Search This Blog

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year To All Swiftlet Farmers !!!

Next week we will celebrate CNY and as usual I will be in Sungai Patani to celebrate with my family.

Will probably spend about 5 day in the North of Peninsular Malaysia and will conduct some visit to a few BHs in Penang, BM, Padang Temusu, Bakar Arang, Segantang Garam and SP itself.

Beside the above visits, been invited to drop by to Kelantan (2 invitations), Seremban, Kota Kinabalu, Bukit Beruntung (2 invitations), Kuching, Sibu, Nilai, Tangkak, Vietnam and Melaka.

I am sure after the CNY week I will have lots of things to attend to.

These are some of the very interesting going to happen activities:

1) Force Harvesting.

I was invited to a BH to perform the force harvest.  The owner have been pushing for a date to carry out the operation and I planned to carry out the operation after a proper inspection of the BH conditions.  There will be a lot of preparation to ensure that the operation shall be carry out as such the young birds will not be harm.

2) Working With TV Channel.

I was recently contacted to help a Malaysian TV channel to capture some video clips inside a heavily populated BH.  The program will also highlight some of my revamp works in a new and old BHs.  I have yet to say yes but will think of something once I decided to.

3) Ulu Langat BH Will Be ready with nesting planks.

After CNY the new BH at Ulu Langat will be ready with those nesting planks I arranged last few days.  I am very sure the owner will be chasing after me to drop by and see how was the installation works and what next?

4) Vietnam Meranti Logs Send.

At last the 14 metric tons of Meranti logs were safely shipped to Ho Chi Min City.  The supplier used a 20 footer storage container to prevent any damage via ship.  I was informed that it will be in Ho Chi Min within 7 days from today.
"Pak Harry please get ready to fly over to Vietnam once the nesting planks are installed."

5) Another BH ready in Kota Kinabalu.

During my previous trip to Kota Kinabalu, met a group of swiftlet farmer who wanted my help to view a piece of land at Penampang.  With them there was another person who was very quite but listening to my advises. I never realized that he was about to finish the top most floor or his 3 stories BH. Last few days received a call from the person who introduced me to about it and wanted some help to ensure his BH will be properly renovated.  Gave him the list of items for the sound system and hopefully it will be adequate to pull those wild birds in.

6) A Newbie From Seremban.

Another sad case of a BH owner who happened to visit my Semenyih BH under revamp last week.  He and his partner appointed a "Sifu" to convert a few BHs in N9, Perak and Pahang.  It was very unusual when they were not allowed to enter these so call BHs after it was renovated (mostly shop houses).  After more then 1 year they decided to force open the doors and to their surprise the BH was actually not properly conducted.  Just imagine paying more then 38K and only 10- 15 tweeters and the nesting planks were sparsely installed?

"Pak Harry I need you to drop by and give your opinion on what to do now?"

7) Kelantan Newbies.

Two Kelantanese wanted some helps to determine if those properties they wanted to purchase are suitable for BH venture.

The best was when this person who called and confessed that he managed to read all my articles within less then 3 weeks and fully believed that the right thing to do before purchasing a land for his dream BH is to get someone professional to give the final go ahead.

"Pak Harry, I will purchase the plane ticket and will advise when you should be in Kota Baru."

One more newbies wanted to test a property in Gua Musang.  I hope he will contact me before the 1st trip is done.

8) Kampung Jawa Klang BH.

Have submitted a short proposal to the BH owner to take a lead in revamping his BH.  I am hoping that he will say "YES".  My motive was mainly towards renovating the BH to accommodate my findings and help to improve the BH nests population.  I would love to use the BH as one of my reference BHs for visitors either local or foreign.

9) Bukit Beruntung Newbie

"Pak Harry I need some of your time to visit my BH in Bukit Beruntong.  Just to see if the shop house is suitable for swiftlet farming."

I told him that I will be pretty busy after CNY and the best time to view his shop will be on Monday Jan 31st, 2011.  Will spend half a morning to diagnose its suitability and perhaps provide the right sketch how to convert the shop.

10) Kepong BH Upgrading.

The owner got my visit report and was very happy with the upgrade works which I submitted.

Shall start doing those upgrade works once he gives his approval.  It seem that he wanted it to me done on the 2nd week of February 2011.

11) Semenyih BH Insect Barn.

Finally got the equipment and materials to supply the insect food for the insect barn.  My staff will be given the tasks to prepare and deliver the food on the Friday third week of the month.

The amount shall be about 15 kg of soup which will cost about 450 per batch per month.  Cost to clean those plastic containers, delivery and installation shall be included in the cost.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Best Thing You Should Do For Your BH Every Year !!!

One of the most important thing that you should do every year is to carry out your BH audit. Main reason is to determine the status of your BH and with that you should be able to plan your next step towards a specific achievable GOAL.

If you are not familiar or have never done the audit before I suggest that you get your/a "Sifu" to do it for you.

The whole idea is to evaluate the current status and with it you can works towards an achievable nests number that will be inside your BH after 12 months from now.

For example if after your audit, the number of nests is 100, you should now make a plan to push the nests population to, let say 100% up to 200 nests within the next 12 months.

You can do this if you know what to do, what to change and what kind of gadgets to be installed.

To those who are not vary sure of what he should do I strongly suggest to try and get someone that you fully trust to help you in carrying out the audit operation and let him prepare the list of things to be done. (Remember if you really cannot find one, please call Pak Harry for some help).

One more idea that will be useful is to ensure that your BH is regularly inspected by a "BH Dentist" every six months.  The whole idea is to see if there is anything wrong with the BH that you have set to achieve your GOAL.

I used the term "BH Dentist" is because I want to let you remember that BH in your care is similar to your dental visit to your Dentist.  You need to visit your dentist at least twice a year. (My wife is a dentist, sorry)

Yesterday I visited one of the BH I was looking after and came out with the following report for all of you to follow or perhaps do something similar:

Date: Jan 29th, 2011

To: Mr ABC,

RE: BH Audit Report & Recommendations.

Mr. ABC,

Happy New Year to you and your family and may year 2011 brings your more luck and prosperity.

Yesterday I visited your BH above your shop in K.

I am very glad to note that the number of nests have multiplied and increased to about MM nests from about KK nests when we first started. This is a jump of 300%.

The majority of these new nests were inside the VIP room.

I also observed that many of these nests were using those fake nests installed.

I believed the modifications and revamp works are working and we need to continue pushing the number of tenants to as many as we can.

In the meantime you need to be aware that the total number of birds in your area is not very big but I think they are growing.

Aim for Year 2011:

For the next 12 months we should push the number of nests to about RR or more. This will be equivalent to 150% increase in nests as compared the SS nests now.


Based on the visit done I recommend the following to be upgraded.

1)      Replacement of amplifier.
a.       One of the two amplifiers needs replacement.

2)      Wetting of the VIP room Floor.
a.       The VIP room wet floor seem to be working well however they are very dried.
b.      My recommendation is to install an automated water meter flow system and PVC pipes around the room to distribute the water.

3)      External Sound Tweeters Check and Replacements.
a.       There are a number of external sound tweeters that are not working.
b.      I need to get my staff to carry out the inspection and replace all those that is not functioning.

4)      Internal Sound Tweeters Check and Replacements.
a.       Similar with the external sound tweeters, the internal too need to be inspected and those spoiled to be replaced.

5)      Wet Floor Extension
a.       I planned to extend the wet floor areas to the outside of the VIP room.
b.      The floor wetness helps to bring in more birds into the BH.

6)      External sound replacement.
a.       I encourage the replacement of external sound on a regular basis.
b.      My suggestion is to replace the sound for every three months.

7)      Application of Insecticide.
a.       Your BH is due for the insecticide spraying.

8)      Internal Temperature and Humidity.
a.       I planned to install a data logger to monitor the exact temperature and humidity of your BH.
b.      The data collected shall be collected and downloaded into our computer for us to check the actual status of the environment inside the BH.
c.       I will also carry out a check on the heating conditions on all the walls in the BH.  Shall use a laser beam thermometer for this purpose.

9)      Forced Harvest.
a.       A forced harvest need to be planned sometime after the renovation works above are done.
b.      My suggestion is to carry out the forced harvest in zz 2011.

10)  Regeneration mode:
a.       After the about yy days of the forced harvest I planned to carry out the regeneration exercise.
b.      This exercise is to remove about DD% of the eggs laid thus making the young birds to be inside the house all the time.
c.       This will encourage those young birds to come back after they are able to fly.

11)  Insect Generation inside the Roving Area.
a.       Insect generation inside the roving area can increase the number of nests inside your BH.
b.      I would like to carry out this experiment if you allow me to do so.
c.       The idea is to stack about CC plastic containers with insect food.
d.      Inside one of the container will be about DD kilogram of insect maggots to help is creating the insect.
e.       These insect food shall be renewed on a monthly basis.

12)  Metal Plates Installation:
a.       I planned to install about BB pieces of 2 mm X 5” X 2 ‘aluminum plates on your BH nesting planks.
b.      The plates will be specially made grooves of 1 mm deep will encourage more birds to build more new nests.
c.       This idea is still in a research mode.  Any positive results will be reported to you.

13)  Ammonia Bicarbonates Application:
a.       Your BH aroma smell needs some beef up.
b.      I planned to install about x bags of ammonium bicarbonates.
c.       The 25 kg bags shall be placed at ....................................................................

14)   Fresh Bird Shit:
            a.  I need to supply at least xx bags of fresh bird shits into the BH.

15)  Love Portions Spray:
a.       Love portion needs to be sprayed ..................
b.      This year.....................

Thank you for your kind attention.

The cost to apply all the above will be discussed with you and I will bill you in accordance to the job carried out.

This year I will be charging you my maintenance cost of RM AAA a month to cover my labor cost, the cost of those insect foods, external sounds replacement and love portion.


The above recommendations are meant for this particular BH.  It might differ to other BHs with different type of problems.

If you read the report carefully you can see that the BH in question is not having too many problems.  The nests multiplied by 300% within 12 months.

I actually planned is to push the nests population to my target of 300% (hope the BH owner will not read this article) but would like to put into record only 150%.

There is no reason not to achieve the 300% but the owner must be willing to provide all the necessary assistance to ensure the number is achieved.

I also try to use the same BH for some research works.  Good example is to introduce about 10 pieces of grooves aluminum plates inside the BH. This new idea will be of great help to all of us if those birds will choose to build their nests on these plates.

The second research operation will be to introduce those insect food inside the roving areas using plastic containers and stack them to about 7 feet high. (Will take some pictures to show once done). If this simple introduction of insects method works I am sure we can all introduce the same concept.

So far I can safely make the following comments:

a) The construction of a VIP room into this BH works perfectly and it works exactly as I predicted.  Those birds choose the room as compared to the main hall due to fact that they feel safer and further from the entrance hole. Nearly all the new nest were inside the VIP room. I hope those who read my blog will try to erect at least one VIP room for every floor.  It must be about 4 meters in width by not more then 5 meters. If you have any doubt about the design please call 017 755 1318.

b) The wet floor is working well too however due in proper auto wetting system it was not to my satisfaction. The water dried after a few weeks and there is lesser smell of rotting bird ship if they are wet.  My suggestion is to install an auto wetting system consisting of a Auto Irrigate meter and PVC piping system to wet the floor on a periodic basis.  For emergency arrangement I spend about 25 minutes to water the floor using two pails and running up from the lower floor toilet up.

c) Those fake nests are working pretty well. I should have brought a mirror on a stick to check for more occupants.  My rough estimates without the mirror stick there were more then 60% of all the new nests were using these fake nests. For this particular BH I deployed both the plastic, aluminum and Styrofoam types. The plastic and the aluminum fake nests were their favorite.

d) One more interesting observation made were the effectiveness of the chandeliers.  Tweeters chandeliers were installed for the purpose of playing external sounds inside the VIP room and the main hall.  Inside this BH four chandeliers were installed.  I was not surprise to see the number of bird shits accumulated below the chandeliers.  It seem that the chandeliers pull the birds into the respective areas and make the birds fell very much at home around it. On the corners of the nesting planks just above two of the chandeliers there were nests and nests markings.

Those who wanted to visit this BH which I am talking about can  make your arrangement to come and visit during my revamp operation.  Call me at 017 755 1318 for your booking and there will be a small fee for the visit. It will be on first come first served basis.  I will only allow 2 person per day of works.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A New BH at Ulu Langat Ready To Begin Operation Soon !!!

Located only about 35 minutes drive from Kuala Lumpur, this new BH might be something to look up for.

The BH wall is with two layers of unfired red bricks with 4 inch thick Styrofoam insulation materials in between.

As at yesterday the nesting planks and corner covers were seen arriving at site and the next few days it will be installed.

I am pretty lucky to be invited to closely monitor the progress of the construction.

The owner indicated that he got my contact from my blog after facing some crucial problem in getting some gadget to help in his amplifier switching method.

Originally he attended a short course in Subang Jaya and his mentor was said to be of help to approve his BH design.

Once he started construction he begun to feel that the mentor was no longer willing to reply to his questions and inquiries.

He turned to the website for some answers and that was where he found my contact number.

From the way he begin with me I truly understand why his mentor was not able to attend to so many inquiries about the BH.

This owner is no ordinary man.  A highly educated and used to holding a high position in the Agricultural Sector.

He is very inquisitive and seems to wanting the best for his BH.

I am not surprise if will start the insect barn all over his BH and maybe start up a breeding barn inside the BH.

So far I have been giving him all the relevant information that he needed and have been visiting the construction site every 1.5 weeks or perhaps upon receiving his request.

I am looking forward to the launching of the BH and I hope all those ideas provided will result in all those birds in Ulu Langat will visit this new landmark.

Those of you who have never entered a newly build BH please contact 017 755 1318 for a visit.  Suitable for newbies or those who intend to DIY their own BH. 

There will be a small visit fee lavied. 

Don't miss an opportunity of your life time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

For The Love Of Swiftlet Farming !!!

I was given a chance to meet up with a study group from Sabah who was given the task to prepare Sabah Swiftlet Farming Guidelines in Setiawan, Perak.

Before making my trip I came up with an 8 pages write up to pass to the team leader.

Started my journey about 10:30am from Kuala Lumpur and by 1:00pm I was ready to meet them.

Mr Ling of Manjung Swiftlet Farming Association Secretary was showing them around and I was honored to meet them for a cup of coffee at one of the nice restorant in town.

I was introduced to the three from Sabah plus Mr Ling and his assistant.

During the 45 minutes meeting I was asked with a few questions and what I did was to pass those documents that I prepared for them.

The group, plus another two more, was given the task to prepare the Sabah State swiftlet farming guidelines and it will be a great challenge to prepare some thing that they were not familiar with.

I was make to understand that there was two more groups, consisting of three person each, were in Penang and Trengganu to learn as much as they could to draw up the guidelines.

My small task was to put forward my opinions on what the state should try to come out with.

If they wanted to push the Swiftlet Industry in Sabah they should introduce guidelines that are business friendly with a specific target. If I were them they should look at something like 1 billion ringgit worth of raw nests by year 2020 from Sabah.

However if they wish to kill the industry they can lay down all those rules that will make those farmers suffocated with "this is a cannot and that is a cannot". If you do this we will penalized you with this summon and that summon.

The guideline should not be done for the sake of those Politicians but for the sake of making Sabah the top notch state that one day will become the number one swiftlet nests producer in Malaysia.

The guideline should help to promote the farming to all investors, local and foreign,  to come into the state and invest in it.

The guideline should also help the locals to be involved so that they will also enjoy the "Gift From God" business in the state.

The guideline should work hand in hand with the swiftlet farmers associations so that all members are guided in the right direction.

The state should look into collecting data the current BHs in the state plus monitoring their progress.

New areas that are still potential to swiftlet farming in the state should be identified and earmark for the sake of promoting the industry.

Swiftlet Eco Park should be encourage however they should comply to some serious guidelines so that they are properly design taking into consideration of it surroundings and things that will improve the nests population.

Farming in town areas should not be encouraged however those that have already build their BHs should be unfairly treated.  They should be properly guided and if possible get them to be informed of any rules that will help in minimizing disturbances to their neighbors.

The state should look into creating a new banking facilities for all those who are qualified.  If you wish to be a major producer, let say 1 billion by year 2020, an equal amount of fund, in the form of loan, should be provided to help the industry.

After my 45 minutes discussion with them I make my way home to dinner with my wife who happened to have her birthday on the same day.

I wish them the best and I hope those inputs provided will help them to come out with a more industry friendly to propel swiftlet industry in Sabah.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Forcing Might Be A Good Way To Push The Birds Downstairs !!!!

If your BH is made of two to three floors, you will realized that the there will be a distinct temperature and humidity different between the floors.

If you install those temperature and humidity sensors gadget you can easily conclude that the lower floors are much cooler and higher humidity then the top most floor.

Good example is if the top floor is 30*C the lower floor, just immediate, will be only 29*C.  If you check the lowest floor, you wont be surprised that the temperature recorded might be 28*C.

Similarly with the Humidity.  There will be quite a different in their readings.

The point I am trying to make you realized is that don't you think the lower floors are better for those birds?

Last night I was with someone who happened to own a BH in Rawang and he told me something might be of interest to all of you.

"Pak Harry, when I started my new BH there were lots of birds entering and some even stays at the toilet areas.  There were two to be precised however after weeks gone by they were no longer there.  They have left.  What do you think are the possible reasons?"

I smiled and shook my head up and down and I asked him a simple question.

"How was the temperature in your BH?"

"On the higher range, above 30*C but not more then 31*C."

Are you sure that your sensor are giving the right readings?

There was another case in Klang when the owner make a beginner mistakes of not covering the top cement areas with roof.

"Pak Harry, when I first started there were at least 300 birds staying and I was so excited about it.  However as days gone by, the BH internal temperature started to hit 34*C.  All the 300 never return home.  I begin to realized that I should have covered the top and even the sides facing those morning and evening sun.  What a big mistake."

There goes another sad stories about how it have a good starts but later became a nightmare.

From my point of view any newly build BHs will experience a short term high humidity and low temperatures.  However when those water in the cement walls and ceiling started to evaporate the house will slowly become dry and hot.

If the lower floors, are cooler and high in humidity, why don't you force the birds to start their home there?

To do this, what you need to do, is to block them from flying into the top most floor.

You can erect partitioning around the "LAL" pushing them to fly to the lower floor.

If you wish to prepare for an opening to allow them to infiltrate the top floor, after you have adequate number of nests at the lower floor, you can in fact used the sliding door.

This idea is nothing new and it can be used in new or old BH but your LAL must be properly located in the first place.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You Should Read This Funny But He Could Be You !!!

"Pak Harry, I am Mr T from Sarawak.  I am about to put my BH into operation next week.  The BH is ready and I got 4 thumb drives with bird sounds from my "Consultant".  My problem is that when I asked him which is internal and external he answered that there is no such thing as internal and external. Very very strange & funny so I quickly contacted you for some advise."

What can be wrong here?

You mean your "Consultant" said that?

I think he is not fit to be one.  There are many, may be better,  in Petaling Street or Chow Kit road in KL.

Now let me come back to you.

How come you never take any effort to get to know more about swiftlet farming yourself?

If you are going to start a BH, my advise if to get yourself ready with knowledge and good sounds.

You could have at least improve your knowledge on your own and perhaps get the sound collection yourself prior to getting the BH up?

Swiftlet farming is something that you need to be the master.  You cannot 100% be dependent on a third party.  If you do that you will cursed yourself for being so stupid.  (I was in the same boat 5-6 years ago)

Most consultant can only try their best to help you but on the long run you need to be on your own.

What you need is to learn as much as you can and be a part of the community where you get new sounds, technologies, aromas and so on.

Never be over dependent on your "Consultant".

Trust me they will disappoint you one day, like what I went through when I first started.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

So You Wanted Some Fruit Flies Maggots !!!

Yesterday transferred some fruit flies maggots to Semenyih BH insect Barn.

There were three visitors that joined the released of these maggots into those yellow plastic containers.

I started my morning activities by picking up Mr Steve Lau from Kuching, Sarawak.  He came to Kuala Lumpur for a conference but he badly wanted to join me to see any interesting activities which I planned for the day.

Well I told him that he will opened his eyes more when he sees what I was up to yesterday.

After picking him up I went over to the Post Office to courier some books ordered by one blog reader.  After posting took Mr Lau to Subang 2 to pick up some items for the Insect Barn in Semenyih.

After loading those containers we went up to Klang to show his the real actions.

"Mr. Lau for the first time in your life you will be allowed to enter the insect barns with lots of maggots and fruit flies.  We also will be showing you how to prepare those soup, insect food".

"Wow Pak Harry this is interesting. I am so excited to see these new ideas."

Upon arrival at the site we were joined by another group of newbies who also wanted to observe my new ideas.

We started boiling the water and once being boiled the soup mixture were added.  While waiting for the water to boiled my staff cleaned those plastic mats taken from the insect barn.

My staff stirred the hot soup using a kind of propeller using those drill machine.

After finishing the mixing the soup were transferred into the insect barn.

Some were poured into a container to be taken to Semenyih.

Well what about those maggots?

Well since we wanted to activate the insect barn the core insect need to be activated using those maggots.

Once completed we quickly rushed to Semenyih to transfer the maggots and the ready made soup.

Once again there were two newbies who came over to view what I was doing.

I might not be a member of any swiftlet farming association but I think I am pretty qualified to be one.

My mission is to expose the new things in swiftlet farming and I intend to continue to teach more newbies as I go along.

"Pak Harry, I wanted to thank you for being so generous with information and allowing us to tag along with your busy schedule.  Before I came over to KL, I heard so many bad rumors about you.  They claimed that you are a fake consultant and trying to cheat newbies like me.  But after following you for just one day and looking at your workmanship on the BH you revamped plus those insect breeding ideas, I am impressed and squash those stupid rumors about you. You are the most honorable and dedicated man in what are good at."

"All that you wrote in your blog were applied in the revamped BH. Amazing".

"Never in my life have come across someone who is so willing to share swiftlet farming knowledge with any newbies. Normally this business is very secret but you make is so opened and willing to make known of new techniques on how to be a successful swiftlet farmer".

"Pak Harry, I will never forget you and I will surely come back to attend your Seminars and perhaps invite you to come to Kuching to visit my BH that I recently launched".

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Amazing BH With Aluminiun Linings on its Nesting Planks !!!

I was in Setiawan, Perak yesterday arranging for hotel facilities for the coming March 5th Swiftlet farming Seminar.

It was about 2.5 hours journey from Kuala Lumpur but it was worth every effort if you have a special invitation to view a 9 years old BH with about 1.5 thousand swiftlet nests.

The moment I arrived, two good friends were waiting for lunch at a steak house.

The two good friends owned at least 15 BHs among them and both were eager to show me their new findings.

While having lunch I was lucky to have met Mr Ling , the Secretary of Swiftlet Farming Association of Manjung, Perak.

I quickly asked him about his meeting with a group of Sabah Government Officers that will be meeting him this January 26th, 2011.

The reason being, I was contacted by the Sabah Swiftlet Association President to also make my way to Setiawan to meet them.

After our lunch I was taken to two hotels in Lumut, about 10 minutes away from Setiawan.

I prefer the Orient Star as compared to The Orchard Hotel.  The only 3 stars hotel in town and closed to the 4,000 nests BH.

After meeting the Sales Mangeresss I was quickly taken to a BH that was recently purchased at about 1.6 million ringgit.

Only two stories high but with about 1,500 nests and the value was a whopping RM1.6 million. The building cost, I think, if without those precious nests will be only RM 500K to 600K.

So you tell me why it can be so high?  First it has 1,500 nests but second the BH is below those swiftlet flying path.

On the left side of the BH, about 50 meters, away is another successful BH belonging to who else "Mr John Cheng" the king of swiftlet farmer in Malaysia.

"Pak Harry I wanted you to view this BH and perhaps give me some good comments or advise on what should I do to double the nests population".  The owner retorted.

The owner claimed that he bought over the building and wanted to double the nests numbers within 2 years.

I was told that the BH have been in operation about 8-9 years.  The last count he did just before buying  over was 1,500 nests.

After the ownership was completed the new owner started using my most famous sound "Black Cloud" for about 1.5 months.

"Pak Harry, your black cloud sound is not bad. I can show you that the sound have done a good job in bringing in those new birds."

He showed me at least 10 new spots that he said was never there before.

One very interesting installation done by the previous owner was the use of aluminium plate linings.

I have never been into a BH with nearly 80% of those wooden planks being lined with metal plates.

Wow, something very interesting that I wish to share with all my blog readers.  I took as many pictures as I can using my iPhone.

"Can I know why the previous owner opt for metal plate lining?" I asked my friend.

"Well Pak Harry, it seem that he visited another BH closed to this building and they were using the same plates.  It seem that what he saw convinced him to apply the plates."

It seem that this using of metal plates is nothing new and have been used by many others.

Hmmm .....this was nothing new because I discovered the same from some famous books written by Fatick Marzuki.

I am sure there will be lots of interesting thing to discovered.  I took a long time to walk all around the BH to try to make out some new discoveries that can help me to decide on the usefulness of metal plates.

My observations after more then 30 minutes inside the house are as follows:

1) More then 80% of the nests were on the metal plates as compared to those wooden areas exposed without the liners.

2) The birds seems to have the same preference on those corners even with the plates.

3) Once there is a joint area where two plates are on each other the birds seem to like is most.

4) The preferred choice areas were at the far end of the nesting areas.

 Please enjoy viewing many other pictures taken during the visit.  I am hopeful that I will be able to visit this BH again and try to help the owner to multiply the nests numbers using anything new that I might have discovered.

Some of those things that I recommended him to do were:

1) To erect a few walls to allow those birds to feel more protected.  Something like the VIP rooms.  The wall should not be lesser then 12 feet in width.

2) Wet the floor.  Main reason being I wanted those young birds to return home and build their nest closed to the place where they were born.  Currently his humidifiers seem to be malfunctioning and not providing adequate dampness on each floor.  I think he should look at using those auto irrigate meters to flood the floor on a weekly basis,

3) Change the external sounds as regular as possible.  The best news as at today (Jan 23rd, 2011) the owner called me in the morning and was excited with what he saw.  "Pak Harry, you know something? This morning I was at my aluminum lined BH and I can swear to you that the birds are plenty above my BH while other BH are empty.  Your new sound or perhaps you smell bring more to my BH.  Thank you very much."

I am not sure the real reasons but it must be the external sound that I changed during the trip.  I always tends to be very itchy finger to tune the amplifiers if I find that they are not properly adjusted.

4) I also would advised the owner to adjust the internal sound volume slightly louder.  The young birds feel more comfortable with slightly louder sound internally.

5) The most appropriate is to properly planned for a "Force Harvest".  It must be done on the right timing of the season.  The best around june or july.

6) I also indicated to him to implement what I called "Favorable Regeneration" eggs removal technique after the forced harvest being done.  This technique will allows the BH to be continuously be with 50% young babies.  Please take note that the young baby crying sounds are said to be able to make those young birds to return back to where they were hatched after flying out.

7) I also wanted to see more internal sound tweeters.  I think the number of tweeters were not good enough.  He should increase by at least 500 per floor.  Use the cluster techniques (four tweeters place at every crossing).

8) He needed to be careful with the metal plates.  It seem that the metal plates were too thin. Once he harvested the plates below the nests seem to be totally eroded as if it was dissolved by the saliva wetness. He needed to either replace the metal plates to a thicker type or perhaps use those stainless steel type.

I am very happy to be of help to him and I am sure those who read this blog will learn something.

The advise I give as above were from my own creation and they are based on the number of observations that I made and many interesting discoveries during my 6 years involvement in swiftlet farming.

Remember I am not a "consultant" but just an enthusiast.

My aim is to try to discover as many new methods to improve any BH nest population and everything that I discovered will be shared with every blog readers with no malice.

If these discoveries brings changes to your BH please thanks god for being able to discover my blog.  You are the lucky one.

Try to share the information with others.

I will be very happy to continue searching for more ideas which will eventually be the cure of any problems with our BHs.

Call me for any helps you needed (only about BH please) and any comment about your new discoveries you have, can be sent to

Friday, January 21, 2011

An Interesting Video Clip Playing MyNBU !!!

This video clip was captured in Setiawan at a friend's BH.  It was inside the tunnel where the birds will enter the two different floors.

You can see the number of bird shits on the walls.  Plenty of them which indicates that the BH is well visited by many swiftlet.

You will also notice some of these things:

1) The sound played was my NBU ( I was carrying out some test to confirm its effectiveness)
2) The birds were returning home in the evening.
3) While most of the birds were seen flying straight in there are some that were not.  These were those new birds that were attracted to the sound.
4) Most of them will stay and very few that were seen leaving the BH.

You can also watch another video clip showing from the outside.

This was also taken during the same time from the external view of the BH.

Just imagine how exciting it would be if this BH belongs to you !!!

I will write something interesting about this unique BH in the my next posting.

Please enjoy yourself with the two video clips.

Japanese Vineger Good For Your BH!!!

Someone called me about three week ago saying that there was a report in a Chinese Newspaper mentioning about a specially made vinegar originated from Japan that can cure BH sickness.

I was trying to find the right answer and hola, I stumbled into it while searching for some BH gadget.

The product comes in either 1liter or 4 liters bottle.

I am not very sure how good it is but a field trial can be good to check on its effectiveness.

Have a good look at some pictures taken.

The cost per liter is about RM 150.

It is more expensive than those love portion.

Maybe because it comes from Japan !!!

If anyone wanted to try this please call or book the vinegar from 017 755 1318

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Are There Any Particular Areas That We Need to Do Research On ???

We have been very lucky that the Agricultural Minister recently announced that the Government is looking into conducting various research on activities that will encourage swiftlet farming.

I personally feel that the Government should not be the only party to be responsible in these researches but it would be better to get those Higher Institutions, Swiftlet Farming Association, NGO and individuals who are talented to also be involved in the area.

Perhaps the Government should come out with the proper guidelines on what special areas needs to quickly researched upon and these topic will be displayed on the Ministry website.

Those who are keen and serious in carrying out these researches shall be given a kind of grant so that they will have the money to acquire equipments for the research purposes.

For every research works there will be a proper objective and any result must produce a product that can be manufactured or produced to help the swiftlet industry.  The return from the proceed shall be reused for other research projects.

I was recently approached by some individuals about what subject matters can be proposed to the Government.

Within less then one day I posted to him the following interesting topics:

List of Research Activities:

1)      Production of Specialized Aroma.
a.       Main objective is to develop a special aroma that will increase the number of bird nests in any new bird house.
b.      To carry out this operation a suitable laboratory need to be installed complete with various apparatus that are required to perform the research.
c.       The laboratory need to have water supply, heating oven, sokhlet extractor, blending machines, washing areas, weighing machine, measuring containers, sprays, beakers, mixers, safety apparatus, boots, refrigerator, storage boxes, storage racks and miscellaneous.
d.      Total amount  required is RM 30,000
e.       Once invented, this specialized aroma can be sold to the market at Ringgit 1,000 per bottle of 500 ml.

2)      Ultrasonic Bird Call Gadget
a.       Main objective is to assemble and test a new soundless bird call gadget that will help to reduce the noise pollution.
b.      Current bird call system produces high decibel sounds that are becoming nuisance to the public.  According to most local councils main complains from public from most bird houses are the bird call sound that are being played almost 12 hours a day.
c.       To carry out this research a special team of sound engineers need to be employed.  Once the team is assembled they will be provided with the necessary equipment to be used in the manufacturing of a gadget that can be used to lure swiftlets to all new and old bird houses.
d.      Total budget required for this research is Ringgit 150,000
e.       Once invented the gadget shall be manufactured and sold to the market at RM 1800 per piece.

3)      The Internal Design of a BH.
a.       Main objective of this subject matter is to come out with the most desirable by these wild birds.
b.      The design will be something that was rumored to be very effective and well liked by the birds.
c.       This new designed is said to be similar to those “pig farm” where the nesting area will be provided with suitable partitioning that formed various rooms.
d.      The cost to conduct the  research is RM 40,000
e.       Once confirmed this design shall become the recommended design for all BH under the Ministry of Agriculture.

4)      Insect Generating Food Cabin.
a.       Main objective is to design a suitable barn or cabin that can produce a total of 5 kilogram of insect per day.
b.      Insect breeding are becoming the most effective method in luring more swiftlets to any new or old birdhouse.  Once install all those birds in the surrounding will stop over at the Barn location and easily lured into your BH
c.       A research team will be responsible is formulating the best food to generate a healthy and when consumed by the birds will perhaps produce higher quality nests.
d.      The allocated budget for this project is Ringgit 100,000.
e.       Once develop the cabin can be sold at Ringgit 3,000 a cabin. 
f.        The insect generating food can be sold at Ringgit 100 per  kilos.

5)      Breeding of Young birds.
a.       Main objective is to breed swiftlet chick by incubation.  Once they are big enough, they can be released into the BH.
b.      This breeding of young birds is nothing new in the neighboring countries.
c.       Eggs can be purchased from those that conduct forced harvest and be hatched using a suitable incubator.
d.      Once hatch, the young birds will be hand feed with those insect produced by the insect barn.
e.       Upon reaching 45 days the young birds can be released into the house and usually about 12-15% will be a permanent tenant.
f.         The grant to carry out this research is at least 150,000.
g)   The technology can be sold at least RM 5,000 per farmer.

6)       Trans location of young Birds
a.       Main objective is to transfer the young birds from the breeding center to any BH within say 50 kilometers away.
b.      This idea have been done successfully in Sabah.  It is well known that the Sabah Director of Forestry Department have used this technique for Sabahan.
c.       Each registered BH owner is entitled to buy about 100 young birds from cave for their release inside their BH.
d.      Once released these birds will normally return to the house and become a BH dwellers.
e.       If this technique is well understood then all BH owners will have a chance to get their empty BH populated.
f.        Once successful, the young birds can be sold at around 100 per chick.
g.       The research allocation needed is RM 50,000.

   7) Red Nest Cultivation Technique.

                  a) Main objective is to find out the most systematic method to convert a BH with say 500 white              colored nests into red nest using natural method.
                  b) This special area is nothing new in the neighboring countries however we are not there yet.
                  c) Red nest are normally caused by some kind of waste product by a kind of yeast or bacteria that feed on ammonia gas and water.
                 d) There are common in old BH whose birdshit were not removed and the BH is wet.  
                 e) The value of red nest is almost three times the white nests.
                 f) It make sense that if we can develop this technology we can easily hit 5 billion ringit of target by year 2020.  Even with only 1/3 tonnage we still sell at 5 billion.
                g) This technology can be patented and sell very well to all swiftlet farmers.
                h) This technology can be sold at RM50,000 per BH.
               i) Cost to carry out this research is about RM220,000

There are many more areas that have yet to be identified.

What the Ministry to do now is to get more input from the associations or individual swiftlet farmer.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vietnamese Swiftlet Enthusiast In Town !!!

The last two days, after the tiring  KK and Sandakan visit, I was with two visitors from Vietnam.

The father and son team came down to take a good look at those Red Meranti logs (rectangular in shape) that were about to be loaded into a 20 foot container onward to Ho Chi Min city.

They planned to cut the and groove these planks in Vietnam.

Since I was the person who initiated the transaction, I could not do much but to attend to their site visit.

The moment they say those beautiful logs they keep saying that it was a marvelous set of items.  Well kept, dried and well packed.  They keep pushing me to get the items into the containers and move onto any available vessel to Vietnam.

I reassured them that the goods belongs to them and they will be packed into those containers once the vessel is firmed and the date of leaving is firmed.

On the same day I took them to Semenyih to view the BH under revamp.

The next day I told them to come again but this time to work as my aroma applicator.

The two were so excited and wanted to learn how to use those pumping machine and the aroma.
This is the way I tried to help those who are new in this business.

What they need is commitment to be the best.

Have a good look at these pictures:

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Star: Sarawakians going into swiftlet farming in a big way

Unprocessed swiftlet nests have a market price of between RM3,000 and RM5,000 per kg compared with at least RM7,000 per kg for processed nests.

Found At:

Sarawakians going into swiftlet farming in a big way


KUCHING: Sarawakians are flocking to the lucrative swiftlet farming business as more and more bird houses are being set up in the state.

Sarawak Bird's Nest Suppliers Association secretary Colin Wong Chung Onn said there was an estimated 5,000 swiftlet houses statewide with many more under construction.

“The number of swiftlet houses has more than doubled compared with a year ago,” he told StarBiz.
About 60% of these houses are found in the Mukah and Sarikei divisions in central Sarawak mostly along the coastal areas.

Unlike Peninsula Malaysia, Sarawak is a late starter in commercial swiftlet farming.
It is learnt that the state authorities, in consultation with the industry players, are drafting comprehensive guidelines to regulate the development of the industry.

Acting on environmental and health concerns, the state authorities had investigated more than 400 illegal farms last year, said Sarawak Assistant Minister for Planning and Resource Management Naroden Majais.
He said the construction of swiftlet farms was being closely monitored to prevent illegal operations.
Naroden said two licences were needed for commercial swiftlet farming - one to construct the building for the swiftlets to nest and the second for the rearing of the birds.

Some 250 licences to construct buildings and a handful to rear the birds have been approved.
Wong said big-time investors were constructing double or three-storey concrete shophouses to rear the swiftlets while the smaller ones, like farmers and fishermen, were building wooden houses.

Unoccupied or under-utilised shophouses and residential houses have been converted into swiftlet farms.
He said it would cost about RM400,000 (excluding land), to build a three-storey shophouse (36ft x 76ft) for swiftlet farming.

Sarawak's first swiftlet eco-park, a RM40mil joint-venture between state Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and Borneo Resources Synergy Sdn Bhd is expected to be ready in Balingian, Mukah division within the Sarawak Corridor for Renewable Energy by next year.

The park will have 40 three-storey units and 15 three-storey bungalow units.

The SEDC has been tasked by the Sarawak government to spearhead the development of swiftlet farming on a well-planned, sustainable and eco-friendly manner.

Similar eco-parks have been planned for other parts of the state.
Wong said some pioneer swiftlet houses in Paloh, Mukah division could each produce up to 3kg of swiftlet nests a month.

“Unprocessed swiftlet nests fetch a market price of between RM3,000 and RM5,000 per kg compared with at least RM7,000 per kg for the processed nests.”

Some of the raw nests are being sold by middlemen to Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.
He said based on a conservative estimate of the 5,000 bird houses producing an average 0.5kg of nests a month, this would mean a yearly production of 3,000kg. At an average market price of RM3,500 per kg, it would generate RM10.5mil per annum for the Sarawak economy.

Sarawak's production of swiftlet nests, Naroden said was 2,854kg last year, up from 2,095kg in 2008.
For the first 10 months of last year, 1,757kg valued at RM7mil were produced.

Naroden said China was the biggest market for edible swiftlet nests, followed by Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia.

Wong said the production of swiftlet nests from caves, like Niah Cave in Miri, had been on the decline over the years because of over-harvesting.

Although swiftlet farming is potentially lucrative, he said there were investors who had not been successful in their ventures due to several factors.

“Choosing the right location to site the swiftlet houses is vital, otherwise it will take a longer time to attract the birds.
“Other important factors are the design and conditions, like temperature and humidity, of the houses,” he added.

According to an investor, the returns from successful swiftlet farming was comparatively higher than most businesses.

He said a two-storey swiftlet house (20ft x 60ft which costs between RM250,000 and RM300,000 to build) could produce between 36kg and 48kg of nests a year (worth between RM144,000 and RM192,000 based on RM4,000 per kg) from the fourth year of operation.

“Once in operation,it will take at least 18 months for the first collection of the nests. Production will gradually increase with more swiftlets nesting,” he added.

For the most successful operator, it would take about five years to fully recover the costs to build the swiftlet houses and related facilities, adding that from then on, the profits would be high.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pak Harry I Need Your Help Urgently !!!

You never know when you will receive those SOS phone call asking for some helps.

Sometime when you are driving, sometime in the bath room, sometime when I am making love and the last I remembered was when I was at the airport about to leave for Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

"Pak Harry, I understand that you are coming to Sabah.  Can you extend your trip to Sandakan?
I need your advise on a BH I put into operation about 5 months ago.  Only one nests so far."

The person on the other side of the phone sounded very helpless and I hate to disappoint him.

The next thing I asked was:  How do sure are you that I can be of help you?

"Pak Harry I have been following your blog diligently and I did purchased a few external sounds from you.  I tested your top notch sounds and they are better then those unproven sounds. I know you are the one that can help my predicament".

Well as long as you are willing to wait until I finish my jobs in KK I might be able to do something.

That was how I extended my stay in Sabah just one more day.

I flew to Sandakan on January 12th, 2011 and was received by Mr. L wife.

"Pak Harry sorry my husband is stranded in KK and will be in Sandakan by tomorrow morning.  Will come and pick you up for breakfast".

Well luckily there were two other blog readers who came to accompanied me till midnight.

The next morning I checked out and Mr.L was at the hotel straight from the airport.

"Pak Harry so sorry that I was not able to take you for dinner last night and I am sure you have some friends or blog readers to see you."

We traveled about one hour before reaching his troubled BH.

The moment I arrived I was surprised with the size of his BH.  30 feet by 100 feet and 3 stories high. 

Hmmmm very impressive.  Hugh and high.

"Pak Harry what do you think of the BH problems?" He was so eager to get the right answers.

Hold on give me some time to diagnose the possible problems. 

I took a tour around the BH and pointed to him something that I am not happy with.

"You hexagonal tweeter is too high and not properly located.  You also have too long the overhang zinc above your entrance hole.  Cut is to about 10 inches and relocate those hexagonal closer to the entrance hole and not more then 1.5 feet above the roof surface".

"You need to know that the hexagonal and the entrance hole are inter related.  There is no used if you call the birds and they could not find the entrance hole. They should be precisely positioned as such that the two works together and not individually. Move the hexagonal to top of the entrance hole and make sure it is in the middle position of the entrance hole.  Cut the height to about 1.5 feet.  You want those birds to be as closed as you can to the entrance window".

Make sure all those ventilation pipe holes are properly covered with wire mesh.  If not those black red eyes birds will take residence in all of them.

Yes Pak Harry I also have the same thought before but I dare not make any modification since it was installed by my "Sifu" cum contractor.  Now since you confirmed I am happy that what I have in mind was correct. I will correct it immediately.

Okay let us take a look at your data room.

As predicted all the amplifiers were wrongly set.  The treble were zero, the mid at 1 pm and the low were all at 11.00am.  Worst was those setting on the amplifiers Kz settings.

Oh my god.  I shook my head and told him why a precise setting is a must.

Let me show you how those sound looks like when they were being played.  I took my notebook computer and run the sound using my "Window Media Player" set with "Bars and Waves" setting.

After showing him a the shapes of those bars I told him to embed the shape and start adjusting those Kz bars setting.

"Pak Harry, I never knew how critical these knobs and bars were until now. Thank you for being so helpful.  I am beginning to feel what was wrong with the BH even before showing you the inside.  Thank you sir".

Mr L all these are precision and you cannot simply set those bars to you liking.  In fact I am a person who loves to be precised". I told him.

We then entered the BH and I was impressed with the effort he but to get the BH up and running.

The moment I reached the third floor, starting from the entrance window area, I can see some gross mistakes that he was unaware of.

"Mr L you indicated to me on the phone that not a single bird went downstairs.  Do you know why?  Just tell me where are the LAL (the hole on the floor to lead the birds to the lower floor)?  You opened the LAL not at the right spot.  If I was the one who designed this BH I will choose a spot where a 100% of all birds entering and leaving this BH will cross. Where do you think that precise location should be?

I pull him to the spot and he shook his head up and down absorbing my precise location.

Oh yes you are not the only one who make this mistake but nearly every one does.  If you can we need to erect some partitions to lead those birds to fly above the LAL.

You have too little tweeters and from the number of birdshit spots on the floor, nearly all below the internal sound tweeters located very closed to the roving area, I quickly told him that I think your entrance hole is facing the west.

"Oh yes how do you know that Pak Harry?"

Oh blind me I am just too good for some body new like him.

Remember these wild birds are very smart and they need to fly out as early as they can.  They need those morning light to guide them out of the house.  If your entrance hole faces the west, the sunrise is at the east, those birds will choose to build their nest closed to the entrance hole where the morning light is the brightest.

After making a few more observations we ended up the day by doing those external bird sound test.

This was when I discovered the new sound called "Gotcha".  Every bird that came to the window will enter the BH.

I was telling the BH owner that it is very unusual that every bird that came to entrance hole are young birds.  Normally only about 30% are young birds while 70% will have their nests with either eggs or babies.  They normally will not abandoned their nests.

Pak Harry, maybe those settings that you have made plus this new sound make them to stay?

Maybe he was right but what I can say was that the one day trip was very useful to him and his family.

I am proud to have been asked to help and my advises were well taken.

I wish him the best and hopefully my small contribution will improve his BH nests population.