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Saturday, March 31, 2012

An Interesting E-Mail From Vietnam !!!

Just received this message from Vietnam.

Dear Sifu Harry,

How are you?

This week, i decided to change my main external sound to Diamond. This will be played at peak time only to keep its effectiveness last longer.
Though this sound is very old, it is still doing perfect. You can see how many birds keep circling above my rooftop in the morning in the video below.
This BH now have more than 100 nests and nest markings after 5 months in operation.
There is another good news i would like to tell you. My second BH in Can Gio which is next to my dual entrance BH is doing great as well.
We had about 20 birds stayed overnight on the first day in operation. After 3 days, we have 60. Now, after 5 days, we have more than 100.
This video was captured today when the birds was entering my BH. 

In this second BH, i try implementing some new things from my observation and experience.
Their effectiveness is still under evaluation. I will tell you after the testing period.

Thanks for everything you taught me. 

Your technique in swiftlet farming is more than great. It's PERFECT.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Use Your BH As Advertising Board !!!

From far it looks like a nice message welcoming you to this district call "Ledang".

But when you go nearer you realized that the huge welcoming message is posted on one of the walls of a bird house.

Hmm....this gives me the idea of using your BH as your billboard.

I am not very sure of the local rules but this might generate some good income to your investment.

Go and see the local council and ask for their advise first, if you wanted to be sure.

While driving down to Kulai to pick up the balance of items left in the revamped BH I was invited to meet a friend who wanted to discuss about selling his 4X4 to me.

The town to meet was Tangkak Johore in Ledang District.

The moment I entered the exit point just before paying my toll there was this huge BH that welcome me with a welcome to Ledang message.

I was stop for some picture taking and moved towards the toll gate.

What came to my mind was this idea of generating income by using your BH as an advertising wall.

You can generate at least a few thousands a year for allowing some one to use your wall's space and this income can help to finance the maintainence works.

The banner if properly installed, depending on the size and the quality of advertising cloth used, can help to reduce direct sunlight hitting your BH walls.

By minimizing the sun ray hitting the walls directly you might be able to reduce your internal temperatures by at least 0.5*C or more.

Well again your BH must be somewhere closed to a busy junction with lots of human traffics passing by.

No matter what you think about it just take it as one of the possibilities that you that generate income and at the same time reduce the internal temperature.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What I Can Comment About Swiftlet Farming In Sabah !!!

From the many visits and news from a number of Sabahan I would like to say that it is much easier to become a successful swiftlet farmer in Sabah.

I was having dinner with Mr B of Sandakan, Sabah and during the evening talk he posted this question:

"Pak Harry what do you think about swiftlet farming in Sabah in general?"

He posted this question since he just started revamping a family BH that went wrong.

Prior to meeting myself he attended two swiftlet farming seminars in KK and Subang Jaya.

Both did gave him something to start but was a bit too little to raise his confident level.

"There were too many questions unanswered and I just could not figured out why my family BH is not doing well.

After reading my blog, twice, and attended my seminar in KK he became a new man with high level of confident.

I was surprised with the amount of things which he can remembered when we talk about a few interesting issues.

I realized not that he is not a layman but a person with two degrees.  Engineering and Biotech.

He reads and stored those knowledge in his brain much longer than the rest.

When he posted this peculiar question about what I feel about swiftlet farming in Sabah I took some time to put together what I personally feel about it.

First point, swiftlet farming in Sabah is in its infant stage.  The number of BHs as compared to Peninsular is very little. This will be like the birds will be searching for BHs as compared to in Peninsular where BHs are searching for birds.

Second point, Sabah is a highly forested country and nearly 85% of its land are still under forest or palm oil plantation.  The more the trees the more there will be insects. If there are lots of insects those birds will be able to multiply pretty fast and they will be larger in size.  If the are large, their nests will be large too.

Third point, I have this strange feeling that I pretty know what sounds to be used in Sabah.  I came to know that in Sabah all my top notched sounds are very effective in almost all the towns.  In view of this there is a very strong ability to lure them into your BH new or old.

Fourth point, the use of specially formulated aroma "Super pheromone" seems to give a sure result in Sabah.  In Peninsular the pheromone might not be as attractive but in Sabah/Sarawak the super pheromone is proven.  In this case it will be much easier to lure those birds to be your permanent tenant.

Fifth point, only in Sabah the method of populating empty BH using Translocation technique are well promoted.  The state department of forest who controls the nest harvesting in caves have this special method to populate your BH using those cave swiftlet nests.  I was made to understand that they will be organising a seminar on this method in July 2012.

Sixth Point, in Sabah there are many caves.  Most of these caves have swiftlet staying.  Since the Forestry depatrment are having a full control on their harvesting timing, the number of birds are on the increase. This control action helps in the multiplication of the birds in the state in general.

Seventh point, beside caves on the main island there are also caves on smaller islands.  These caves can also help to contribute the increase of swiftlet in the state.

Eight point, Sabah have been on swiftlet nests maps for centuries.  It seems that their Gemuntong cave produce the highest quality nests in the world.  The income generated from these caves is pretty high and how I wish some percentage from these income be used to help swiftlet industries in the state.

I wish I can add more points but I think the above are good enough for now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How To Ensure That Those Figs Warps Are Being Generated !!!

Assuming that your Figs trees are grown up and started to produce their fruits for the first time.

How do you ensure that the fruits will generate those insects (Figs Warps)?

Some time due to some unknown reasons your figs fruits will not have any of these insects and my advise to you is to find ways to get them over.

The best is to regularly check your fig plant fruiting timing.

Once you know that the fruits have began you then need to check any other matured figs trees closed to yours.

You now need to monitor these tree for their fruits.

Once they started to ripe or close to ripening try to plug a few and break them open.

If they produce those figs warps you can now plug as many as you can and bring to your first time fruiting plant.

You can put these fruits on a special platform below the young tree so that those figs warps will colonize your fruits.

The best is to tie them with a string like a pearl necklace and hang on the lower branches of your tree.

Have a look at this you tube video clip:

The idea is to bring the warps to your trees and not waiting for them to fly from other trees.

You need to do this a couple of times until such time your figs trees are colonized by these figs warps.

Remember your objective is to produce as much insects as possible and if your tree are not producing those insects you need to bring them over.

If you do not know where to get those fruits with warps inside please let me know.

I do have some trees in town with lots of insects.

Call 017 7551318

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Can Be More Relaxing Than Watching Those Swiftlet Entering Your BH !!!!

People used to ask me about what is the best thing in swiftlet farming?

With a wide smile I will say that watching those swiftlet rushing into your BH every evening is the most exciting things in my swiftlet farming career.

The more the number of birds entering the more you feel accomplished.

I was with this visitor from Sandakan, Sabah yesterday and after the long tour to collect some Figs branches I managed to take him to Kepong KIP to look at those birds coming back to roost.

"Pak Harry I used to study my degree in biotech at Twintech University just around here.  In fact I was working in one of those bio company just around the corner."

Well that was what he was muttering to me while on the way to KIP BH.

The moment we reached the site he was surprised with the soft volume of the sound that was coming out from those tweeters.

"Wow the volume is so small.  All this while I thought it should be as loud as you can."

My answer to him was that it shall be dependent on the surrounding.

The Kepong BH is in a residential areas and there will be a sure complains if we are not careful.

If the unit is in an agriculture land I will blast the sound a bit louder, I told him.

The best thing that he learned from this trip was to confirm my prescription that the entrance hole should be facing the flying path home.

By watching the flying behaviour of those swiftlet from far and how they flew right to the entrance window and suddenly swerved into it was some thing very special to him.

It was during this time that I mentioned to him how I feel by just watching those swiftlet flying into the entrance hole.

It was more like a soothing and enjoyable moment of the day.

He nodded and agreed fully with me.

"Pak Harry I hope my new BH will be the same as this and I am sure I will be enjoying like you are today."

"Thank you for taking me to this place and this is the best for my whole day with you."

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Something New And Under Closed Observation !!!

One of the most interesting benefit when I revamp those sick BHs is to have the opportunities in conducting new ideas that might help to get quicker nests.

The owner will be very happy if these new ideas might work.

While in Kulai Johor I took the troubles to install about 300 fake nests in this revamped BH.  Yes I installed all of them on my own.

Out of the 300 about 12 were those made of aluminium.  The rests were made of styrofoam, plastic and gel.

Most of the plastics and gel were sprayed with super pheromone but for the 12 pieces of aluminium fake nests I tried something new.

What I did was to apply those raw nests which were soaked in plain water for three days.

This was how the application looks like and let us hope that the smell generated from these soaked raw nest will make those swiftlet feel more at home.

I will make every effort to monitor the progress and if those swiftlet should start to make their nests on these 12 aluminium fake nests you will be the first to know.

We cannot take for granted but the only way to find out is to try every idea that we believed will attract them into our BH.

Enjoy the video clip and pictures:

Friday, March 23, 2012

Let See What Is Inside Those Figs Fruits !!!

Today I managed to wrap up the revamp works in Kulai and fetched my two workers home.

While driving received a call from Mr B from Sandakan, Sabah.

"Pak Harry, I would like to get some cut branches from those Figs trees.  Can you fetch me from KL and show me where to get them?"

Frankly I was a bit tired from the 3.5 hours drive but I keep telling myself that there is someone who came so far and wanted some help.

Well since I was about to reach KL I told him to meet me somewhere in KL proper.

I fetched him at one of the bus stop and we started by having a short tour to look at all those figs trees that I was familiar with.

Some of them are fruiting and some are with ripe fruits.

After the short tour I stopped him at my favourite spots where he can helped himself with those branches.

While he was busy with cutting those branches I was curious about what can be found inside those figs fruits.

I know that there will be lots of those figs warps but may be some other insects.

Well what I did was to plug a few of those going to be ripe fruits and squeezed one by one to opened.

Let see what will come out of them.

Have a look at this first figs fruit:

Immediately after I opened the fruit those figs warps were jumping all over the place.

Sorry to use only one hand since the other hand was with my iPhone camera.

Have a look at the second piece:

The same thing happened since the fruit was from the same tree.

What about another specie from a different tree closed by?

I was surprised to see that the insect from this particular tree were not those figs warps but a kind of beetles.

Small but they are able to fly once they are released in the open.

More pictures taken during today's outing with Mr B.

If you happened to be in Kuala Lumpur and would like to take a short tour please call 017 7551318.

There is a small fee for the professional time to take you around.

Monday, March 19, 2012

What Happen If Your BH Is Too Dry !!!

If your BH is not within the right humidity range what kind of things will happen to your tenant ?

This is something that not many of us understand the consequences of not having your BH in the proper condition.

I have this special experience that I think I must share with all my blog reader.

This have something to do with something that was not within my control.

I was asked to revamp a BH however after doing my job the BH owner did not connect the water supply pipe to the storage tank.

The BH was operated without any drop of water to provide the right humidity which is very crucial to those birds.  Even though I installed those humidifiers but I could not operate them.

After finishing the BH revamp works I asked the site supervisor to arrange to connect the water mains.  Once done I asked him to switch the humidifiers on.

However he did not due to some payment issue with the BH owner.

The BH was running without any water in the storage tank.

Humidity have many functions to your BH.

Most important is to cool the BH down.

The next is to help in the incubation of eggs.  If your BH is too dry the water evaporation will cause the eggs to be dried too.  When this happened the baby that was hatched will be deformed and stuck to the egg's shell.

The BH will be very dry and dusty.  This will cause your nest to be very dirty contaminated by those flying dusts.

One more thing that will happen are the nests shape.  They will be wavy and more often than not cracks.  The cracks area are dangerous to those young birds. Their legs will get entangled with the cracks.

The nests will be brittled and if the nest is too thin the brittle nature will break and drop those young birds that are not ready with their wings to fly.

One very unusual thing that will happened is that the birds will refuse or delay in building their nests.

They have this six senses that if they build their nests and lay eggs there is a very strong chance that their hatched babies will be deformed.

This was exactly happened to this BH that I revamped about 4 months (more) ago in Kuala Krai, Kelantan.

The number of bird shit spots inside the BH was high (55 spots) but after more than 4 months the number of nest detected was only one (still is the early stages).

This means that those birds are staying but they are not going to the next level of building their nests.

Usually the nests number should have been at least 5-10 fully formed nests with 55 bird shits markings on the floor.

So be careful when you run a BH.

Make sure the humidity range required is met.

The right thing to do is to connect those water pipes and ensure that those humidifiers are working.

Use those auto humidity sensor & activator to operate these humidifiers (highly recommended).

Set it at 85%RH.

The BH humidity should be about 85% - 90% RH.

If without any water and humidifier operating the BH will be about 60-65% humidity.  This is your normal air humidity in Malaysia unless it rains for the whole day.

If you use air condition system, your room air is about 40-45% RH.  The air is very dry and this is why you feel cool since it will evaporate your body sweat produced.

Take this advise seriously if you wanted to see more nests in your BH.

Trust me.

If you need to know more write to

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another New Figs Trees With Lots Of Fruits and Swiftlet Gathering Above !!!

I think I have discovered another type of figs tree that might be a good source for those insects.

The tree generate red coloured fruits and when ripe it turned black.

I called it as "The Malaysian Cherry".

While driving out from my in law's house yesterday I passed by a school and just about 100 meters away I was surprised to see so many swiftlet circling on a tree.

At first I thought it must be those termites or red ends flying out of their nests since it was after a heavy shower.

Since I was rushing to meet some one in Penang I ignored the whole thing.

Well this morning when I woke up, my mind was again keep thinking about those birds on that particular tree.

I was curious and keep asking myself that there must be something that were making those birds circling above that particular tree.

Without taking any breakfast I sneaked out of the house and drove to the same tree.

In my mind I was thinking that if there are no more birds on the same tree than there was some flying insects that was coming out of the ground yesterday.

However if those birds are still flying above the tree until today than there are insects generated from the tree it self.

The moment I reached the site I was very surprised that those birds were still up there on just this particular tree.

Hmm... the tree must be generating those insects.

The only way to explain is to check if the tree is a figs tree.

I plugged a few of the red and black coloured fruits and squeezed opened.

Oh yes the fruit is very much a figs fruit.

Figs fruits have this kind of internal structure that the flower is inside the fruit and those insects have to bore their way into the fruit to pollinate the flower inside.

Once they have pollinated they will lay their eggs in a specially made pods.

So now I have discovered 5 different types of figs trees that can be used as insects generators.

The best is to perhaps get at least two types of these figs trees to be planted around your BH.

The best is to be at the front of your entrance hole area.

Make sure they are not taller than your BH !!!

Main reason why you should plant more than one type is to allow the insect generating period be prolonged/extended thus exposed your BH to more birds in a year.

If your first figs tree type started to generate those fruits in Jan to March and the second figs tree type start to fruit from February to April, if the two fruiting time overlapped you will have a longer period of insects around your BH i.e. January till April.

This will be every year at least once.

Have a look at another video clip and  various interesting pictures:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Strange Behaviours Of Swiftlet Removing Those Fake Nests !!!

Have a look at this picture and see how many of  those pink coloured styrofoam strips are on the floor?

They are actually those fake nests that I installed at Gambang  revamped BH.

The question here is that why do they remove these fake nests?

 I used those double sided tapes to stick them onto the nesting planks.

The lesson here is never use these double sided tapes.

Use two screws to fasten them onto those nesting planks.

Look into these pictures too:

Friday, March 16, 2012

Another Successful Revamped BH !!!

(Outstanding: A row of new bird shit spots in one of the VIP room after the revamp works) 

I have been looking forward to check a BH that I revamped about 7 weeks ago in Gambang, Pahang.

The owner was a lady who tested my ability through a friend who owned a BH in Kepong, Selangor.

She introduced my good self to this Kepong BH owner who happened to operate a very poorly tenanted BH for almost 2 years.

After almost one year with very good progress she called and wanted me to turn around her owned sick BH in Gambang.

What she did was real.  She continue monitoring my progress in the Kepong BH by watching and sometime asked the Kepong BH owner on my progress.

Her BH was converted from a three stories shop house to BH by her brother in law who own one of the most successful BH in Kuantan. He seems to own a BH with about 30 Kg a month of harvesting.

After more than two years the BH remain the same with only 10 nests and I think only 7 were with tenants. The bird shit signs below the nests can tells you if those nests were still occupied or abandoned.

I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to revamp and yesterday after almost 7 weeks I entered to check on the BH status.

The result was very impressive however most of the nests were being taken away by a burglar.

The total number of bird shit spots shoot up to almost 60 and most of these shit spots were new.

What I like most were where the bird shit spots were most found. Yes inside those VIP rooms I created.

Nearly all the chandelier and kite tweeters have bird shit markings below them.  Yes these two gadgets I created have a kind of high performance in any BH I used.

The most number of bird shit spots were on the top most floor, about 35-40 of them.

The middle floor have about 15-20 spots while the lowest was about 3.

It could have been better if not because of this BH was burglarised and all the sound thumb drives were stolen. I think the event happened about a week or two ago.

I am pretty happy with the result but I think the number can be increased if the followings can be or be carried out:

1) I need to visit the BH on a more regular basis to check on a number of things that can improve the tenant numbers.

2) The water supply to the main storage tank was functioning since the main water meter was stolen.

3) The humidifiers were down since no water was flowing in the piping system.

4) The number of humidifiers need to be increased by at least one more on the middle floor. I prefer the miss maker humidifiers.

5) The BH needs regular spray with my Mutiara aroma. The best is to spray about 2X15 litres bottles.

6) About 12 bags of fresh bird shit obtained from a nearby BH was placed in this BH during my visit.

7) To attract more birds to start making their nests the super pheromone was sprayed on those nesting planks.

8) The tweeter arrangements inside the entrance hole area need to me rearranged.

9) A set of water proved tweeters to be installed replacing those tweeters that were located on the wall that are exposed to rain and shine.

10) I might want to start an insect breeding system using those soya bean soup.

To those who read this article and have a similar BH problem call 017 7551318

I think I am closed to finding the right solutions for any kind of BH problems.

The only limitation is when there are no birds around !!!!