Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Visited Two BHs Both Been In Operation For Almost 5 Years !!!
Today visited two BHs in Teluk Intan, Perak and both seems to be facing the same problem.
The two owners confessed to me that they find it very hard to understand why after 5 years the nest numbers stood at around 150 and 100 only.
I happened to have a good look around the BH and did some interview with the two.
There were a reasonable number of birds flying around the nesting rooms when I visited but the question posted to me was why the number of nests stays low at 150 and not moving?
My frank opinions were as follows:
1) Both BHs were a bid too dry. My advise to them was to push the humidity value to 95%RH. They need to install humidifiers inside the VIP room. The first few week set the sensor at 85%RM and after that push the sensor to about 92%RH.
2) The best method to raise the VIP rooms humidity is by using those humidifiers control by a sensing device.
3) My second opinion was about the erection of VIP room on those floors that shows signs of birds staying in numbers. The room should not be less that 4 meters wide. I suggested for them to choose one of the floor for a test run. They should install the two humidifiers inside this room. If the birds love to stay inside this room they should expand to other floors.
4) The location of the entrance door into the VIP room must be proper.
5) The nesting room temperature on the highest floor was a bit on the high side. They need to think of a proper way to improve it.
6) The use of insect generating system might help to lure more birds to come into their BHs. I brought one unit for the first trial run. On the June 29th, I need to visit the same BH for the second unit.
7) They need to look at upgrading those old melodies (external and internal sounds).
8) Their amplifiers setting were not tuned to optimize those good sounds. I tough them the right settings.
9) I did put forward the idea of installing about 100 fake nest per floor. Main objective is to get those young couple to start making love at a much faster rate.
10) During lunch I push the idea of setting a proper objective when operating a BH. What I proposed was to set a target say 500 nests within the next two years. They need to come out with the list of things which they must adhere and follow through.
After three hours with the two I realized something.
a) They tend to use the excuse that since there were so many BHs around their BH, it might be the reason why their BH was not populated. I disagreed with the comment. You should try to improve your knowledge and revamp your BH to such a point that your competitors should be afraid of you and not the other way round/
b) They seems to be at a lost junction. There is no body out there that are willing to share swiftlet farming information. On many occasions they have good ideas but simply do not have any idea how to implement them in their BHs. Good example they wanted to grow those insect long ago but don't know how to create the food for the insects. Worst was where to get those insect to start the first colony.
c) They were a bit disappointed with the Ministry of Agriculture of Malaysia. How come the Ministry have too little knowledge about how to help the industry to be better than out neighbours. No research institute, no dedicated body to help the swiftlet farmers and so forth.
d) The Government should not impose to many rules but instead pull all stops to encourage more people to invest in swiftlet farming industry. If we analyse deeply more and more investors in swiftlet farming are investing overseas as compared to in the country.
e) Too many so called unqualified consultants around that are causing lots of damages to the industry. Good example was the way the BHs being designed and build. Most of these BHs have difficulties to be populated. The designers seems to have very little knowledge about those wild birds that they wanted to lure into the BHs.
f) It is very common that the location of LAL are not at the right location. This contribute many empty floors below the first floor. The birds cannot find where to go downstairs. The designer have this weird thinking that those birds are like them. If I can the hole the birds should be able to. A very wrong method of thinking and design criteria.
I agreed with some of their opinions but I told them with the current scenario we need to quickly upgrade our knowledge and try not to depend too much on the Ministry.
The best will be to refer to Pak Harry and attend his seminar on a regular basis.
Call 017 7551318 if you are feeling the same as they do.