I visited this same place a couple of months ago and it was to answer a call from a blog reader.
He owned a BH with very little swiftlet activities inside.
"Pak Harry most of them only enter the roving areas and as fast they entered they rush out at the same speed. They simply refuse to enter the nesting room" this was his main problem.
After viewing all the things that he did inside I told him why those swiftlet refuse to enter his nesting room.
It was mainly due to his poor understanding on the effect of birds to his external sound.
When you play a good external sound those birds will be excited to play at those tweeters. When they passed the tweeter and if you do not have any follow up tweeter a they will simply turn back towards the tweeter on the main entrance hole window.
The only way to pull them inside is to precisely locate your follow up tweeter along the flying path.
He followed my report and now his BH seems to being doing far better then before.
Okay how relevant is he to this new guy who invited me to visit his BH in Sekinchan today?
This particular person owned a pretty large BH above his shop house above a stone throw from the first guy.
They are related. If fact everybody is related to each other in this small town.
After having some discussion with the first BH owner and his current progress he quickly phone Pak Harry to visit his very sick BH.
What he has after 3 years plus into operation only 10 nests.
His father engaged at least two "consultants" and both failed to fulfill their promises.
The first stop the owner from entering the BH for nine months.
You know what happened after nine months? Nearly all the amplifiers were not functioning and no one knows about it. Not a single nest.
The second "consultant" came in to "revamp" the BH.
Actually this so called 2nd consultant was a wire man. He knows nothing about swiftlet farming and he too could not produce any result, said the owner.
The owner took over the responsibilities and after doing a bit of revamp and applied some ideas learned from a famous blog, he managed to get 10 nests.
"Pak Harry I am better then those two idiots. But I got to confess that those ideas were from your blog." he was making his confession.
The reason why he called me to come over is to get a knowledgeable person to explain why those birds refuse to stay even when they were so many that entered his BH.
He cannot understand why they refuse to stay.
After having some deep discussion with his dad and looking at the report in a Chinese newspaper, his dad gave the blessing to allow Pak Harry to come over.
I was very happy to be given the opportunity to check what was wrong with the BH.
My findings are as follows:
1) The BH above a shop house was big and the owner split it into two BHs in one.
2) The first unit with the most number of nests was using the monkey house entrance area system.
3) The second BH used a smaller entrance hole opened on the wall with not monkey house.
4) I was very impressed with the number of bird shit markings on the walls of the monkey house and the roving room. The large number indicated that there were a lot of birds entered the BH.
5) One very big error why those birds refuse to stay have something to do with the darkness inside the main nesting room. Though it was about 80 feet away from the monkey hole tunnel the amount of light was simple too much.
I always preach about the rule of the thumb. The basic rule to make those birds to like your nesting room area is to ensure that your room darkness must but such where when you stand 2 feet apart you cannot see each others face. Remember this very important rule of the thumb.
For this BH it was like you can see so far that you can kick a ball into the goal from where ever you stand.
6) The only way to get to this status is to reposition all his current partitions and make a room at the main connecting door between the monkey house tunnel and the roving room. The next few more walls can be put into position to block those lights.
7) I sketched what I think is the best for his BH and he was very pleased with my observations and comments.
8) He did something that pull those birds inside the monkey house but might refuse to enter the nesting room. The reason for this was the number of external sound tweeters he installed at the entrance door. He lined up about 20-30 tweeters all around the door frame.
9) One bad habit that I pointed to him was the used of too many different brands and models of tweeters around the entrance hole and inside the BH. The many brand and model will only make those with the least resistivity got the highest signal while the higher resistivity with be dead or make very little sound.
10) The BH was with very little gadgets to attract those birds attention. No fake nests, no kite tweeters, no waste wood corners and the number of cluster tweeters were a bit too little.
11) A number of nesting planks shows some fungus signs. I recommend a proper cleaning operation to be done especially those planks inside the VIP room.
12) One very positive strength which I pointed to the owner was his formulation of an insect generation system. He have mastered a new technique on how to make the insect food cheaper. What he told me was that he mix crushed waste rice with duck food powder 50-50 mix. The two powder should be mixed with boiling water and stir well. Let the mixture ferment for about one week before taking them up into the monkey house. They seems to produce lots of fruit flies.
13) The main entrance hole was pretty big about 3 feet wide by 7 feet high and facing the east (not the flying path). My plan will be to slightly reduce the height to 4 feet.
14) The owner opened an additional hole about 2.5 feet wide by 3 feet long on the roof of his monkey house. This hole allows those birds that flew in will fly out of the roof.
15) The number of ventilation holes were very few. This was one of the poor design during conversion operation.
16) The amplifiers were not properly set and getting very little use of those equalizers.
Well I hope all what were not right can be rectified.
Let us hope that there will be lots of birds staying in this BH once being revamped.