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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Can We Move Those BHs From Town Areas To Gazetted Areas?

It is a great challenge to move those birds from their current home, town areas, to a new home.

This will be one of the biggest challenges of all the Local Council once the Garis Panduan Perumahan Walet come into force.

I was invited to sit with the Council recently and I am very happy that the new guideline will be made available for all swiftlet farmers and all the local councils.

The biggest task will be how to relocate these wild birds from town areas to a gazetted land area?

Will these birds moved?

How to make them moved?

The "Garis Panduan" allows a minimum of 3 years for BH owners to comply and I am sure there will be lots of objections from the swiftlet farming communities in the Country.

Have this been done before?

The idea is very good but how do we do it in a manner that will not disturb the bird's colonies and at the same time will make the BH owners agrees with all the measures that the Local Council will take?

Today I received an invitation letter from Kedah State to attend a briefing to the Chief Minister and his Town Planners above the subject matter.

I am very sure there is a very good opportunities to let them know my personal views and perhaps voice my concern over the BH owners income.

Theoretically it can be done but practically it have never been done.

My biggest concern is the fate of all those young birds during the moving operations. I cannot allow the "Mukah Tregedy" repeat itself. I am very sure that if the same tragedy is repeated our whole bird nest indutries in Malaysia will be black listed and we stand to loose billion of dollars.

The cost to move to a new site will be substantial.

The owner do not have any skill in this operation. Likewise no local council or their staff do have any ideas or experiences to handle this kind of task.

I planned to attend this meeting and prepare some materials so that the council will have some ideas on swiftlets behaviours, characteristics and their normal life cycle.

I have some suggessions to stop those annoying sounds.

If they wanted to move they need to come out with a suitable alternatives so that it will not be a huge burden to the current BH owners and are practical.

They need to consider providing the best alternatives to all those affected and ensure that high skill people are given the tasks to move the colonies.

Those who have some ideas please write to me as soon as you have them.

I need to get my paper ready by 3rd Feb 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who Is Better In Financial Planning !!!

Received this short joke about who is better in Financial Planning:

Dan was a single guy living at home with his father and working in the family business.

When he found out he was going to inherit a fortune when his sickly father died, he decided he needed a wife with which to share his fortune.

One evening at an investment meeting he spotted the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.Her natural beauty took his breath away. "I may look like just an ordinary man," he said to her, but in just a few years, my father will die, and I'll inherit $200 million."

Impressed, the woman obtained his business card and three days later, she became his stepmother.

Women are so much better at financial planning than men.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Why There Are Many Feathers In nearly all Nests ???

Have you ever give any thought on why bird nests are always lined with feathers in them?

If you observe carefully they are well embedded in the nests and they are usually more at the bottom part.

According to some books that I read, if the nesting planks are too short, less then 5 inches wide, the birds have very little space to maneuver and have a very strong tendencies of getting their feathers stuck to the drying saliva.

But what if the nesting planks are wider then 5 inches, how come there are still lots of feathers in them?

I am a very observant person. I do installed a few CCTV cameras in my BH.

One of the thing that I always observed is the pattern of flight when a bird entered into a nesting areas.

Firstly the room is always dark and the bird usually will not go straight to their nests. They need a few seconds to locate their readied nests.

There are many occasions they will go to the wrong nest (this might be young birds that are alien to the surrounding).

But more often then not the birds do need a few seconds to find their nest in the dark.

The only way for them to locate the exact and the right nest that belongs to them will be the special smell that they created for identification.

This is where those feathers plays a very important role in this arena.

Each bird have their own special smell and I am sure those feathers in the white nests are intentionally embedded for the smell.

So from now if you find that your nests are with feathers, you should know why !!!

To all my Chinese blog readers, please accept my sincere wish that may this new year be a better year for all.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Expected Some Chinese Orange But .................!!!!

Chinese New Year is two days away.

I would like to wish all my Chinese friends a Happy and Prosperous New Year. I hope this new year will bring lots of swiftlets into your BH(s).

I will be back in the evening to have the new year's eve with my in laws.

Since I promised to complete the BH in BM, I will spend the new year holiday in the new BH.

Talking about new year, I just received a call from a good friend from Alor Star, Kedah.

"Harry, as a token of my appreciation for all the good works that you have contributed for 2008 to all of us, your blog readers, I have two ......
Hmmm.....two bags of bird shits for your BHs. I just harvested and please feel free to drop by to pick them up. "

Ai ya ya ya ya..........

I thought he was going to say two crates of fresh Chinese Oranges or kuih kapit or ........

I was already having those saliva dropping from my mouth.

But bird shit .......yes when he mentioned bird shit, my saliva immediately dries up !!!!

He he he he ............

Well I know he knows what I am badly in need now. During my last trip to Setiawan, Mr.D lost three bags of those bird shits which he harvested from his BHs. Those bags were specifically prepared for me to take home.

Now, one of my blog reader, was kind enought to help out with my predicament. Thank you and thank you very much. Beggars cannot be choosy. He he he

Last week during my trip back to KL, received another interesting call. This time from another blog reader Mr.S. He is the Pomelo King of Ipoh. The first thing that reminded me was to stop by at his Pomelo shop to pick up a few Pomelos for my CNY celebration. How kind of him and I told him that I will drop by to pick them up.

I guess this how people appreciate what I have been doing all this while. They read my blog for free, they listen to my talk at GAHP, they write to ask for free advises, they call for quick answers and so on.

So far I have never turn down any of their requests and I hope I will continue to help those who are in need of advises.

My resolution will be to put more effort in helping as many newbies in the field to be a successful BH owners. I will help in anyway that I could and make sure they follow the Government's guidelines.

Service to Inspect Land Before Building A BH !!!

One of the participants during the Kucing GAHP Seminar sent me an SOS as follows:


After attending the seminar on birdnest which was held in Kuching recently, I am now very interested to be involved in this venture.

I have a 3 and a half acres of land located about 15 km from Kuching centre and I would like to use this land for this purpose. At the moment, there is nothing on this piece of land except for some stunted wild trees and shrubs.

If the condition is conducive, I would like to erect a multi-storey building where birds can come and build their nests on this land .

Right now, I do not know whether the site is suitable or not for the rearing of swiflets because I have not done any test on it and my knowledge on this business is rather limited.

I would be grateful if you can advise me on what I should do to start and get off the ground so that it will be succsssful.

Do not hesitate to ask for further questions if needed.

Hope to hear from you soon.



This is something that I was expecting after the 20 minutes talk given last Monday.

He did the right thing. If he wanted to minimise his risks, it is better to get the right advise and informations from some one who have the knowledge.

I replied as follows:


There is no reason why U shud not consider to put up a unit.

However to be on the very safe side U need to do a preliminery site test to see if it is suitable for the project.

First U need to ensure that the land is agricultural land.

It must not be too closed to residential areas, school, airport, heavy industries and etc.

Then test for the number of birds that do come or pass by the area. The best is to buy a test unit for multiple testing operations. U need to make the test a couple of times at different time and different wheather.

U also need to closely observe the flight path of the birds above your land. If the land is ideally located, lots of birds flew above your land every morning and everning, then U have a gold mine with U.

Once that is done U need to get someone to prepare a paper plus the engineering plan of the building.

You need to submit to the local authority for the approval.

Upon receiving then u can proceed with the construction works.

To do the above U can consider various options but the best is to engage a person who will provide U with the test unit plus his expertise to ensure that U will minimise your risk to the maximum.

Call me if U need me to fly to kucing and bring along the test gadget. My fee excluding air ticket, hotel and meal is Rm 1,500 only (Sorry I am providing this service on a full time basis and I do need to earn some income to keep me going).

I can be there after the CNY.

Call me if U are sure of having my services.

Thank U


017 755 1318

I hope he will consider my recommendation and I am sure the above option will do good to him both long and short terms.

I will get ready a set of the birdcall gadget plus my favourite birdcall sound the Duress and MyCloud. Will let him own one when I finish the test.

To those of you who have land and wanted to know if there are enought AF birds please consider the proposed steps above.

You will not regret your actions.

About The Painting Of Heat Shield Paint !!!

It took two days to complete the heat shield painting works.

The first day was for the 1st layer and the second day was to finish the second layer.

The job was performed by three skilled workers and I am pretty happy with their workmanship.

Two boys did their job on the roof while their Chief completed the walls of the building.
I choose white (more deflection of the heat) for my rooftop and grey for the four walls.

Since I have yet to receive the invoice I am looking forward to know how much damage that it will cost me.

The paint was with very little smell and since it was applied externally I am not too worried over the odour effect to those wild birds.

As far as I am concerned the internal nesting room temperature is within my expected range (26*C to 29*C). At 4pm the room temperature was about 27*C.

If this special paint works, the product will be use as one compulsory part of all my future BH projects.

Before the Painting

The Heat Shield Paint

Roof Top Painting 1st Layer in White

External Wall Painting Grey Color

Outcome Of Swiftlet Farming Guideline Meeting !!!

Very interesting and I am very proud on how the meeting was conducted.

My personal observation was that the Local Council seem to be willing to listen to all parties and shown strong tendencies toward the Goodness of the Industry.

They took the liberty to invite many knowledgeable people to be in the meeting, including myself, Veterinary Department Representatives, Perhilitan Representative, SPCA President,The Warisan Negara Head and all the KPs of local Perbandaran.

There were many Dato's and Datins in the meeting too.

The meeting started with Dr.Reduan, from Jabatan Vetarina, to introduce the industry in general and after him was the presentation on the Guidelines paper by a JPPD representative.

The atmosphere was cordial and various points raised were more towards improving the Industry but at the same look at the long term impact of converting shop houses into BHs. Their Guidelines main intention was to promote the use of Agricultural or Industrial Land as the appropriate areas to operate birdhouses.

Their concern was on the possibility of any diseases, like bird flu, that might give a serious consequences to the general public. Currently those bird call noises are unbearable.

No new BHs shall be permitted in the town areas and those who have their BH in town need to move out within a given time frame that shall be decided by the Ketua Pengarah PBT of the States.

There will be exceptions depending on the good will of the Ketua Pengarah.

So those of you who wanted to built your dream BH in town areas you better do it now or perhaps have a good considerations to start looking around for an Agricultural land close to those major swiftlet city towns. Once the Garis Panduan is implemented, there will be lots of birds looking for new BH to stay.

Once the Garis Panduan is accepted you have very little chance to own one in town.

During the discussion I was given a number of opportunities to express what I feel they the committee should know and try to make sure they will use them when implementing the guidelines.

I voiced my concern on the length of time to implement or legalised the swiftlet farming, shortage of technically competent enforcers, the lack of proper building codes for swiftlet farm house, why these swiftlet prefer town areas, the methods to move the birds from town to approved areas, how to determine a suitable areas to move the BHs, the swiftlets eating pattern, their breeding cycle and so on.

I also took time to stay back and set down with the Committee Chairwoman to point out some adjustments that I feel need corrections in the Draft. There were at least 8 -10 points that I highlighted to her and she seem to be very accommodating.

One thing for sure, they do need a bit more time to perhaps call a meeting with the industry players, birdhouse owners associations, Persatuan Peladang, Felda/Felcra, and related parties to meet and discuss those points that they are going to implement.

They cannot effort to make the owners to feel threaten or treat unjustly like those that happened in Mukah, Sarawak recently.

They were reminded, any uncalled actions which lead to slaughtering of those young birds, will only harm the industry in total.

Once that happened, we might not be able to export our products to foreign countries. This will let us loose at least one billion a year of foreign money coming into the country.

Overall I think this guideline is timely and I hope the Department will quickly finalise it and start the implementation in stages.

Something to add:

One of the officer from Perhilitan indicated that they have conducted a study by placing a GPS sensor on swiftlets and managed to track their daily flight behavior.
He also confirmed that the department have also conducted studies on the use of sonar sound to attract swiftlets.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rushing Back To Attend A Special Meeting !!!

Received a note from Post Laju to collect a parcel at Jln Tun Samabantan Kuala Lumpur.

I was wondering who must have sent a parcel for me.

When collected and opened I realised that the parcel came from a local authority (JPPD) who is responsible in drawing up the Malaysian Swiftlet Farming Guidelines.

It seem that they have invited me to be in the meeting to discuss in more details on the latest (revised) Guidelines On Swiftlet Farming in Malaysia on this Friday January the 23rd 2009. I don't think I would like to miss this golden oppurtunity to be a part of the Guideline.

Have a good look at the Draft and there are many points that they are concerned make sense but there are many recommendations that need some scrutinising.

I am very concern on some issues especially on the use of ultrasonic sound. Firstly they are not proven and still under research. It seem that they can be only be used on those houses which are successful. New birdhouses will have a very tough time to lure those young birds in.

The time to play any form of birdcall music is from 5:30 am till 7:30 am and 5:30 pm till 7;30 pm. I think this is a typo error. If they wanted to use the ultra sonic, supposed to be soundless, they should not put any limitation. No more sound so why should it be restricted?

Maybe they should consider to stop any new BHs in town areas and allow the old BHs to operate but no sound should be allowed. Those house will less then, say 300 nests will be allowed to used the normal sound but regulated to a minimum sound level, while those above 300 nests should not be allowed to blast any sound externally.

The thresh hold of 300 nests is important because once you have them, there is no need for you to invite any more young birds from outside. You have at least 900 pairs a year produced by your own colony.

Those who built their BHs in agricultural land, they will be allowed to use the normal sound, however the noise level must be within range specified by the authority (40 decibels within 10 feet from the BH walls).

Well there are many more things inside the draft and I will be able to contribute all my knowledge so that this Guidelines will not have too many flaws.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It is Official: Cabinet Papers On Swiftlet Farming Being Submitted !!!

While in Kucing, Sarawak, I was informed that the Ministry of Agriculture have released their recommendations and kertas kerja to the cabinet.

This Friday, if there was no changes, the paper will be tabled and whatever the outcome we need to listen and be informed.

Today during the GAHP Seminar, I listen carefully to a few people who provide a very interesting news that I would like to share with all of you out there.

The President of the bird nest traders indicated that due to those bird flu news in Indonesia, the Chinese Authorities will ban bird nests products from Indonesia.

As far as I know, if this is true, the price of both raw and processed bird nests from other countries will be going up.

This is due to the very fact that currently Indonesia is the major exporter of bird nests in the world. Out of 4 billion worth of total sales, Indonesia share is more then 60%.

This is a very good news to Malaysian bird house owners.

I was also informed that about 5-6 months ago the Veterinary head and a Dato visited the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur and the matter about Malaysian Bird nests export to China was discussed.

The Embassy was very concern over the continuous Bird Flu reported in Indonesia and they wanted a kind of evidences that Malaysia is free from Bird Flu.

The Malaysia Authorities managed to sort out the matter and we were given a clean bill of health.

So if you should hear the price keep deeping, you need to blame those middleman. They are the culprit.

If I were the President of the bird nests exported, or associations I will look into this issue seriously. We need to find a mechanism to ensure that the bird nest price is stable and reasonable.

At the moment, those middle man are pushing the prices down to reap as much benefits as they can and doing as little as compared to those Birdhouse owners like us.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When Should I Start Harvesting The Birdnests From My New House ??

I was trying to get those three bags out of my car at LCCT for my trip to Kucing. A call came in from Alor Star, Kedah.

"Hei Harry need some advise about when I should start harvesting my bird nests. I have already 100 nests and I need to know what will be the best time to harvest them."

I stop my unloading works and start to think the best answer to his question. I have only a fraction of a second to reply.

Well, personally I advise you to consider these:

1) Harvest those nests that have be used twice by the birds.

2) The best time harvest those nests is when the baby birds have left their nest. You need to do them within 9 days or earlier. Their mama will lay eggs within 10 days after their babies flew away. They need to keep busy multiplying.

3) Given a choice I will monitor when my birds starts their nest buildings and when those young birds will fly away. During every season these birds will breed at almost the same time. Normally they start building their nest during the beginning of the raining season. Once they lay their two eggs they will incubate and within a few short weeks they eggs will hatch. Once hatch the mama and daddy will take turns to bring in food to feed the babies. After 45 days the babies will fly away. During this flying out period you should observe when the number of empty nests are almost 80%. Once that is in hand, harvest all those with no eggs plus those with two eggs. Leave those with babies.

You need to be fair to yourself. Since you have invested so much time and money, the time have come to harvest those nests.

Whatever you do, you need to weight the need to quickly populate the house with as many nests as possible but you also need to pay your bank.

So choose the best option and be fair to both your tenant (those birds) and yourself.

"Yes Harry, thank you and have a good trip."

Well that was very quick and I hope it will be useful to him.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Think Of Something Impossible And You Can Do It !!!

You might think that swiftlet farming is tough and difficult to get those wild birds into your BH.
Just think again.

Just have a good look at this young lady who secured her pilot licence with no hands and she
swim with no hands too.
She was born without hands and from small do everything with her two feet.

She drives car with no hands.

Comb her hair with no hands.

Became a good dancer with no hands.

She is also a Kung Fu Fighter with no hands.

So if she can do all the impossible why can't you?

Just think about it and I am sure this pictures makes you feel better with what you have.

The Recession Is Getting Hotter By The Week.

I am sure you have heard about the world recession and how it will affect lots of people who are employed.

There are so many companies retrenching their workers. Some reduces their operating hours by half and some are on the wait and see status.

The worse is yet to come. Just wait after the CNY and see what happen.

My son just came back from a property Sales Seminar (in KL) and all those speakers are preparing for the best time to buy lots of properties when there are more motivated sellers.

Just imagine these people who collect lots of shop houses and suddenly their tenant vacated or close shop?

What about those who bought these shop houses and suddenly they are out of job?

To me, these will be something that might be bright for swiftlet farming.

There will be more suitable shop houses that can be used to operate BHs.

If the owner wanted to sell you should perhaps close a nice deal with them.

Go and meet them and negotiate for a JV to convert the unit into BH.

Before you do that make sure that the shop houses are located at the right locations. Yes below those bird flying path or beside a successful BHs or when you conduct those bird call tests there are thousands responded.

You should also be very careful on the surroundings. Make sure they are not close to residential areas, mosques, churches, schools, airports, public recreational areas, mall and those that will cause lots of complainants.

If the meet the safe requirement you should propose a JV with the owner and go for 50:50 revenue sharing.

This will be a win win situation for both parties.

If you do need all the necessary JV agreements and the knowledge to convert please contact harry 017 755 1318.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Invited To Kucing GAHP Seminar !!!

Last night before going to bed received a call from Dr.R of Veterinary Department to perhaps join him for a GAHP Seminar in Kucing, Sarawak.

I told I will try to be there.

This morning Mdm L called to confirm.

According to her there will be about 100 participants and attended by many local authorities from the state. The Seminar will be conducted at Dewan Bandaraya, Bandar Kucing Selatan.

This will be my first GAHP participation for year 2009.

Frankly I am looking forward to organise my own one day Seminar in Petaling Jaya or perhaps Bukit Mertajam.

Tentatively the Seminar itinerary will be as follows:

8:30 - 9:15: Registration.

9:15 – 9:30 : Welcome & Introduction.

A short introduction about the speaker.

9:30 – 9:45: Brief History of Edible Birdnests Industry.

Will cover various aspects about the history of swiftlet farming. It begins in Indonesia and later spread to many neighboring countries including Malaysia. Will also explained on how it got started in Malaysia.

9:45 – 10:15: Why I Choose Swiftlets Farming Business.

Why swiftlet farming is better as compared to other conventional businesses. Detail analysis.

10:15 – 10.30 Tea Break

10:30 – 11:15 How To Start The Business.

What are the steps that you must take to start the business?

How to choose the right location.

Should you engage a consultant?

11:15 – 12:00: A Bit About Swiftlet Behaviors.

Why you need to know more about your tenant?

Who will be your target to occupy your new Birdhouse?

Swiftlet’s Behaviors from morning till late evening.

Breeding cycles.

12:00 _ 12:30 : Birdhouse Building Designs & Good Practices.

Basic design requirements.

How many stories is ideal for your Agricultural land.

Internal designs considerations.

The entrance hole

The roving areas.

The nesting areas.

The ventilation holes.

What about the exit hole?

12:30 – 1:15 Lunch Break.

1:15 – 2:00 How To Attract Birds Into Your New Birdhouse.

What are the bird’s weaknesses?

Use the right birdcall sound both external and internal.

The lure using those aromas.

Make sure those nesting areas are dim but not pitch black.

2:00 – 2:45 Make A Wish And Set Your Objectives.

The recommended techniques in setting your objectives.

Why you need to set this objectives?

The graph showing how many the birds will multiply in 5 years.

2:45 – 3: 30 A birdhouse In A birdhouse.

Split your birdhouse into zones.

Purpose of splitting your BH into zones.

How to attract birds to a selected zone?

Move your focus to the next zone once the 1st is pretty occupied.

3:30 – 4:00 The Advantages of Incorporating Insects Breeding.

Why you much consider insect breeding?

What type of insect is the best and easiest to Breed?

How to breed them?

How to automate their discharge at the farm?

4:00 – 4:15 Tea Break

4:15 – 5:00: Birdcalls Sounds: How to analyze them.

How many types of birdcall sounds?

Different between internal and external.

Play the right sound at the right time.

How to analyze any sound.

How to mix a sound.

5:00 – 5:45 : Swiftlet Birdhouse Various Designs.

Common types of shop lot conversion.

Common types on agricultural land.

Which is the best?

5:45 - 6:30: Questions and Answers.

The Seminar will be accompanied by a field trip to Rawang, Batang Berjuntai, Sungai Rambai, Kuala Selangor and Sekincang.

Course fee will be below RM 1000 which include the presentation materials, two birdcall sounds, one nature sound, an compilation of selected articles from Harry swiftlet farming blog, lunch, tea and various discounts in future activities.

What Else Can You Do While Waiting For Your BH To Be Populated ???

Once you have cleared those agricultural land and put up a BH what will you do in the meantime?

This was something that I was discussing with Dr.K one evening when I was enjoying watching those wild swiftlets flying home.

Dr, there are many things that you might want to consider.

You see you need at least 2 to 3 years to populate your new BH to an acceptable nests population. Once that is done you have very little to do except to harvest their nests every four months.

What will be the best options to fill the land before you start looking at an extension?

My suggestions were as follows:

1) Plant those Logan and in between Chillies & Terong .

He did just that. I got hold a total of 60 logan trees, 20 the ping pong and 40 diamond, and now starting to show new leaves.

This plant, once starting to bear flowers, there will be lots of bees and insects. It will be very good for your swiftlets to have food in the vicinity.

In Setiawan, Perak one of my good friend planted Chillies and Terong using black plastic bags. The planting system is very advance using specially mixed fertilizers pump into those plastic bags three times a day.

After only three short months he is harvesting about 150 kilos a day. I think he is selling at Rm 5 per kilo. His daily gross income is about rm750.

You can actually plant those chillies and terong in berween those logan trees.

2) You might want to add other trees like papaya and pineapples.

Once you have their fruits, you can actually used the ripe fruits to breed fruit flies.

I am now constructing a fruit fly cabin in SP that will be useful for my BH.

3) What about grow produce fertilizer your self.

What do you mean? Well breed those earthworms. Earthworms are very easy to breed. All you need are some racks plus those waste materials from your kitchen or from the market.

You place the waste materials, inclusive of newspapers, card boards, kitchen waste (no meat, bones, glass or steel), dried leaves, grass, cow dungs and any other waste into a specially made containers and feed those wrigley worms.

Their waste will be a very good fertilizer and you can pack them and sell at a very good price.

The worms can be dried and process into fish meals. They are very high in proteins.

You might want to sell those worms to those who love fishing or who owned fish farms.

There are more things that you can do with those worms. It seem that there are foreign companies who actually buy worms for cosmetic products manufacturing.

Worm tea, some liquid produced from worms farming, is said to refresh potted plants in your house.

4) Start insects Breeding Operation.

There are two types of flies that can be used to bring more swiftlets to your house. The first is the fruit flies while the second, much larger in size, is the soldier flies.

The two are not very difficult to breed. Both are very good for your BH tenants and I am very sure they will bring more birds to your yard.

The fruit flies are very easy to start with. All that you need are some rotting pineapples, or bananas, or those jack fruits or any other fruits. You just need to start them by using insect powder and later cut those fruits and put beside the activated fruit flies powder Within 12 days they will be all over the room.

As for the soldier fly this unique insect will produce a very sizable maggots that are said to be very rich in protein. You can actually use to feed those fresh water fish.

Perhaps some you let them grow to be your swiftlet's insect feed while some you can actually feed those fishes.

5) What about breed some fish?

Since you already have those worms and soldier's fly maggots, rich in proteins, why don't you rear some fish?

Yes perhaps talapia, or puyu, or keli, or arawana?

You will eventually become a farmer while waiting for those swiftlets to fill up the BH.


This is getting very interesting when you begin looking swiftlet farming as your retirement activity.

There are so many things that you can do to help in making your occupied and filling up your BH to the maximum.

What is the chances of swiftlets downing a Plane ???

I just arrived home and while about to read my email messages saw this interesting report on how a plane crash landed into Hudson River due to bird strike.

WASHINGTON – Airplanes chew up birds all the time but sometimes the birds win.

That may be what happened Thursday in New York when a US Airways Airbus 320 made a crash landing in water shortly after taking off from LaGuardia International Airport.

Flight 1549's pilot reported a "double bird strike" to air traffic controllers moments after taking off, and said he had lost thrust in both engines, said Alex Caldwell, a spokeswoman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

Technically, that means the plane had struck — or been struck by — two birds, Caldwell said.

But Air Line Pilots Association safety committee chairman Rory Kay said the pilot's message could easily have meant that the jetliner had ingested birds in both engines or that it had been struck by more than just two birds.

"It's not easy to count birds," Kay noted wryly, when you're taking off or landing and typical speeds can exceed 100 miles per hour.

Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Diane Spitaliere said, "Bird strikes do happen from time to time."

She said there haven't been many major accidents due to birds strikes, "not in many years — not like this one. ... It's more common in general aviation — smaller aircraft."

Well this might be the reason why local council will not allow bird house to be too closed to the airport.

Beside airport, those who have birdhouse beside schools, universities, mosques, temple, churches, public buildings, political party's offices (PAS is okay), hospitals, prisons be careful. Your investment is at stake if you are not careful.

Can you imagine if you are in Nilai, having a dog as a pet needs a letter of consent from your neighbors. Reported by the start three days ago !!!

Ridiculous but that is how things works in Malaysia. Malaysia boleh !!!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Should You Install Some Light In Your BH?

While walking to the car, after dinner in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, I received a call from my favourite blog reader. He went straight to the point:
"Harry should we provide some light in the BH?"

My answer is yes and no.

Before I spit out my opinion, I asked him what prompted him to come out with the question?

"You see my friend who happened to have a BH somewhere, one day he forgot to switch off the fluorescent light. After three months, the empty floor was with bird nests?"

Hmm ...... Something I would say unusual.

In normal circumstances these birds prefer dim or low darkness. They feel much safer to built their nest. However if your BH is very tall, say four to five stories high, the lowest level will be pitch dark.

These birds will prefer not to nest in a totally dark room. Main reason being they need morning light to guide them to exit.

Just imagine if you are the bird. If you cannot get those light in the morning you will always be the last to wake up and start the day. They rest already filled up their belly while you just work up?

There were many reports saying that for these high building, when you open a hole, entrance or exit hole, in say 2nd floor, those pitch black area will be populated. All in all those birds have the light to show them the exit hole to be out early to find food.

There were also cases that when a 5 watt lamp was installed, this was mentioned by Pak Hendry Mulia in his seminar in Pulau Kapas, those birds will built their nest above the lamp.

Very unusual and no one knows why.

They more you know about them the more you really need to know them.

What I advised my good friend was to try and see the result. If they do not work then remove the light.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Talking About Those Birdshits !!!

After delaying my trip to Setiawan, Perak, I finally managed to get the right size car to pick up those aroma for my BM BH.

I took three hours to reach Setiawan and upon reaching my Mr.D was there wanting to take me for seafood lunch.

Waited for my good friend Mr.C to arrived and after the best lunch ever, went over to Mr.D BH.

We collected about fours bags of those bird shits and he swear to me there are three more to be collected in another BH.

He dropped at the other BH and went over to collect the BH entrance keys and in we went.

The moment he opened the door he realised that those bird shits were missing.

"Harry, I am sorry to tell you that those air condition installer have ran away with your birds hits."

Oh damn. Even bird shit are stolen.

I felt very unhappy but Mr.D told me that the next harvest he will arrange to let me have more.

Talking about bird shit, there was something strange that Mr.D mentioned to me.

Why suddenly there are more of those white shits as compare to those black colored?

He noticed that upon his return from his recent trip, the white spots are much more as compared to before.

What do you think happened?

His conclusion was that there are more new and young birds entered his BH.

These white colored bird shits indicated that these young birds are marking their territory.

Usually you can see this phenomena on the walls of the roving area.

These marking are more like the scenes marking. They wanted to announce that they have entered and will make the house as their home.

Good for Mr.D and I hope those marking were not done due to the fact that he did a good harvest before taking his trip. Both the nests and bird shits were harvested on the same week.

Those birds must be reiterate their presence.

What ever the reasons I can see that there are more birds in the house. The more he harvest the more they keep coming back.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Autogate In Your BHs !!!

"Harry, I saw the auto gate picture in your blog today. Can you elaborate the functions and what happen if the system jam and cannot be open for the whole week?"

Well, well, well..........

A very interesting question and I have to admit that I have not tried to install any of these in any of my BH yet.

There are many reasons why Auto gate is good and bad for your BH.

First it will prevent your BH from those burglars. This is true if your BH is having more then 500 nests or so. If you have just started the system might be redundant.

I was in Banting, Selangor the other day when I visited a BH. At the entrance hole the owner installed an auto gate. It was no longer in operation. I opened my mouth to ask what happened.

"Harry we installed the system too early and it was not useful at all since we have very little nests. Those burglars knows which house to enter. We also have those electrical wires around the perimeter but they have broken down now."

So why you install in the first place?
"Well Harry you know why. Those stupid "Consultant" push everything under the sun and we went for it. We were very stupid."

That is a very good answer. At least he realised his mistakes.

The second purpose is to keep those owl away. If you have the gate with grill or about 8 inch by 6 inch boxes, the birds can enter while those owl will not.

If that is so why don't you install the grill minus the auto gate?

There are people who are so concern about the owls and burglars, they will spend thousands of dollar and at the end of the day these gadget breaks down and the BH will be back to square one.

I strongly recommend to install this gadget once your BH is well populated. Say once your nest populations reaches 300 or 400 nests, you might want to consider this option.

I still wish to remind you that there are lots of advantage if your BH is being burgled at least once. Reason being those broken eggs and dead babies will attract more birds to enter and stay in your BH.

So let the house be buglarised once and get those gate up.
Try to avoid using full covered gate.
If you install this type you need to open an exist hole somewhere in your BH just in case the system jam or there is no electricity for the whole day or week.

What say you?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

My Recommendations For A "Sick BH" In Patin Fish City, Temerloh, Pahang .

Started my trip to Termerloh, Pahang (Patin Fish City) early this morning (8.00 am). Reached home at 12.00 midnight.

Just after hitting the highway my car fuel light were blinking and I was damn sure there were no petrol stations until Genting Sempah about 100 kilometers away. Oh my. Quickly turned into Lanchang and manage to find a BHP station which was about to be closed.

Pheww that was closed.

Since I wanted a companion I managed to persuade a Newbie to accompany me.

Upon reaching Temerloh, at about 10.30am, have a small breakfast and called Mr.C.

Mr.C owned two BHs . One in Temerloh and the other in Mentakab.

His problems are similar to many new BH owners. Their BHs are either empty or the number of nests suddenly stop multiplying.

The one in Termerloh have been in operation for almost 1.5 years with only 6 nests while the Mentakab BH have only some markings.

Tour both the BHs and after about two hours managed to draft a 30 points recommendations full of details, sketches and explanations. I still need to write a full report after this.

As usual both BHs were not in good shape. Both were constructed by conventional "Consultant" who have very little ideas about what should be the most ideal methods to set a BH. They seem to be good it "Cut and Paste" those methods that they happened to see when visiting other BHs.

They use very little of their brains and never understand any scientific expalainations about those things that are made available in a BH. Good example are: those ventilation holes and arrangement of the tweeters.

Internal Temperature was the same as the ambient temperature (outside air) and the Humidity was nearly the same. If the external air is 64% the internal will be 65%. To them this is okay. I sould say that this is wrong and utter rubbish.

Both BHs were too bright and the outside air entering the BHs were as usual , big wide doors with exhaust fans blowing the air out, all those ventilations wide opened.

The so call "Consultant" have no idea what are the best temperature and humidity range required for a good BH. They do not even install any thermohygrometer to check the humidity and temperature.

To me this major faults are common and I guarantee that the next ten or 100 BHs that I will be engaged, will have exactly the same conditions. I can bet my head on them.

The sad thing was that the owner have little idea about these defects. They depend so much on the "Consultant" and the moment they got the keys back, after the warranty period, they were lost. Don't know what to do and where to begin.

Well that is life I guess and I can only help those who seek my opinions. If today I help to turn around two, on the same day there will be 20 new sick BHs are being lauched. So what to complain. Just look at the bright side of the situation. The more there are sick BHs out there the more I can earn a living.

God Bless Me ......

My method is to get the owner to really understand what they need to carry out. My 30 points of recommendations will not burden the owner more then the disappointments that was showing on their face.

After leaving them, received this SMS:

Dear Sifu,

We are very blessed to gain so much of knowledge from you today. Thank you so much for all the sharing and we will definitely follow all your recommendations to make our BH successful. Keep in touch and have a pleasant journey home :)

Best Wishes,
C and D

I feel so nice to receive such an adorable appreciation for the little things that I just did.

These good words make you want to do more for those who have the same kind of problems.

Just hope I will stay healthy and able to travel from North to South, East and West.


This morning wrote a 45 list of things to do and email to Mr.C.

He started to read them and he called back and said:

"Harry I am so excited and the whole night I could not sleep thinking about those 30 points recommendations and now you push to 45. What a marvellous man you are."

"Let me go throught all the recommendations and I will arrange to meet you to go through one by one so that I can really understand what you are trying to say. Thank you Harry. I am blessed to have met you."

I am blessed to meet you and your wife too. I told him.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Adjust Your Gate Closing Time !!!

I received a friendly call from some one whom I have a very high respect in Swiftlet Farming.

He is a true friend and very helpful in anything that concern those birds. He lives in KualaTrengganu and very active in the promotion of swiftlet farming.

Due to his good nature I always do what he asked me to. I treat him as my brother and will alway do.

At one time he called and asked me for small favour. "Harry I have a friend from Acheh who is looking at buying a Hygrostat. He will be in KL next week and I need you to get one unit and deliver to him."

Oh yes my friend I will just for your good heart. What I did was to take a long drive to Klang and collect the item and deliver to the Acheh guy. No question asked and I did that with a very happy heart.

Yesterday he wanted me to do a favour again. This small favour is to inform all those who owned and operate BH(s) in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia.

If you are using those auto gate to open and close your bird's entrance please extend the opening till at least 10.00 pm.

It seem that during the monsoon season, those birds need to fly much further to find their food. As such they will reach home very late in the night.

Also he commented that it is true that during monsoon season the young birds suffered the most. There will be shortage of food and as such many young birds either commit suicide or die in their nests.

This is something very common but if we learned fast we might be able to do something when the same season came every year.

My suggestion is to encourage all birdhouse owner who face the same problem to get ready to breed those extra food for their respective BHs.

If you can work out during the egg hatching period then you can do a lot of favour to stop those young birds from dying.

Maybe there are other alternatives but breeding those insects in your BH during this monsoon period might be the best solution.

The Best Sound To Incoporate Into Your Bird Sound !!!

While in BM yesterday I received two visitors. One from Butterworth and the other came from Penang Island.

The first was a young couple who called me for some helps last week. I told them to be at Summit Hotel so that I can pick them up for a short tour of the BM BH.

They were dead sharp and on the spot at 9.30am.

Picked them up and got them enchanted with the new BM BH.

They were in KL for almost 15 years but now given a task to find suitable lands to built BHs. They confessed that they know next to nothing and do not know where to start.

Well after more then one and half hours with me they now have some idea where to begins.

The next visitor was Mr.L of Rompin Pahang. He bought my "Black Cloud" and commented that when he blasted the sound between 5.30 to 7.45 pm those birds do change their flying path.

What he was very excited about was those natural sound which I posted four days ago. According to him he downloaded a sound editing software and mix the two sounds together. He was getting pretty carried away with his new talent.

I told him that the best sound that will surely attract those wild swiftlets will be those insect sounds. I recommended white ants drone and queen when they are making their first and last flight out of the house. The flapping of those wings will surely brings those swiftlets to investigate.

I am not sure how he can get the targeted sound but I told him that termites drones and young queens are the favourite food of all swiftlets.

You can see thousands of them above the spot where there insects are flying out of their nest.

In many countries these young termites are cooked and eaten. They are delicious. That is why those swiftlets are crazy to find them.

I tried eating them in Thailand and they are delicious. Yummy but could not get any in Malaysia....

Someone just called and said that those Queen termites if properly sterilized and removed their head, is better then Viagra pills. So if you are in Africa and you are short of Viagra pills just drop by at those termite mount and bring a changkul !!!!

I am haven't tried it before but I will if I have a pretty lady to be my R and D partner . He he he ...