Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Two questions posted by one of my blog readers recently.
He has some valid points and I know not many BH owners can even differentiate between colony and mating sound. Most of them thought that there is only one sound for the internal.
I came to know about internal sounds about two years ago. While playing a stack of sounds given to me by a good friend from Ipoh, I found that there are more then one sound that can be played as internal sounds.
a) The Baby Sound.
The baby sound is more like babies crying for their mother or daddy for comfort or food. You can easily differentiate the sound very easily. In a populated house the baby sounds have special effect to those new birds who enter you BH to start their selection to stay as a tenant. The baby sound will make these new comers feel at ease and thus will make a positive decision to stay.
It is strongly recommended by many to ensure that baby sounds is a must in all the internal sound make up.
b) The Mating Sound.
The mating sound have a special effect on those young birds. Once they flew out of their nest they will need at least 6 to 8 months to get their body ready for production. This period they will normally follow their parent to learn on how to find food and perhaps learn to find safety in the event of any danger.
Once their urge to produce started, they need to find a life partner. This is when those mating sounds plays their part. The sound will actually accelerate their urge to mate thus they will quickly find a suitable partner.
They normally will feel the heat during dry season. This is when you should play the mating sound then. Mix the mating sound with baby sound to be more effective.
c) The Colony Sound.
Colony sound is something that usually happened when lots of birds are making noises while they started to built their nests. This is more like a flock of birds in a room making noises while each of them are building their nest to start the eggs production.
This happen during the early part of the rainy season. Many of these wild birds will start to built new nests while others will repair their old nests.
The noise is typical and you can easily differentiate between mating sound.
d) The Pack Leader sound.
This is something that I have come across during my listening to my own BH noises.
Among all the sounds made during the arrival from the day's hunting there is a leader in the crowd that seem to give a kind of sound that will be able to command respect to the rest of the birds. He, I think, is the colony leader.
His sound will be heard as a specific time of the evening and when he make his sound, the rest will stay shut up for a period of time. It is more like saying "Shut up please". Event those small babies will shut up too.
This sound is something new and I have yet to find ready made one that fit this description.
By reading the above you can now figure out how to strategies your internal sound selection methods.
Remember play the right sound during the right period of the breeding cycle.
You need to make close observations when they will start to mate and when they will built their nest and then when those babies will hatch out of those two eggs laid.
The best method to know if the sound is effective is to observe the birds reaction once the external sound stop playing in the evening. If the moment the sound stop, the birds started to rush out of your BH, that mean the internal sound suck. Change them immediately.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
All the above pictures were taken at a Car Park in an apartment in Brunei.
Both of you have been very special and I always wanted to say that you have inspired me to continue writing.
To Pak Hendry, saya selalu teringat masa pertama bertemu di pulau kapas, trengganu.
I drove more then 600 kilometers just to meet you in person. I am very glad until today to have met you inperson.
Then I travelled a few thousand kilometers to Pontianak just to attend your next seminar on swiftlet farming.
Pak, I appreciate your works and hope you will continue with the effort to improve the industry plus keep writing new books about swiftlet farming.
Pak Tirok, been also special to me. During the Pulau Kapas seminar, meet him and after the seminar visited his birdhouse in a small town call Tirok.
Very facinating ways of building his birdhouse in a jungle close to a river. I remember there was a graveyard infront of the BH. I hope by now there are lots of birds in his house.
Thank you to both of you for allowing me to be your friend.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Congratulation to everybody who read my blog. To me this is a special milestone.
I never though that I can achieved such a remarkable number of hits.
I started writing just as a hobby amd never hope that it will go this far.
I know I have help many newbies in swiftlet farming but I also make many "sifus" unhappy.
Maybe I exposed too much about swiftlet farming and many "consultants" feel threaten with my works.
To be very frank, the things that I wrote are basic and most of the articles are more like logical thinking.
Most of us tend to depend so much to those so called "sifus" and refuse to use your mind.
I don't blame those sifus so much but everybody should know that it was they who make those sifus wanted. You tend to think that those sifus have lots of miracles that can bring all those birds into your BH.
What I believed those sifus does was to try out what they think are right using you as the person who fund their R&D. If the BH is successful then they got what they want and you got yours. The moment there are something not right then you become the idiot who fund their research.
Nobody can be right from the first day and he need to test for at least a number of BHs before the right combination is found.
Very interesting evaluation and comment.
Worst is to work with a sifu who have very little education and do not believed in scientific methods of running a BH.
Good example is someone who do not believed that you can use humidifier or water spray to cool or control the BH humidity.
Also be careful with those sifu who do not believed in the use of Aroma.
No matter how good he is looked at his way of answering your questions. If he keep giving you with stupid answers then you know that he is not fit to be your sifu.
Go and find someone who can be more like an advisor who can explain in details on any matters on issues that are related to your BH.
The more he explain the more you learn from him .......
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Yesterday my wife told me that there was a report in one of our local dailies saying that the temperature hit 40*C.
Someone who just came back from India told me that in Mumbai the temperature was hitting way passed 45*C.
Well let us focus on our swiftlets. What will happened if the temperate hit 45*C in your BH areas?
First, I think, you should pay some attention on your BH internal temperature. What do you think your BH temperature, internal, would be?
Don't just says that it is okay, my "Consultant" is responsible for it and not me.
Take you time to do some checking. Just buy a few of those thermo hygrometers and install on the top floor and the other floors.
Check their high and low readings for a few days and record them in your data book.
Make sure you reset the readings immediately after you have recorded the readings.
If the temperature hits above 31*C you know that those birds will not like it.
Then what will be your best options? I suggest you get hold of those laser temperature senser gadget and pinpoint which part of the walls or your roof are heating up the air in the nesting areas.
List all that you can think off and try something to discuss with someone who can provide you with the most cost effective solutions.
What happen to your swiftlets? Will they be hiding in the forest or perhaps climb those high mountains.
Frankly they know where and how to keep themselves cool. They might be bathing somewhere in those water ponds or rivers or perhaps fly high up in the clouds. The clouds are cool and misty.
The issue here is how can you make your BH the preferred house.
My suggestion is for you to look into the putting some kind of water sprays or water flowing pipe somewhere near your entrance hole. If you use the open roof type you do have a pool to catch those rain waters.
What you should consider is to place these spray nozzles around the perimeter of the roof openings and slant them towards the middle. Use a timer to set the water pumps into operation mode.
You might also consider to place a water pipe at one side of the entrance area and allow water to flow into the pool. These flowing water do attract those thirsty birds over.
I have seen the water pipe working in Alor Star and I can still remember how those swiftlets love to maneuver themselves for a sip (like hummingbirds sucking those honey from flowers) and fly into the dripping water. They wet themselves by flying straight into the water from the pipe.
Before doing any wild things just think carefully on the above suggestions. They might work for some but not to those who are not adventurous.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
He called me a couple of time talking about swiftlet farming and how to recognise those AF.
I told him to get the test gadget and he did just that.
After about two weeks, this was his email to me:
I hv read nearly your entire blog. You sound so modest given the fact that you hv save so many BH owners.
Its no joke man!
Ya, I assume you must be receiving tons of mail. You r great.
Hope I can see u in person thats when I get hold of your bird call gaget to test on the present of AF in Tenom.
I think u are the only preson who can give advice to prospective BH owners. The rest of the so call "consultant" are so secretive and I doubt they ever own a BH.
Anyway I hope we can meet up and I will give u a nice treat in Sabah for fresh seafood. Hahaha. Keep healthy and be happy.
Regards to your wife and family.
Very fascinating and I never believed that any newbie will do what he did.
He finished reading all what I wrote in less then one week.
He seem to know everything about me !!!
Anyway I am very happy that he wrote this special phrase: " You R Great"
I did not said myself but some one appreciate my contribution.
At least there are still those who appreciate my blog writing.
I am hopeful by tonight the hit will pass the 200,000 marks.
Thank you to every body out there who read my humble blog.....
Friday, April 24, 2009
The most common problems are either no birds in the house after many months and some have the number stagnant after accumulating a few nests.
This special email I received is one of them:
I am Mr T from Kuantan, Pahang.I have a bh located 8km away from town.
My bh is two storey shoplot with two shop 40''x70''. Under flying path.One open roof entrance in front of the shop.
The front of the shop is facing the sunlight when evening..The age of the bh is about 1year and 7months.
At the same row of the shop have 8 shop renovate to bh with 5 swiftlet farmer (including me). The external sound is using Black Cloud (since 25Jan2009)..
But, i facing some problems... the nests stop growing . Before i went to National Service(28dec2008) i had count the nest(107nest) until today the number remain the same.
I feel that the young birds dislike to stay in my bh..after they know how to fly,they even dont fly back and build nest.
Harry, how to attract more birds to stay in my bh? Apply aroma?? what kind of aroma tat i need to use?
What do you think is not right in this case?
My best answer is to call a BH Doctor to visit the house and do some health check. There are 1001 reasons but the best way is still to get someone who might be able to pin point the most probable reasons why the nests are not growing.
Using black cloud will not work if the house is not conducive, hot, dry and bright.
There might be so many predators in the house especially cockroaches.
The house might have problems with those wood fungus. The flying path might need some changes.
The sound system must have deteriorated. Some of those tweeters are giving cracking sounds which might scares away those new birds. The amplifiers are no more working in order.
The floor might be too dry.
The house might need to be treated with fresh aroma for the next 6 months.
Those gadget on the floor might be having mechanical problems with lots of noise scaring away the young birds.
Your neighbors might come out with some special gadgets to lure all those young birds away from your BH??
There are many more reasons.
My best advise is to get someone to visit the BH and list down what can be the probable reasons.
You need to find the right answers and follow up with solutions.
If you really cannot find the right person to help you in pin pointing the possible reasons then call 017 755 1318. I might be able to drive down to do the inspection.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
This is something that you need to be honest to yourself. If you want to see some changes in your nests population you need to be innovative.
I was laying on my bed when this stupid idea came to my mind.
Is it possible to bring the birds to s specific plank in your BH by using those fake nests.
My idea is to put as many fake nests on a piece of plank but arranged in a manner where when those babies starts to grow their shits will not hit their neighbors downstairs.
If this idea works, then you can see that there will be more birds in one place. The benefits you get from this idea are as follows:
a) There will be more nests in any one location. This will make those swiftlets feel safe, peaceful and assured.
b) You can maximise the utilization of your nesting planks. If this nests arrangement is being propagated in your BH you actually double the number of nest per square foot ceiling areas. For example if you use the 30cm by 100 cm box you can get around 9 nests, with this you might get 18 nests. Hmm..... wonderful number.
c) Your effort in populating your BH will be more systematic. They come and populate those fake nests and once the nest being used two times you remove the fake nest and let them use those markings.
d) You can also move the tainted nests to other locations to encourage the colonisation of another piece of the wooden planks.
There is nothing to loose in trying this idea out. If it works you will hit a jack pot.
The cost to carry out this idea is minimum but the result might be generous.
Just look at these pictures that shows how the nest arrangements looks likes in a heavily populated BH. The nests are below the others.
As long as the lower nests are away from those shits propel out of the nest by those young birds they are okay.
If you should try and it works please let me know. Let us share with the rest.
If you are not sure of what and how to do call me at 017 755 1318
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Marble slab used as nesting planks
After that long journey from Ayer Tawar, Perak went for my monthly hair cut in Bangsar.
Then proceeded to Mah Sing Industrial park to meet my two good friends who are crazy about swiftlet farming.
They have started the renovation works on a shop house and wanted me to give my advises on the selection of the best sound system, the internal humidity control system, the temperature system and so forth.
One of the most interesting features that they install was those marble slabs that was taken from a factory belonging to one of the partner.
Hmm .... looks very nice and well installed.
What they did was to convert one section of the BH using marble slab as the nesting planks. The area selected was about 50 square feet at one corner of the house.
I was impressed with the mounting.
Beside the nesting marble slabs they also placed some rock slab on the side of the wall. There were about 5 of these slabs with rough surfaces. The owner said that he wanted to test the reaction of the wild birds. Who knows they might want to use them.
Took some pictures and please enjoy the view.
Normal Nesting planks with tweeters and fake nests.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Eight days ago, I was asked to stop by and recommend all the needful. The owner seem to be very enthusiastic about what was recommended and he waited not more then 2 hours to mobilise his contractor to revamp the BH.
After eight days, I was asked to be in Ayer Tawar to put the house in its operational mode.
I could not believed what he have done. Everything that were asked were carried out.
I told him: "Now the BH is more like a BH. Before this it was actually a chicken den."
He fully agreed with me. He, his father and in laws feel so proud to see the transformations.
Those planks infested with fungus were removed, the humidifiers were put in operation mode, those petitioning walls were constructed and the nesting room was darker then before.
The entrance hole size was nearly twice the initial size. I told him to shut the second entrance hole.
More tweeters were added and they looks neater and placed on the right location.
If you enter the house you will see those fake nests that I recommended.
I applied those wonderful smell aromas and rip opened a bag of ammonia bicarbonate powder.
The hygrostat was in place and the sensor was operational.
I also amended the sound amplifier's operation method.
Got the right sound in place.
By 6.00pm the house was in full swing and we closed the day with a nice seafood dinner together with his in laws.
I told him that I will monitor the house for at least 6 months.
He will be going back to London this Thursday.
Told him not to worry. Give me at least 3 months to show some birdshits on the floor.
Monday, April 20, 2009
"But Harry is it true that if you use aroma the nest will be contaminated? My Sifu believed in Organic. As such he do not believed in aromas, no ammonia powder, no introduction of foreign materials and so forth."
Fake Nest Being Occupied
Fresh Birdshit spots on manila board laid 2 weeks ago.
New Birdshit spots on cement floor.