowly reduce the sound volume from, say 10 to 2. See what happen. Watch those CCTV screen.
You will be very surprised what happen and I do not wish to make any guarantee but just see what happen.
Once you get the right sound combination you might want to fix the volume and run them using your digital timer.
Let those modern technology do their work.
Note: Pak Harry never guarantee anything and if you fail to observe any changes in the number of birds into your BH, just don't blame Harry. He got this idea from his own BH and if you master this technique there is a very strong possibilities that your BH will be fulled in a much shorter period as compared to conventional "wait for those birds to come in" technique.