My recent trip to Felda Belara Kuala Trengganu was under the invitation of Company who is engaged by Felda.
I was asked to check if the location is suitable for swiftlet farming and locate the best site for a new and advance design BH.
Upon arrival at the location I was not only conducting the site test but was asked to inspect an operating BH that was constructed and put into operation in year 2010.
The operating BH was with 800 nests, according to the person in charge taking care of the BH.
What trouble me the moment I saw the operating BH was these questions:
1) If they already have a BH why don't they improve the operating unit and maximize the floor space?
The BH dimension was 20 feet by 60 feet and three stories high. If we calculate the total nesting area on the BH ceilings we have 3X20X60 =3600 square feet. If 4 nests can be built on every square foot the BH have the maximum capacity to house a total of 14,400 nests.
Now it hold only 800 nests and there is still 14,400-800= 13,400 nests space to be occupied.
2) If they still wish to erect another unit I told them that the new unit might affect the current operating unit. Those young birds will most likely move to the new BH thus the current BH will face some kind of problem especially getting those young birds from coming back home and worse the nest population with be stagnant and later decelerate.
No matter what the outcome will be I carried out my tasks professionally and conducted the bird call tests on three locations about 100 meters away from the currently operating BH.
The test went well and all resulted in more than 250 birds responding to the Duress call.
One location was exceptional where the number of birds responded as closed to 1000-1300 birds.
The next thing that I discovered was a bird nest processing center located very closed to the operating BH.
The processing center was under "Felda Wellness Corporation" which housed about 20 female workers.
According to my source this is the first processing center fully owned by Felda and fully "Halal".
They are working towards getting the approval to be an exporter to China.
They also aimed to be the center to collect all bird nests produced in Trengganu and its vicinity.
Another interesting story that was told by the processing center project manager was the number of BHs belonging to Felda settlers.
His aim now is to carry out some data collection on each of the 69 units and carry out a kind of evaluation which of these BH can be reactivated or revamp.
Felda might want to inject some fund to help their settlers to reactive these BH and tie them to a buying clause.
If they allow renovation to be done they must sell their raw nests to Felda Wellness Corporation for processing.
A very interesting stories and I am very happy for this serious involvement by a GLC in swiftlet farming.
Another important activity that I was able to do was to visit one BH that was not doing well located very closed to my hotel.
The owner met me for supper the night before and during the first time meeting with him I was able to convinced him what help I can offer.
The next day he called and requested my time to inspect his BH.
I told him on how lucky he was and after my visit I submitted to him an 18 pages hand written report telling him exactly what was the main problems with his BH and listed many ideas who what he should do.
I will talk a bit more in details about this BH problems.
Those of you who happen to read this article and would like my service to inspect your BH please call me at 017 7551318.