Saturday, September 12, 2009
Somewhere In Sarikei, Sarawak !!!
While in Sarikei I was taken to view a newly constructed BH located on a agricultural land deep inside.
The land owner been planting those maize and potatoes. However he suddenly got interested in swiftlet farming.
The total building size was estimated to be in the region of 30 feet by 100 feet and two stories.
It was a huge unit and it seem that he covered the ceiling top with a roof.
When I was at site those workers were busy painting the external walls.
Inside, the views were nice and cooling.
There were a many partitioning and mostly are half of the floor width (15 feet) ziz zaz manner.
The entrance was towards the east and the shaft opening was almost 15 feet by 15 feet.
My only concerns were:
1) The path designed for the birds to enter the lower floor and the upper floor were a bit confusing. The entry from the entrance shaft should be direct and simpler as compared to ziz zag methods.
2) The placement of those staircase in the entrance hole's shaft area. This will normally disturb those birds especially when the BH is still in its early stages. These birds are quite sensitive to predators. Human to them is one of those predators. Crossing the flying path is not advisable. My suggestion was to place the staircase at an area that will not disturb those birds.
3) I am still a firm believer that BHs of this size should adopt the "Dual Entry" System. If the owner chooses only one then he might miss those young birds that were familiar with the other type of entrance hole.
4) The ceiling nesting planks were without any crossings. This might not be attractive to those birds but you never knows. My idea is to place those crossing to create more corners. Birds prefer to start their nest at corners. For some reasons they seem to choose corners. So since they like corners why don't were give more to them.
5) What I really love to see was the way the staircase was designed. It was made of wood. It was more like those stairs to a wooden house in the Sarawak interior. Well since it works then why can we use this design (except for the termites)?
6) Predators Protection need to be carefully looked into. The biggest culprit will be those owls. Having a BH in remote places surrounded by thick palm oil plantations and forest will draw lots of owls for easy meal. These owl can cause lots of havoc inside the house. The number of nests or birds population will easilyd drop to 1/3 of its original number with less then two months.
7) The owner seem to install very little number of ventilation holes on the side walls. There were more on the far back and front but not on those side walls. I think he is a new breed of BH owners who realised that those air outside, during daytime, are actually too hot and too dry for the BH.
8) I love those roof covers. You can see that the height of the roof cover is almost 4-5 feet. In between the roof and the ceiling, those air will help to trap the heat from directly hitting the ceiling roof of the top most floor. But what about the side walls? The total square areas of those wall were almost 20' X 100 X 2 plus 20' X 30 X 2 equals 5,200 square feet. Once those hot sun start hitting the walls, the heat will start to creep to the internal surface. A proper insulation will prevent the heat movement but it will be better to instal a layer of heat shield on those walls that will be facing the evening sun.
Anyway those are my sincere comments.
Base on the size this BH can easily accommodate a total of 30 X 100 X 2 X 6= 54,000 nests. This will be equivalent to 108,000 birds.
I wonder how long it takes to get it totally full.