Search This Blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

Installation of Soundless Humidifiers:Part 2 !!!

If you purchase a number of those soundless humdifiers and you wanted to use only one timer, you need to follow this instruction:

1) First you purchase some electrical sockets and a long electrical cable. Have a look at the pictures attached. Go down to the nearest electrical shop and get the items. The electrical cable should be the total length of half your BH. Example 70' X 20' you need at least 90 feet length or shorter.

2) You firstly replace the current to pin plug from the power cable linked to the humidifier to the new set of socket that allows you to draw electricity from the new set of cable.

3) Get all the humidifier's two pin plugs replaced.

4) Now you get the female socket to be connected to the new cable that will allow you to draw the electricity from your building three pin socket.

5) You may want to test one unit first and see how it works.

6) Attached the three pin plug at the end of the cable and attached it to a timer.

7) Set the timer for the humdifier to operate from say 9:30am till 10:30pm. Remember the BH room temperature will start to climb from about 10:00 am and will dip downward at around 10:00 pm. You need to ensure that they rate of climb be reduce and the maximum temperature reached will be below 30*C

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How To Install Those Soundless Humidifiers:Part 1 !!!

Installation of soundless humidifiers in you BH do need some proper steps.

These steps will ensure the proper operation of this superd gadget.

I hereby assemble some of those important pictures for all to consider.

For Part 1 the pictures shows you how to connect the inlet water and the excess water.

Please look at enjoy the pictures (Double Click on any of these pictures for clearer view):

General overview of three humidifiers being installed. Firstly you need to get a normal sitting stool to give some hight to the unit. This is essential when you need to ensure that those excess water can easily be drained using gravity.

Note you need a filter water from you water source. For normal tap water you use one filter. For water from a waterwell or rain water you need to use two filters. A normal standard water filter is adequate. Main purpose is to prevent any accummulation of dirt or scales on those ceramic ultrasonic generating plate.

To drain any excess water from the unit, it is advisable to install a drain water pipe. U connect the drain water pipe to the drain pipe from the humdifier. To get proper gravity drainage this special pipe can be mounted on the wall just at the back of the stool and make sure there is enough gradient to allow gravity to drain the water to the outlet. Recommended angle is 5*.

For the first unit in the row you do need a single connector and not those T joint.

You can easily buy them from any shop selling water filters. Price around rm1.50 each. Since you are there get a few meters of those tubings for water input and water outlet. U need about 100 feet for a 70 X 20 feet floor. If your building pipe is not far away or the toilet is nearby you need lesser length.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Star Online: Swift Fortunes Await

(Note: This article was reported in the Star dated August 23, 2009. Good to read and perhaps learn something from it.)

The swiftlet that creates those much-in-demand edible nests are indigenous to this part of the world. We even have a long history of collecting the nests for consumption dating back to the last century. So why aren’t we doing as well as our neighbours in making money from this natural resource?

FORTUNES can be made harvesting the bounty of the earth or sea. But if you farm birds’ nests, your fortune lies in the skies.

Dr Christopher Lim with a load of freshly harvested birds’ nests that can fetch up to RM4,000, unprocessed. – Photos by ART CHEN / The Star

Every evening, such farmers all over the country eagerly turn their eyes upwards, hoping to see swiftlets entering the “caves” that are their farms, which are actually converted shoplots or custom-built bungalows.

The saliva produced by these swiftlets – of the species Aerodramus fuciphagus – to form their nests is considered one of the five elite foods highly prized by the Chinese; the others are abalone, fish maw, ginseng, and shark’s fin. All of these foods fetch lucrative prices.

In fact, while the price of gold and other commodities has fluctuated throughout the last century, the price of edible birds’ nests has simply grown steadily higher. From US$10 a kilo in 1975, prices soared to US$400 in 1995. In 2002, a kilo cost US$1,600 (RM5,600) and today, the nests can go for up to US$2,700 (RM9,450) a kilo!

The industry in Malaysia alone commands RM1bil annually, according to the 2007 Malaysian Swiftlet Farming Industry Report by Hameed Sultan Merican, former chairman of the agricultural and agro-based businesses sub-committee of the SMI Association of Penang.

The report notes that a kilogramme of top quality, unprocessed nests (which works out to about 90 to 120 nests) fetched between RM4,500 and RM6,000 in 2006. After processing, retail prices went as high as RM15,000 to RM25,000 per kilo.

It helps that China, the largest market for edible birds’ nests, cannot produce its own supply, as these non-migratory birds reside only in South-East Asia. Breeding them doesn’t work, as it results in genetic mutations.

Indonesia commands the lion’s share of the market at 70%, followed by Thailand at 20% with Malaysia trailing in at 6%.

The Malaysian Government has noted this promising market. Both Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, have encouraged entrepreneurs to venture into this industry.

Chairman of the Malaysian Federation of Associations of Birds Nests Merchants Datuk Beh Heng Seong says Malaysia has the potential to increase its current production level three to five times.

“Studies show that Indonesia is saturated,” he said at an interview last week. “Malaysia still has the capacity to grow.

“Prices fell by nearly half in November last year due to negative economic sentiments, but there’s still a strong demand in China. Whether they have ever consumed a bird’s nest or not, all Chinese know the words ‘birds’ nest’!”

Nests with baby swiftlets in them should be left alone so a new generation of birds will return to the farm to nest again. – Reuters

Universiti Putra Malaysia Assoc Prof (of the Nephrology Department) Dr Christopher Lim, 36, agrees. The kidney specialist became fascinated with swiftlet farming when he came across mention of it at an agricultural exhibition in Johor Baru in 2004.

“Malaysia can easily raise its market share, as we are located right in the middle of the swiftlets’ breeding grounds,” he says.

Dr Lim is now a noted swiftlet authority, author of the popular Make Millions from Swiftlet Farming: A Definitive Guide (Publisher: TrueWealth Sdn Bhd, ISBN: 9833364721), and presenter of well-attended seminars on the subject.

The doctor belongs to a new breed of farmer that enthusiastically advocates a more professional development of this industry led by farmers equipped with the correct knowledge and ethical practices.

“Swiftlet farming is perfectly legal after you’ve obtained permits from local councils and have attended a Veterinary Services Department course,” explains Dr Lim.

Farmers must also adhere to the department’s Good Animal Husbandry Practices Guide. Other rules apply, like using only non-residential areas and not using heritage buildings.

“A swiftlet landlord can generate RM10,000 to RM20,000 from a standard 20x70-foot (6m x 20m) shoplot by harvesting 2kg to 4kg of birds’ nests monthly!” says Dr Lim.

“But I would only encouage swiftlet farming if you’re hands-on and armed with the correct knowledge because the failure rate is 70% to 80%!”

A potential gold mine

The high risk of failure hasn’t deterred more people from venturing into the industry of late. Gone are the days when swiftlet farmers were retirees with free time. Many in today’s industry are educated professionals seeking an alternative or additional source of income.

A sign of this industry’s growing popularity here is the fact that Dr Lim’s monthly seminars, which he bases on research and observation, are always fully booked. Participants come from throughout Malaysia as well as from Indonesia, Taiwan, and Thailand, all hoping to unlock the secrets of swiftlet farming.

We attend one seminar where we meet a young IT engineer called Kent Ho who has flown in all the way from California.

“Swiftlet farming is a young but promising industry in my homeland of Vietnam,” he says. “I hope to start a farm in Danang, a coastal town south of Hanoi that has potential. It was hard getting solid information on starting out so I’m grateful for this seminar.”

Another participant is Malaysian Dr Mahmood Kechik, an urologist who is building a five-storey “bird bungalow” in his hometown of Kelantan.

“I’ve been monitoring the growth of swiftlet farming for four years and I’m convinced there’s potential. Previously, only royalty could enjoy this delicacy. Nowadays, every Chinese can consume birds’ nests, so there is a huge demand,” he says, adding with a laugh that, “studies show that birds’ nests can benefit pregnant mothers and are also an aphrodisiac!”

Dr Lim, perched on a ladder, using a paint scraper to gently lift up the edges of the nest until he can pluck it off the beam.

Manjung, a small town in Perak, has experienced an exponential boom in swiftlet farming; so much so that the world’s first custom-built accommodation for swiftlets was put up last year.

“We sold all 36 units, some even before we launched the project,” says Loke Yeu Loong, managing director of the Perak Swiftlet Eco Park, which was jointly developed by the Perak State Development Corp and Bio Research Centre (M) Sdn Bhd.

The 7m x 22m (25x75 foot) units, built into a three-storey structure, are priced at RM398,000 each; also available are 18 units of 18m x 32m (60x105 foot) three-storey, semi-detached houses costing RM678,000 each.

“We have identified new sites throughout Malaysia; one each in Pahang, Negri Sembilan, and Selangor; two in Johor; and three in Terengganu. We had thought of venturing into Thailand and Vietnam, but Malaysia will keep us busy for five years!”

Consumer concerns

Despite the viability of swiftlet farming, the industry is clouded in controversy in Malaysia. This is largely due to bad practices by ignorant and irresponsible farmers, and a prevailing idea that consuming birds’ nests is cruel and unhygienic.

Magazine editor Susie Chong, 34, recalls that she was ticked off by an irate reader after writing that she maintains good health and skin by eating birds’ nests.

“This lady angrily asked me, ‘How can you be so cruel as to eat birds’ nests? Where are the poor baby birds going to stay?’,” Chong says.

This is where ethical practices play their part, says Dr Lim.

It is actually in the farmer’s interest to not disturb a nest with young in it; swiflets, like turtles, have a habit of returning to the same place they were born in to breed. By ensuring baby birds grow up safely and leave the nest, a farmer can encourage several generations of the birds to nest in his farm.

What of hygiene concerns? As the birds do not defecate in the nests, and that their food source is insects, this really shouldn’t be a worry, says the doctor. Besides, to eat the nests, one has to double boil them.

Some people also have environmental concerns, as the swiflets are a protected species.

However, Dr Lim adds that farmers are actually doing their bit to preserve the birds by offering alternative breeding grounds to those in the wild that are slowly being eroded by development.

But some are unethical, he admits: “Some farmers wanting to get rich quickly harvest the nest before the eggs are laid, in hopes that the poor mother bird will create a new one. This is silly and risky not to mention being unethical to a creature that is enriching you.”

The doctor has created his own principles for bird nest farming, which he teaches to all his seminar participants: I will not harvest nests that have eggs inside; I will not harvest nests with young birds inside; and I will not cause any form of physical or psychological harm to the birds.

Another common complaint is the noise caused by the artificial chirping relayed through speakers to attract birds to nest.

“I always enjoyed returning to my hometown, Tanjung Sepat (Selangor), for its sea breeze and good food,” says engineer Martin Khoo, 40. “Lately, though, I was horrified to find that many of the upper floors of the shoplots in town, and even some houses, have been converted into swiftlet hotels!

“The chirping goes on incessantly even in the middle of the night. And it’s very unpleasant to tuck into bah-kut-teh while birds fly endlessly above your head,” he says crossly.

Loke of the Perak Swiftlet Eco Park points out that his company believes in housing bird farms on the outskirts of town to help lessen such complaints.

Lack of guidelines

Of course, it would help if there are guidelines to ensure that farms are sited where they won’t be a nuisance.

Even if there were, though, they would be difficult to enforce because no one knows exactly how many farms exist. Different sources give figures ranging from 25,000 to 40,000.

Many are unlicensed, poorly designed, and located incorrectly in residential areas or in heritage buildings.

Though it’s not surprising so many farms are unlicensed; Loke, from Perak’s eco park, points out that there are too many government departments, agencies, and local councils involved.

Beh, of the association of birds’ nests merchants, says there is a clear need for comprehensive guidelines applicable in every state in Malaysia. For instance, a yearly business license in Ipoh is RM120 while in Rompin, Pahang, it costs RM1,200.

Another problem that constrains this industry is that swiftlets are a protected species and, technically, their nests cannot be exported without a license. So most farmers sell their nests to middlemen and cannot reap the full profits.

Even tourists who buy nests legally from retailers cannot take them out of the country – some have had nests confiscated at airports. They must apply for permits from Perhilitan, which can take up to four days to process. And they cost RM200, with an additional export duty of RM100 per kilo.

“It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Why would tourists want to go through that hassle?” points out Beh. “How can we encourage the purchase of Malaysian-made products when we have rulings like this?

“Surely it’s about time new regulations are made to accommodate this industry’s potential in modern times?”

Many people are also afraid that swiftlet farms will cause or spread bird flu.

But Dr Lim is quick to jump to the defence of his favourite birds: “No health official anywhere in the world has ever found a single strain of avian flu virus among swiftlets.”

He adds that, “Studies have shown that places that have swiftlet farms have reported fewer incidences of dengue fever. A well-run farm has no mosquitoes, as swiftlets consume insects.

“Swiftlets are very clean creatures. They are non-migratory and do not share food or water with other animals. They drink water droplets from the air (hence their penchant for nesting in humid caves) and feed on flying insects.

“I hope more professionals will speak up for swiftlet farming to add credibility to this industry.Knowledge and responsible farming will go far to ensure greater success in this industry.”

Friday, August 28, 2009

Continuation on Population of Your BH With 80:20 ratio !!!

(This article is just my ideas on how to increase your birds nests population. The methods are just my logical approach to help those who owned BHs and their nest populations are dormant or not increasing. The writer gives no guarantees that it will work.)

In many Seminars that I was invited to talk I prescribed the noble way of populating your new BH.

The best way in populating your new BH is to work towards harvesting those wild birds flying above your BH. You actually need to put in every effort to lure all those young birds to enter your new BH and get them to stay.

Give them what they wanted. I use the word chocolate or goodies or ice cream. Yes what ever they like just put them in place. The corners, the fake nests, as many tweeters as possible, those aromas, those fresh birdshits on the floor, cover the ventilation holes, those partionining walls and etc.

Once you have accumulated a total of, say 300 nests, you might want to make some changes in your strategies. Yes once you have reached 300 nests, you need to focus on how to make those internally generated young birds to stay put. You need to get them to continue staying and not to move to your next door neighbor's BHs.

Remember with 300 nests, you will get a total of 600 young birds per cycle. In one year you have three cycles and your total number of young birds will be 1,800. If you get all of them to stay you actually will get a total of 300 nest plus 900 nests. Yes 1,200 nests or 300% increased within one year. Remember I used the word "If".

So what can be those things to do when you have reached a total of 300 nests?

One of the method that I recently recommended was to increase the number of eggs that will produce female chicks in your BH.

In a normal circumstances the ratio between male and female are 1:1. If you are smart you can work towards increasing the ratio to Female 80% and Males 20%. The more the female chicks the better the chances of them staying with her parent. Male birds tends to move to their girl friend house or run away to somehwere else !!! This is true in everyday life.

"How to increase the ratio, Pak Harry?"

Well how above replacing those male bearing eggs with female bearing eggs?

Yes remove or replace the rounded shape eggs with those oval shape eggs.

Where to get these supply of fresh eggs?

You can purchase them from your trusted friend who happened to do forced harvesting. I am sure there are people doing this and normally they will destroy these eggs. You pay them so that they can earn some extra income.

You might want to get them from a reliable egg suppliers. There are a few that I know off and with some good price they will make the necessary arrangements to supply to your doorstep every cycle.

If you have more then one BHs and both are having 300 nests and above you might consider to rotate the forced harvesting and eggs ratio manipulation techniques in place. You do the forced harvest in one BH and collect the eggs for your other house for egg ratio manipulation operation.

Both BHs of your will benefits from the exercises and the more you do them the more the number of nests in both the BHs.

If you still cannot get the right supplier please call 017 755 1318. No guarantee but I will try to get some on a regular basis.

Remember each egg that you wanted to use must be tarrelly inspected and they must be in good condition and not with dead chick foetus inside.

The above recommendations are a bit time consuming but if it works you will eventually laughing to your safe deposit box.

Please remember the person who gives you this beautiful idea !!!

Yes Pak Harry !!!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Use Of Ozone In Raw Nests Processing !!!

According to my good friend who operates a processing center, the most difficult task in any processing center is to ensure that the end products have very little microbes counts.

If you wish to export your processed nests overseas, this microbe counts do play a significant role in getting your export lisence.

If the batch sample does not passed the microbe counts the whole batch needs to be reprocessed.

How do you minimise these microbes in the processed nests?

The best method, according to Jabatan Veterina, is to look into the use of ozone treatment.

Yes all water that you use during the processing operation must be ozone rich.

What is ozone?

Ozone is an unstable form of oxygen which consist of 3 oxygen atoms (O3). It reacts with other gases, changing their chemical structure. As ozone oxidizes/disinfects, it destroys harmful bacteria and contaminants, then reverts to normal oxygen.

Benefits of Ozones:

1) Ozone is the strongest oxidant and disinfectant available for the treatment of aqueous solutions and gaseous mixtures.

2)Although ozone is only partially soluble in water, it is sufficiently soluble and stable such that its oxidation or disinfectant properties can be fully utilized.

3)After ozone oxidizes or disinfects, it decomposes into oxygen.

4)Ozone reacts with a large variety of organic compounds resulting in oxygen-containing organic by-products.

5)Although ozone is the strongest oxidizing agent commercially available, it is safe to handle. The primary reason is that it cannot be stored and, therefore must be generated and used on-site.

6)Ozone in its gaseous phase is a proven deodorizer for a variety of odorous materials.

7)In treating potable water, wastewater, and landfill leachate, ozone has the proven ability to convert biorefractory organic materials to biodegradable materials. As a result, combining ozone oxidation with subsequent biological treatment can produce water or wastewater with lower concentrations of problematic organic compounds more cost-effectively than either process used individually.

8)Applying ozone to any medium (liquid or gaseous) does not add other chemicals.

Any Health effect?

The only health effect, if exposed to the gas for too long is breathing difficulties.

You might need to store this ozone water maker in a suitable room that allows a kind of ozone gas detection alarm.

The ozone water maker must be carefully choosen to ensure that there are no ozone gas leaks into the air.

Remember ozone are not stable, they tend to change into oxygen which is said to be the more stable formation.

What actually happenned to those bacteria?

Look at the picture:

1) A healthy bacillus bacterial cell (waiting to ruin your day).

2) Zooming in closer, Ozone (light green) comes into contact with the cell wall. The cell wall is vital to the bacteria because it ensures the organism can maintain its shape.

3)As ozone molecules make contact with the cell wall, a reaction called an oxidative burst occurs which literally creates a tiny hole in the cell wall.

4) A newly created hole in the cell wall has injured the bacterium.

5) The bacterium begins to loose its shape while ozone molecules continue creating holes in the cell wall.

6) After thousands of ozone collisions over only a few seconds, the bacterial wall can no longer maintain its shape and the cell dies.

I hope the above short description about the use of ozone will help you with your raw nest procceessing activities.

The materials describe above can be found at:

Using Of Ultrasonic Bath In Raw Birdnest Cleaning !!!

Why cant we accelerate the raw nest processing from say 3 hours to 1 hour per nest?

Is there any scientific equipment available in the market to clean those minute particles by simply pushing a sonic waves that causes the cleaning medium a kind of cavitation or microscopic vacuum bubble?

The unswer is yes and the gadget is "Ultrasonic Bath".

Today I took some time to meet a very new blog reader who wanted me to deliver one of the hard cover "Swiftlets of Borneo" book.

We chat for almost 1 1/2 hours and among some of the interesting things he spoke about was about this new gadget being used in raw birdnest processing methods.

According to him he visited a Raw Nest Processing center in Johor Bahru and the owner showed him how to cut the processing time from 3 hours to less then 1 hour a nest.

The method used was ultrasonic bath treatment.

First the raw nests were place in a dry bath in a tray mold that allows about 60 nests to be placed in the bath container. Once these nests were ready, special liquid (ozonised water) will flood the container until all the raw nests were submerged.

Once ready the top cover was closed and the vibration starts. It takes not more then 15 minutes to remove all those fine particles and dirt from these raw nests.

Once the 15 minutes was over, the nests will be rinsed and transferred to the general worker to remove those large size dirt's (mainly feathers). This process takes less then one hour to complete.

The nests shape were not deformed.

I am very interested to know more about this new technique. If this method can cut down the process time I am sure all BH owners should own one of the ultrasonic bath.

The process currently is undergoing a test and I hope the day will come where this new technique can be market to all those who wish to process their raw birdnest at home.....

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How To Increase Your BH Nest Population Using "Hatch Female Chicks Technique".

"Pak Harry, what other ways can I populate my BH with more birds?"

Beside playing those attractive bird call sounds in your BH and making sure that your BH is in a proper shape what else can we do to increase your BH nests population?

I was going through some papers and books about swiftlet farming. I came across something interesting.

As you are well aware these swiftlets will breed three times a year. Each breeding cycle they will lay two eggs and each cluster will consist one male and one female.

If you take some effort to look closely at the two eggs you will notice some differences in its shape.

One egg will be round in shape and the other elongated. The round shape will produce a male chick while the oblong will produce female chick.

By nature the ratio is always 1:1 (male:female).

What if you increase the female producing eggs to let say 80:20 (80% female and 20%males)?

Example: You have 300 nests in your BH. Every cycle you will produce a total of 600 young birds. More often the ratio will be 300 males and 300 females. If you adopt a 80% female and 20% male you will now get 480 females and 120 males young birds. In a year you will get 1440 female and 360 males. You can imagine if all these 1440 stays and bring home a male partner each?

Why must if be more female?

The basis of producing more female is that these females will usually stays and multiply at home more then running away to a new BH. The males tends to move out and stays with their girl friend's house. This is nature.

So if you increase the female chicks populations for every cycle the chances to populate your BH become much easier and faster.

So how to increase the female population?

This will be answered in my next topic: "How To Choose Female Producing Eggs?"

Yellow Birdhouse In Bidor !!!

Every trip to Setiawan, Perak, I passed this yellow painted BH.

Looks very royal to me.

The BH seem to be very new and not many birds seen circling the roof top.

What I like is the color chosen by the owner.

The three stories building is about 25 feet by 70 feet with a small side entrance facing Bidor town.

Take a good look at the BH pictures that I took during my recent trip to Setiawan.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Met With Vicky & Dad From Vietnam !!!

Last night arrived Kuala Lumpur from Penang. Stop at Island Hospital for a small check on my piles.

The doctor took not more then 2 minutes to check and tie the 2nd class piles. Need to see him again next three weeks.

Last night quickly drove to Radius Hotel, KL to meet an Indonesian guy name Dani. He wanted my "Black Cloud" sound for his Brother.

This morning was with Vicky and her Dad who happened to be in Malaysia to do some business.

I was hoping to be a short meeting but it dragged from 9.00am till 11.00am.

A typical BH owner who built a BH and later found that the BH cannot attract the birds to enter the house and stays.

"Pak Harry, what do you think are the problems?"

Hmmm...... as usual I tried to explain about the gist of swiftlet farming.

I found out the whole incidents how her father went over to Indonesia and visited a few BHs. The moment he reaches home he built one and expect those birds to populate the new BH instantly.

With very little knowledge about these special birds he :blind fold" and erected a BH and expect the house to be full in a year or two.

Nothing was done to check the suitability of the land, the bird's flying path, the bird call test count, choose the right type of entrance hole and etc, etc.

I am very amused with these common mistakes and once their BH is empty then only they will start searching for the solutions.

Yes the prefer to make those costly mistakes and try to find the right solutions after that?

Why can't they do some research and perhaps attend some courses to know in depth before spending those money?

A none performing new BH can have 1001 reasons but the most important are the basic designs I told her.

What your dad did was not right and now he realised those basic design flaws.

I wish I can be or more helps but at the moment he need to re look into the design.

Perhaps close those top entry and open only one side entrance hole. Yes you open the one facing the path coming home. (The birdhouse now is with four side entrances and one top entry)

You cannot have four holes at any one time. Those birds will enter one and then fly our through the other holes.

I wish I could list all the points I made.

More then two hours and I hope some of the points discuss were useful when they are back in Vietnam.

I guess that was how it started and it will continue until some days the whole procedures will change for the better !!!

Bought A Land And Found Out Only 50 birds !!!

"Pak Harry, I just bought a piece of land in Selangor and wanted to built my dream BH. The problem is that when I conducted the bird call tests, there were only 50 birds. Your advise please."

A very common practise among BH owners in buying land before conducting the bird call tests.

My first advise to him was to continue conducting the birdcall tests and choose the right time and preferabably on a rainy day.

Since the land is very closed to the Forest Reserve, the best time to conduct the test is about 11.00am onwards. Usually these swiftlets will fly above the forest canopy to harvest those insects that seem to start their flying time around the time.

I keep saying that do the bird call test first and when the test results are good or exceptionally good or fantastic then you buy the land.

You need to follow the right procedure and not jumping the cue.

Once you jumped, without making sure that there are adequate birds population, you will have the following problems:

1) Assuming that you have properly constructed a good BH, you will need a much longer time to populate your BH.

2) You might have difficulties to reach the ideal target to ensure that the BH will self supporting i.e. your birds will be able to produce the number by itself.

3) You might have no birds at all for the first few years of operation.

Beside birds population, the bird call test gives you certain idea that there are a source which produces these facifagus.

You cannot assume that all those swallows flying around on the property are facifagus. They might be Martins, Gigas or the close relative the Serinti.

The birdcall test will determined which species are on the land. Those that respond to the test, using Duress sound, will be facifagus (most of the time). Those that never respond are either martins, gigas or serinti.

Again the minimum number of birds you count during the test.

It varies from places to places. If you are in Peninsular Malaysia the ideal number if at least 250 birds (this is my own figure). Better if you get around 500 and above.

The test must not be less then 20 minutes.

For Sabah, I would give about 50 birds minimum. If you get higher then you have a better chances.

There are many reasons why the minimum number varies in Sabah and Peninsular.

For sarawak I wud say that 250 is good enough as the figure to use.

What else you need to do?

You need to check the flying path. Yes, stay on the land from say 6.00pm till darkness and count the number of swiftlets flying above the land.

Look at which direction they normally fly towards. Remember that will be the best direction to place the entrance hole.

Perhaps you might want to look at another piece of land?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Something Nice From Sibu !!!

(Note: The above picture was taken from my file and not the Sibu BH)

I was manning the revamp BH in Tangkak yesterday.

Everything that I wanted went well and I was very happy with the general revamp works.

Those new tweeters were in place and the partitioning were up to my standard.

While working on the Tangkak BH received a call from Sibu, Sarawak.

"Pak Harry this is Mr.S. How are U? Just wanted to inform U that my friend's BH which you visited and listed those things to do was put into operation today. Just the first day there were at least 50 birds entered the BH. Your recommendations were brilliant. Thank you and will keep you posted on the progress."

I was not shocked or disbelieved. This will happened if those sick BH owners follows some simple rules to make their BH more "Aman or Peaceful".

I remembered giving a list of things to do, about 23 items.

For this particular case, the BH was very new, about three weeks into operation mode.

The owner uses the top entry with an open shaft to the lowest floor (3 stories building).

The weired thing I observed was that the nearest BHs were all with side entry.

I asked: How many successful BHs are there around your BH? What kind of entrances do these BH made of?

He answered: About three to four and all were with the side entry, dog kennel.

My question again: How come you choose top entry when the rests are with side entry?

His answer: I don't really know about the important of choosing the right entrance type. I just wanted to be different !!!

What I recommended was to immediately change the type of entry to side entry. Open the hole on the wall facing the coming hole flight path. Make it about 2.5 feet by 3 feet if you can, I told him.

Well that was the most important recommendations while the rest have lots of things to do with the lighting on each floor. I can still kick a football into the goal, I told him.

Put some partitions to block those lights. Make it as dark as you can. Stand in front of your partner 2 feet apart and you cannot see him. That's my specific prescription.

The were many more that I wanted him to carry out and I am sure those list of things to do were carried out.

It works and I am very happy for him.

Those who have similar sick BH, you need to quickly let someone evaluate your BH sickness. Let him provide with those important things to be carried out. Do the necessary modification and revitalise your BH.

If you have difficulties in finding the right person, give this number(017 755 1318) a call.

Your BH deserved to be populated and deserve a good harvest !!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Birdhouse With Six Entrance Holes !!!!

Have anyone ever visited a BH with more then six (6) entrance holes?

I was invited to join a short visit to Klang to see a new BH completed about one month ago.

The owner engaged an experience builder from West Java.

When I first stepped out of the car I saw nothing strange about the unit. On first observation I saw that the external walls were all exposed to the sun without any cement plaster. Those red bricks walls seem to be directly exposed to the hot sun.

The owner claimed that he installed a two layered bricks system. Internal walls are made of low density bricks with a gap of one inch.

He also make a provision of having a water pool (drain) around each floor internally. This will provide natural humidity and cooling system for the house.

When I stepped closer I was happy that the house was laid with a kind of water trap all around the house (externally). The reason given was to prevent any ants from crossing. It make good sense I told myself.

Then I tried to look at the entrance hole. Where are they?

Oh yes the hole was facing the green. Hmm the hole looks good but there were three of them. This was the first surprise.

The owner told me another surprise. We have another three on the other side of the building.

Another three, so you have six altogether? I asked.

Yes, six of them.

But why six?

Well these holes will be closed and only one shall be opened once we know for sure which hole they preferred. He answered.

Hmm .. ... I just could not figured out what he meant by later he will shut all of them.

Something very strange and the more you venture into swiftlet farming the more weired things will be there in front of you.

I was concerned over those bright lights coming in, the air flow in and etc.

At the moment I cannot understand the real logic to having so many entrance holes in a small (20feet X 50feetx3 stories).

You need to see to believe.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Got Many Of Those Beetles On The Floor !!!

Usually if you introduce those fresh bird shits taken from your neighbours you will see lots of these black beetles on the floor.

They are actually feeding on those fermented birdshits.

Will they harm the birds?

My answer is no. They only feed on those shits and they will normally will not harm the animals that provide them with their source of food.

These beetles are harmless and they will normally breed and hide underneath the birdshits.

The only thing to be done is to control them so that they will not crawl to your neighbors's house or shops.

It will be a bit irritating to see them crawling all over the rooms.

The best is to regularly apply those insecticides once every three months. Use "Fendona" from BASF.

The recommended insecticide is odorless and kills only those insects with no backbones.

The amounth to be added to 5 liters of water is about 200ml.

One bottle will last a year.

Got Myself An IPhone 3Gs

After so many many years of using an ordinary mobile phone I have decided to buy myself a new phone.

This time an expansive high speed gadget that was recently launched by Maxis, the IPhone 3Gs.

Wow very interesting and maybe will help my work in keeping my blog writing more interesting.

I choose a sizable memory of 32Gig. Hopefully this will be enough to store all those pictures, clips, contact lists and so forth.

Today collected and currently trying to get use to store all my contacts. Hope I know how to transfer from my old phone over.

Just pray that it will not be stolen or lost !!!

If you should called, I might need to update your particulars. Just bare with me if I should ask who is calling.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Wonderful Small Town called Sibu !!!

I was in Sibu Sarawak twice.

Both were related to swiftlet farming.

The first was sometime in late 2008 and the second was last week.

I stayed at Paramount hotel and RH hotel respectively. Both were wonderful and at the city center.

The town seem to be the third largest city after Kuching and Miri.

The total population was said to be about 300,000.

The number of BHs in this town was estimated to be in the region of 10 and more. As compared to other towns in Peninsular, example Setiawan with more then 3,000 BHs, it is pretty low.

The BH potential in this town is huge. However the town Mayor will not be happy to see any new one.

Currently most of the BHs are operating quietly and are mostly using the top entry type.

I estimated that the town can easily cater for at least 300 BHs with little problems of populating them.

The best will be those rows of shop houses directly facing the Rajang River.

I always noted that all towns that have rivers passing the town are usually populated with lots of birds. This is mainly due to the fact that the water from these rivers are a food source, drinking water and sometime the parent will dip in to wet their belly so that they can carry some water home for their young one.

A very good example is Kota Bahru, Parit Buntar, Muar, Kuala Trengganu, Kuantan, and many more.

Most shop houses in Sibu are of 4 stories types. More often then not the top floors are empty and are potential to be converted into swiftlet houses.

I can predict that there will be more and more BHs in Sibu and it is a matter of time when they will be built.

Right now, due to licencing problems, most operators will carry out the BH conversion quietly and perhaps use the top entry type. When in operation they just need a small volume external sound to pull those wild birds inside.

It will be something exciting for those who are brave enough.

Just watch my dirty mouth.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bintulu Seminar Participants !!!

These were the lucky participants (28 in total) who attended a one day Seminar on "How To Be A Successful Swiftlet Farmer".

The Organiser, RBS Marketing and Persatuan Peladang Bintulu, was very impressed with the attendance.

All participants got more then what they paid for.

I felt very lucky to be one of the invited speakers. I delivered three papers while the organiser delivered one, about Lisences Matter.

My main objective was more towards helping the Industry. I wanted to share my findings with those young entrepreneurs. My clear message is go deeper in knowing those wild birds.

They need to get to know the full behaviour, what these birds likes and deslike, the homing behaviours, their fooding behaviours, the flying pattern, the minimum circular flying curvature, what they eat, their breeding cycle, their echo location ability and etc etc etc.

The only way to be a very successful swiftlet farming is to be knowledgable about them. The more your knowledge about these creature the better you will be in avoiding making mistakes. Mistakes are costly !!!!

After the one day, they are yearning for more.

I just hope that the Organiser will continue having the same arrangements in other towns in Sarawak.

I will be the first on the plane to give every support to such a noble activity.

Those who are interested to organise similar activity please call Harry 017 755 1318.

Open Zinc Roof BH In Sibu !!!

I just cannot miss this strange entrance hole made of a simple zinc roof.

The BH was just opposite the RH hotel and I am pretty sure the number of birds entering the house was in the thousands.

In Sibu, I was told that there were at least 10 BHs operated in the town areas. Most of these houses were successful and main reason being the number of BHs were very little as compared to the number of birds.

As far as Sarawak is concerned, there were at least 3,000 BHs in operation. Most are illegal except three.

The irony is that the every application for operating licence are said to be under process. If you ask the officer in charge when will the process be completed, the answer will be "God only knows?"

If this continues I think the farmers and the authorities will have lots of hide and seek activities.

To me, I see Sarawak as one of the most potential state to be the "Hub of Swiftlet Farming In Malaysia".

The state have varse greens, rivers, lakes, forest and very few BHs.

If Peninsular Malaysia, with the same land mass size, have at least 35,000 BHs, Sarawak only have about 3,000 (mostly illegal).

If I am the state chief I will turn Sarawak into the most attractive place to invest into swiftlet farming.

I will allow developers or land owners to create "Swiftlet Eco Park" around those towns that have plentiful of BHs.

I will also encourage the developers to encourage investors from countries like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Canada and etc to buy those units.

I will target the state to built let say 30,000 BHs within 10 years. I will aim to produce a quantity of nests that will be worth say 3 billion.

All swiftlet farming will be under a department that will legalise the industry as long as they are properly located, designed and follow s strick BH operating procedures.

With 30,000 BHs I think the Facifagus bird species should be then removed from the endangered list??????

The special department created will provide all the technology to ensure that those birds can be easily lured into any new BHs and all the nests shall be channelled to a collection center to ensure that they are processed, graded and exported in accordance to the state strigent quality system.

Within 10 years the state will draw in a foreign money income of 3 billion and climbing every year.

This 3 billion income can easily surpass those income from all the palm oil plantation in the State.

Sarawak have the best potential. I was made to understand that the swiftlet size are big. This seem to be due to plentiful of food supply. The nests produced are bigger in size and mostly crystal white.

Just imagine having the Rakyat to own a BH each.

Everyone benefit from a "Gift From The Sky".

(Note: The above article are just my sincere opinion, for the love swiftlet farming and I do not have any intension of harming or redicule any individual, group, companies or department. Please bear in mind I am not politically motivated.)

Back From Sibu, Sarawak !!!

It was a marvellous weekend in Bintulu then Sibu, Sarawak.

Everything that I wanted to achieve was done.

The swiftlet farming seminar, went well in Bintulu. More then 25 participants and I managed to deliver three papers with little problems.

What I can remembered was that all the participants glued to their seat until the seminar was over.

May be those duress sound CD that make them stayed to the end or maybe they like my in depth seminar paper that make them excited.

Yesterday I call one of the participant just to ask his input:

Mr.Tiong how do you find the Seminar?

"Pak Harry, it was marvellous and I was lucky to have attended your talk. Frankly I am in the mid of constructing my own BH. After attending your talk, I am going to make lots of corrections to the original design. Really great and thank you very very much."

Inside my heart, there goes one satisfied participant.

From Bintulu, I was given a ride my Dr.Koh. While driving I asked Dr.Koh what he feel about the Seminar.

"Pak Harry, you are the only person who answer every questions from your heart. Most speakers will try to avoid answering questions that are too deep and secret to the industry."

"What you have done is incomparable with others. Others tend to sell their services but you talk about how the participants can do themselves. What they really need are in depth knowledge of this special God gift bird."

In Sibu met with at least 8 blog readers. All were just too excited to meet me for a cup of coffee. Set with them separately in a group of 4s.

Managed to inspect a newly launched BH and as usual the number of corrections were plentiful. The owner seem to be very grateful with all the 23 pills that I prescribed.

All were looking forward to see me in Sibu again.

While on the way to the airport, all called to thank me plus asking me to come back.

I hope there will be some good reasons to be back in Sibu.

My advise to the eight was to organise a quarterly talk and invite me to come over to deliver something new for them.....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What If You Deploy A Full Fledge SenSurround Mating Sound !!!

What do you think will happen if you get your BH sound system be orientated as such that the internal sounds are played with Sensurround effect?

This never crossed my mind but I will be very happy if it can makes those wild birds love to stay in a BH.

(Note: Sensurround is a process developed in the 1970s by Universal Studios to enhance the audio experience during the presentation of theatrical movies. Specifically developed to showcase the 1974 film Earthquake, the process was also used in three subsequent films, Midway (1976), Rollercoaster (1977) and in the theatrical version of Saga of a Star World (1978), the Battlestar Galactica pilot.[1] The use of Sensurround created some controversy as theaters were damaged, theater-adjacent businesses disrupted, patrons became sick and in one documented claim, a moviegoer suffered cracked ribs.[2]

Sensurround helped bring wider recognition to established loudspeaker manufacturer Cerwin Vega,[3] and aided in establishing a strong reputation for new audio amplifier company BGW Systems. The increased awareness of extended low frequency sound reproduction that Sensurround brought to film audiences was a factor in the increase in subwoofer sales and in the rise in the number of subwoofer designs in the late 1970s and 1980s.)

This week was contacted by one person who have a special gift in turning bird sound from normal conventional MP3 to Sensurround sounds.

I was given a short clip to listen and I have a very strong feeling that the birds will like to listen to the sound.

What I think I should do now is to try for a couple of weeks and see how effective is these new type of sound.

First thing, I believed in doing, is to drop by at a Sensurround Home Movie shop. Need to ask their opinion/advise on how to turn a normal BH into a Sensurround studio or theatre. I believed that the tweeters wiring need to be proper inorder to get a perfect sensurround effect.

Hope to find the time to carry out this investigation.

Those who wanted to have a short clip of this "Sensurround Mating Sound" please sent your email address to