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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Common Mistakes Found In Failed BHs !!!


(Special note: The picture above is from my collection of BH pictures. It was randomly picked to for this article and I have never enter any of them.)


The number of BHs that failed to bring in the right number of birds to stay and built their nests in our Country is very alarming.

I remember when I was in Sabak Bernam, Selangor having a Forum with a crowd of BH owners with the present of YB Ronnie Liu.

I was sitting beside him and holding the microphone in my hand.

One of the sentences I used was "In Malaysia the number of failed BHs are much more then the successful units. There were reports saying that the percentage is about 70%".

The moment I finished the sentence, YB Ronie could never take my word. His face was in disbelieved.

He quickly grab the microphone and ask if what I said was true?

All the BH owners on the floor agrees.

Well I was very relieved that what I said can reaffirmed by the attendees. YB Ronnie was very concerned over the issue. Maybe after this he seem to be a bit more soft to those BH owners.

Why there are so many failed BHs?

There are so many reasons and only those who have the experiences to own one can easily provide you with his long list of why.

From my very recent visits, I can say the followings do contribute to the little birds entering the BHs:

1) The owner have very little knowledge on swiftlet farming. He tend to follow the contractor's advised whom have very little knowledge too. What they believed is in luck.

2) The external sounds are usually no more effective. It might be when it was first installed but after many months without changing, their effectiveness are close to zero.

3)The Entrance holes (Monkey House type) were not facing the right direction of the birds are flying back home path. Some instances the owner seem to avoid placing the entrance hole nearest to his neighbor successful BH al in all he wanted to be a gentleman. This attitude is not making much favor to the nests population.

4)The flying path from the roof top into the nesting room were not properly design. For example the bird need to turn more then 180* to reach their final destination. This can cause the birds to choose not to stay.

5)The dividers or partitioning on the floor up to the ceiling are too close to the entrance hole. These partitioning were used to block those bright lights but they were not place correctly to avoid injuring of those priceless birds when they fly home at high speed.

6)The nesting room brightness were too high. The owner have very little idea what brightness level is good to make those birds to stay. They forgot the special gift that those birds have with them, the echolocation.

7) Those big gaps between the nesting planks and the ceiling floor. The gaps tends to allow air flow and it seem that those young birds will not survive it they are exposed to those are flow.

8) The fungus growth on those wood panels or partitions. These fungus will spread their spores in the air and will make the birds to dislike the house. That is why the use of those chicken coop humidifiers should be avoided.

9) The smell of the BH were not pungent enough for the birds to feel comfortable. The owner tend to make very little effort to fill their BH with those fresh bird shits. The best is to get them from the next door neighbour who owned a very successful BH.

10) What about the room temperatures and humidity? This is something that need to be closely scrutinised. If the BH maximum temperature always hit about 31*C, you need to look at ways to reduce them. If the minimum humidity is always below 65%RH you need to prop them up. But most failed BH do not have any instruments to measure these two very important barometer.

11) Most failed BH have all those ventilation holes open wide. They will open all and allow the external air to pollute the house. I always believed that the external air are not suitable for any BH. They are hot and dry.

12)The number of tweeters on the nesting planks are not that many. I always saw nearly all the tweeters were occupied and the most sensible things to do was to increase their numbers to as many as they can? Why put 20 when you can install 100?

13)The use of external sound tweeters in failed BHs are usually not well understood. Most owners have no idea how to pull those wild birds from the roof top into their nesting rooms. They need to close their eyes and imagine that they are those birds. How will I be guided into the nesting room?

14) Can we use specialised aroma in our new BH? This is something that many failed BH owners should consider. They prefer to wait and see if they got the luck and not trying to do some research on the proper selection of the aromas suitable for their BH.

15) They wait and wait and wait for those promised birds. After 6 months with no signs and 12 months still no signs and they keep waiting. They should at least take some initiative to get someone to visit their sick BH and get the medicine fast.

16)Some of the sound player and amplifiers are antiqued. Some of them are no longer in the market. Some still using those CD players and the sound distribution using the "Balance" knob.

17) There are no goodies to attract those young birds to make them to stay. Why can't there be some fake nests on the nesting planks. These fake nests, can be plastic, Styrofoam, nasi lemak plates, aluminium plate, rusty bars and etc, provide a kind of protrusion that encourage the birds to build their nests.

If the above are properly understood and these owners put a little more effort to improve them I am sure those failed numbers can be reduced.

Perhaps these owners can form small groups of discussion groups and get help in improving their BHs.

I am always available if they need me to be at their monthly discussion activities...

2 comments:

mk said...

Hi Harry, Just to point out, the the picture you have used under your failed birdhouse caption happens to contain a unit which I co-own. FYI these units are only 2months after completion. My b/house already has inhabitants and the first few nests are already there. Hope the error is corrected. Thanks

Harry The Swiftlet Anthusiast !!! said...

MK, I randomly pick the picture from my collection of BH photos. Sorry for not placing any notes below it. I just did. Sorry again.