Tuesday, November 30, 2010
"Pak Harry, my BH now have about 350 nests after 2.5 years. I wonder if the population can be increased to 700 within the next 12 months. Please come and inspect the BH and recommend what are the things that I should do."
Are you having any problems with the BH? I asked.
"The nests population grew steadily for the first 1.5 years but after that the number seems to be stagnant."
Well a BH with an interesting problem that are pretty common now days.
This can be due to many reasons but if you look around this BH there are at least 20 new BHs around it.
The owner also realized that his competitors are growing rapidly and if he do not act early he will loose all his young birds to those unscrupulous neighbors.
"Pak Harry, now there are more then 20 new BHs around me and I know that those empty units next to my current BH will be turned into BHs within the next few months. Can you see the urgency of you revamping my BH?"
To him is like getting into a war and he need the latest bullet to be a winner. A very smart man.
I now realize why he keep calling me nearly everyday to confirm when I can move my workers to his BH.
I took about 45 minutes to check the status of the BH before getting the revamp works started.
Most of the nests were on the upper floor and strangely they love to occupy those nesting planks located above the staircase tunnel (the highest part of the building about 12-13 feet from the floor).
Hmm.... I think there must be some reasons why they love to have their nest here as compared to the normal ceiling areas. I think these birds knows that the higher the ceiling from the floor the more difficult for predators (human) to harvest their nests. I am very impress with this new finding.
The next interesting observation was where they occupy the nesting planks. Yes nearly all the crossing or those areas where the nesting planks rows and crossings meets. Since they love these crossing with corner covers, I asked the owner why don't we increase the crossings?
Those areas closed to the internal sound playing tweeters are also pretty occupied. The sad thing was that the number of tweeters installed were very little. I also inform the owner that I will get at least 150 internal sound playing tweeters per floor.
The 2nd floor have the least number of nests. Roughly the top floor was with about 330 nests and the lower floor not more then 20 nests. We need to drag those young birds down and I need to figure out the right methods to ensure the lower floor are with more nests.
The nesting planks looks okay but were about 2 feet apart with very little crossing planks. I need to increase by at least four rows but what I have in mind is to use those aroma laced planks.
The entrance hole area looks pretty okay but I do not see any hexagonal tweeters or the noisy tweeters.
There were no proper VIP room on each floor. I think a wet floor VIP room will be very useful to get more birds to stays.
What can be the reasons why those young birds are not staying back or return to stay after taking their maiden flight? BH owners need to ask this question over and over again. Just imagine this BH already have more then 350 nests and every breeding cycle it will produced a total of about 700 young birds. For 12 months there should be at least 700X3 = 2,100 of them but how come they are not staying or return to build their nest beside their parent?
There must be some good reasons that causes them to move to somebody else BHs.
I was asked to come out with the reasons and perhaps helps to make those babies to stay and helps in the nest population increment.
A new task that need more planning and time to squeeze my already dried brain.
The floor were very dry and those chicken coop humidifiers were not functioning.
Yesterday I moved two of my workers to site and one is at the warehouse to receive my instruction on what he shall assembled or get ready for me to collect.
An interesting new revamp works and I think this will be something new for me to try out some of those new ideas that I have accumulated for some time.
We shall give a try and see if the number of nests can multiply to 1,000 within 12 months.
Those who would like to visit the BH during the revamp works can do so by calling this number 017 755 1318. There is a small visiting fee (RM300 per head) to support my research activities.
All in all due to lack of knowledge about those wild birds.
Have a good look at this picture and tell me what do you think went wrong?
Have a good look at this picture and tell me what do you think went wrong?
The BH was designed with a veranda on the top. This is where those young swiftlet will enter the house from the top entry and fly down via a tunnel. But I believed they refused to follow what it was planned for. After a few months there was no tenant so the owner opened a new entry hole at the side. A big hole about 12 feet by 16 feet, I think.
This BH have the some problem. In fact she was about 100 meters away from the first BH.
Facing the same problem where the original top entry tunnel was not working. The owner resort to opening three new entrance hole at the side. If you look carefully this was the second time he opened the side entries. The first was along the tunnel then he shut them and moved inward in the nesting room.
Assuming that the new entrance holes now works, my conclusion is that the swiftlet in this area prefer the side entry not the top entry.
I recalled the observation made in the town areas nearby these two BHs the most successful BH was using the side entry.
The lesson we learn here is that before you decide to opt for any type of entry please do some investigation. Get to know those birds and where do you think your tenant, mainly young birds, will come from. They normally will come from the most successful BH(s) in your area. Look at the type of entry of these BHs and choose exactly like them.
What if the number is nearly equal?
Be my guess just think of the best solution.
I was asked by a blog reader to evaluate a piece of land located in Bagan Dato, Perak.
It took me about 3 hours to arrive from Kuala Lumpur and the visit was not bad after all.
The moment I reached this small town I started my investigation how my BHs are there along the main street and how many in the vicinity.
To my surprise nearly the whole town was with BHs on the upper floor.
The way to detect them is to drive at the back lane of the town, jalan tikus. You will start to hear those external sound and you can pin point where they are coming from.
The two rows of shop, making up of the whole town, consisted of about 30 shops. I think more then 60% were converted into swiftlet house (top floors).
Among all the BHs one seem to be the heaviest with birds population. The end unit nearest to the river mouth.
Outskirt there were a number of BHs mainly stand alone but unfortunately not many that can be classified as successful.
You can see the scars left by the owner opening and closing those entrance hole on the BH walls.
The number visited was not more then 10 units.
Enjoy these pictures and if you happened to visit Bagan Dato open you eyes and try to locate them:
Monday, November 29, 2010
The leader with three others came to Malaysia during the weekend and wanted to meet me in Subang Jaya hotel.
When I received their call I was on my way to Bagan Dato, Perak. A three hours drive up and three hours back to Kuala Lumpur.
Anyway after finishing my purpose to be in Bagan Dato I managed to stop by at Subang Jaya to chat with the Vietnamese group.
It seem that each of them have a BH under construction somewhere in the south of Vietnam about 150 kilometers from Ho Chi Min City.
"So why are you here in KL?"
"We wanted to meet you in person. We heard so much about you and we would like to invite you to Vietnam and be our guest."
"We have started the construction but not very sure if our design is right. We also wanted to source some BH gadget from Malaysia."
I was with them till 3;30am in the morning.
I am glad to drop and deliver some swiftlet farming books for their quick reference.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
"Pak Harry I wanted to share something that you can share with your blog readers. This have something to do about those fake nests."
The exact words from someone whom I have known for many years. A good person both internally and externally.
Nowadays I told him that there not many who are willing to share their ideas of findings.
I often dropped by at his shop for a cup of coffee and exchange some new things that will benefit every swiftlet owner.
This time he was focusing on how to use those corner covers as the fake nests.
He walked to one of the table and gladly brought to me a sample of the curved V shape corner cover made of red meranti wood.
Then he says these:
"Pak Harry, all you need to do is to cut these corner covers into a one inch strips. After you have cut you then soak into your favorite aroma for two days and dry them up. Try to apply the aroma just before you wanted to install them on your nesting planks. Trust me it will work marvelously."
I thought deeply about his idea and it make sense. How come I never thought about it before.
The next thing that I did was to visit a log miller and saw those corner covers not yet cut. About 5 feet long each.
I quickly asked the owner to let me have about 10 pieces for my experiment.
This is how it look like after installation.
I soak it into two different types of aromas: MysecretRCP and Erotika.
I hope it will be as what my friend indicated while in Penang.
Friday, November 26, 2010
If you happened to have a BH closed to a populated areas at one side while at the opposite there are only jungles or no residential areas you might want to think about this special hexagonal tweeters.
I was in Sungai Patani recently doing some renovation works for another Blog reader.
During my inspection of his BH from the outside I was attracted to his neighbor roof top.
I saw a Tee pipe, white in color protruded on the monkey house area.
At first I though it was nothing more then a gimmick to lure those wild birds.
I walked nearer and I begin to realized that this BH owner is genious. He block the sound from going to the back but focus the sound onto my client's BH.
Hmm this is going to be a big war.
It seem that he insert three round tweeters inside the Tee to allow the sound to be diverted only to three directions and not the back.
He also use the T to prevent his tweeters from those rain water.
A marvelous idea which I would like to share with my blog readers.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Today I suddently wanted the entrance hole area to be painted PINK.
Yes pink colored walls.
I was not fascinated with black so I decided to go with pink water based paint.
My worker took about 2 hours to finish the job and I hope those birds love what I got in store for them.
Beside the pink colored wall there are also the aroma sprayed chicken coop humidifier, the wet floor VIP room, a water pond inside the same vip room, fake nests, lost of internal sound tweeters, the chandeliers and those fake nest.
Oh yes what about those hanging perfume garden and the noisy entrance hole ?
There is also a small light inside the VIP room.
The entrance hole is with those noisy hexagonal tweeters. Three units to be exact.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
"Wow, you really know your stuff and now the BH looks very much like a real BH. Before this it was too bare and unattractive to those birds. Thank you Pak Harry."
I showed him around on those already completed.
Initially the BH entrance hole was at the front using one of the windows as the hole facing those neighbors. The noise was too strong and there were more then one complains he collected.
Now I moved the entrance hole to the back using the open roof method. Yes from side entry to top entry. Main reason being, nearly all the BHs in his area were top entry type.
I opened a hole on the roof, about 10 feet by 10 feet, and created a water pond to collect those rain water before discharging them.
Showed him the rain water gutter to ensure that those rain water will not block those birds from entering if it happened to rain at 7:00 pm till 8:00pm.
The VIP room looks very impressive with two chandeliers, eight cluster tweeters and individual tweeters in place. I told the owner that the number of tweeters inside the VIP room alone was 102 pieces. Yes before this he only have not more then 50 in the whole house.
I wanted to conduct some tests that might be useful to me and the Industry, I told him. What I have in mind was to conduct a couple of researches to see if my new ideas works. These were the research that I planted into the house:
1) First is the use of nesting corners laced with aroma. There were about 20 pieces being installed in strategic locations inside the VIP room.
2) Second was my new idea of using aroma soaked wood as the fake nests. The wood have a shape of a curved made from those corner covers with V shape.
3) Third, since one section of the VIP room was once the roving area with a pond, I wanted to use the pond to see the birds preference either the wet floor or the flooded floor. Yes half of the floor will be the wet floor with those plastic cover, sand, bird shit and laced with birdnest process water while the other will be just normal water.
4) I will install those noisy tweeters clusters (six pieces per set) around the entrance hole area. There will be three of them and they will be placed slightly lower then the external sound playing hexagonal tweeters. The three noisy cluster tweeters will be not more then 2 feet above the roof tiles.
5) If there is enough resources I wanted to install a set of mist spray system just to monitor the effectiveness. It will be a very costly item but since he is not willing to spend the additional cost I told him that I will advance the unit but if it works he need to pay me double its cost plus installation. Yes he agreed.
It seem that the owner of this BH not only played the external sound but another sound that make the entrance area very noisy as if there are so many birds in the area.
Very fascinating and the result is very outstanding. The number of birds returning home during my viewing was very impressive.
Can this additional noise attract more birds into a new BH?
I begin to wonder and I thought to myself may be I need to try this special idea on one of those BH which I am now revamping.
Today while at the Kajang BH I attended to three visitors and while showing them around I was contemplating to install at least three hexagonal towers around the three corners of the entrance hole.
Each hexagonal will be made up of six 2"x5" tweeters.
I have instructed my assistant to look into getting the three units ready by tomorrow for installation.
Roughly it will look like this:
Let experiment with this noisy entrance hole system and see if those birds will like it.