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Sunday, November 30, 2014

BM Birdhouse Can Be Easily Populated By Following Some Design Alterations!!!

After the short inspection works inside a BH located somewhere in the middle of Bukit Mertajam town I have sketched how the BH layout was.

I told the owner that his BH should or can be with more nests if the BH configuration allows lesser light into the nesting room.

His external sound system was downed and there was no proper tweeters on the top entrance areas.

The number of internal sound tweeters were okay and well located.

He should have installed more fake nests since nearly 45-50% of the fake nests installed were with tenants.

What I came out with was how to minimize those light entering the nesting rooms.

First he need to reduce the size of the connecting door between the roving area and the nesting room.

He should also apply some black paint on a few walls.

As for the nesting rooms he should have install two partitions and create VIP rooms at the ends of the room.

One at the front and the other at the back.

Their doors must be facing each other in a straight line.

It should look something like this:

If he wanted to lure more tenants he should increase the number of fake nests.

Knowing where and how to install them will help a lot.

I also recommended him the NKS (nest kick start) method to secure all those birds that are currently erecting their new nests.

I saw a number of fresh markings on a number of places and he should give them a helping hand.

You can assist them to quickly erect their nests and lay their first egg.

The moment they laid one egg they will be yours forever (until they die).

Many BH owners leave everything to those birds and will not lift their finger to help these wild birds.

As for me always says that those wild birds needs our help and we should do our best to make them comfortable and built their nests as quick as possible.

Most of these new comers are very young with no previous experiences in building their nests.

Their saliva glands are not used to produce a lot of those white liquid.  

They need those fake nests to quickly start their nests and lay the eggs.

Show to them that you care and install those fake nests when you see those fresh markings on the nesting planks.

The moment you do that you will see the nests ready with eggs during your next visit.

Trust me on this advise.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Nangka Plants Around Bujang BH !!!

It must be the suitability of the soil.

After almost 3 months the plants planted on the piece of land around the Bujang BH seems to have multiple results.

The Nangka trees and Starfruit trees seems to grow well while the Soursop were with slow growth.

I think it must be the soil.

Maybe I should replaced all those poor growing trees with Nangka (Jack-fruits)?

I took the whole morning of November 20th 2014 to do some gardening.

It is terrible when you are not used to using those changkul to remove those grass around the base of the Nangka trees and loosen up the soil around the trunks.

Started with the idea of removing all those wild grass around the base of the Nangka trees at around 8:00 am.

By 11:30 am the heat was unbearable.

The little thing that I did was to remove and clean about 3 feet radius and loosen up the soil around the trunks.

Once done I dumped a pail of surface soil around it.

My garden adviser whatsapp to me to water the base with water mixed with a liquid fertilizer bough from him.

He assured me that the plants will grow faster and stronger.

Just 10 plants and I was exhausted to the bones.

Rested and drink a lot of water.

Body aching all over my body but I do enjoy looking at the new shoots on most of the Nangka trees.

The grass were cut but not in total.

Tomorrow need to call the grass cutter guy to complete the job.

Overall I enjoyed looking at the garden especially when you see those trees growing taller.

These Nangka madu trees were purchased from a farm located in Rawang Selangor.

It was about 2 feet high when purchased about 3 months ago.

Those young leaves are nice to look at and many new shoots are coming out.

I hope continue cleaning up the wild grass on every plant, I have 30-40 more to go.

A few died and I think I know why.

I must have used too much fertilizer.

The amount to be used and the time to apply must be proper.

Or else they will start to shed their leaves and some will soon be dead.

I might need to get a few new ones to replenished those that were dead.

Will place orders soon and at the same time wanted to plant a few citrus trees.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Fruit Flies Production: Papaya Trees Around Kepala Batas BH Doing Fined !!!

(1 week old Papaya tree planted around Kepala Batas BH)

After about one week of planting the Papaya trees looks fined.

The planting took place on November 12th 2014.

Remember the Kepala Batas BH that I revamped recently?

The empty land around the BH was planted with about 17 papaya trees.

The trees were purchased from a shop who claimed that the Papaya species is the "One Foot Long".

Each fruits will be about 1 foot long.

Within 6 months they will start fruiting.

Well my main intention is to used the ripe fruits to produce insect.

The cheapest and the easiest method to generate fruit flies for your birds.

Once they are ripe they can be blended and mixed with yeast.

If properly stored the sludge will be able to attract those fruit flies to it.

If stored inside the monkey house openings they will be able to fill the space with lots of those fruit flies.

Let us hope that this simple idea will work and boost the insects around this BH.

Right now need to make sure that the Papaya trees are will taken care of and grow as fast as it can.

I hope within 6 months I will see some fruits.

If you owned a BH on a piece of land try to plant these papaya trees for insect generating.

The cost in using these papaya fruits is cheaper then buying those expensive insect generating powder at those shops.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

A Very Sad Status Of A Swiftlet Eco-Park At Sungai Tengas, Kulim, Kedah !!!

I wanted to see from near the Eco Park status at Sungai Tegas, Kulim, Kedah.

Last Wednesday November 19th 2014, I took 2 hours from Sungai Patani, to locate the stranded project about 1.5 kilometers away from the main road.

Got lost along the way but managed to ask some palm oil workers how to get there.

This high profiled project was a very hot topic about four to five years ago.

The developer managed to get the soon to be Chief Minister (Menteri Besar) of Kedah to launch it.

The project concept of the Eco Park was to breed the birds and released inside a huge cage and force them into these houses.

It was supposed to be full proof and nothing can go wrong.

Investors were told that within one year their BHs will be producing 3-10 kilograms of raw nests every month.

But all those promises it went wrong after about just about two years into operation and now left stranded.

The whole project consisted of 9 units of BHs connected to one another and an insect breeding house on a acre of agriculture land.

Each unit is three stories measuring about 20' by 70' and 9' ceiling height.

The opened roof top was with a huge netting supposedly to allow those birds to fly inside it upon released.

There were some feeding gadgets that were made of stainless steel.

At the back of the 9 units complex was an insect generating unit.

At the front was a small house for those workers.

The whole project seems to be abandoned about 3-4 years ago and it is a very sad thing to happen.

Each unit was either owned by one person or multiple investors.

I was told that each unit was around RM 300,000 and the whole structures was worth RM 2,700,000.

The project developer claimed that he could not proceed with the project since his fund to breed those birds were all dried up.

His method of getting fresh fund were not approved by the Nasional Bank of Malaysia.

The only thing left now is to find  new investors who can reactivate his swiftlet breeding and release concept.

Upon a closed inspection I think he should do away with the breed and release concept.

He should concentrate on pulling those birds naturally using external and internal sound.

The building looks okay however its overall design was not proper.

The developer was a new guy who have no idea how a BH should look like and how to get those birds to stay in it.

The path for those wild birds to enter the BH was not proper and have very little chances for them to reach the lowest floor.

Most of those nesting planks that were not wet and looks okay.

Many of the units were flooded on the ground floor.

Current problem will soon be those burglars hanging around stealing  steel materials and soon those nesting plank woods.

It nothing is done to look after the Eco Park, the whole building will be ransacked and gadgets stolen.

Given a chance I think I can help to reactivate the place using the natural wild birds and not the breeding concept.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Delivered A Paper At EBNIC Seminar !!!

(Delivery My Paper at EBNIC 2014)

Very proud to be at  EBNIC 2014 Seminar at the Marriott Putrajaya.

I was one of the selected speaker during the Seminar.

My topic was on "Strategies On How To Have A Successful BH".

I was informed that two years ago my name was suggested by one of the committee member however was not approved.

This time around my name was again proposed and it was well accepted.

Very thankful to the organizing  committee for approving my name.

Basically this Seminar was held in conjunction with MAHA exhibition and it was the second of its kind.

There were as many as 21 papers presented and one was from me.

Most of these papers were on the downstream and 4 were about the upstream.

During the opening ceremony the representative of Dato Sri Ismail Sabri, the Agriculture Minister, indicated that there will be 15 more companies that will be approved to export cleaned birdnests to China.

Currently 8 companies were approved to do so.

There is very strong possibilities that the two Governments (Malaysia and China) will allow raw nests to be exported into China.

Main reason being the cost to process raw nests in China is cheaper as compared to doing it in Malaysia.

One very interesting proposal by Dato Tok Teng Sai, the current Patron of Federation of Malaysia Bird Nests Merchants Association, was on how the Government should intervene in the raw nests pricing.

There is no benchmark on swiftlet nests pricing and is causing many investors to worry everyday.

His idea was to set up a buying center so that BH owners will be able to sell to a approved collection center and at a price that are controlled by the Government.

He has submitted this proposal to the Agriculture Minister and he hope the Agricultural ministry to start the ball rolling to come out with the mechanics on how to implement the idea.

Another very encouraging idea was to sell the Halal birdnests to Chinese Muslim communities in China.

There are 100 million Muslim in China and some serious effort should be done to help the Malaysian swiftlet industries to reach these Chinese.

One very interesting paper which I really love to listen was given by Professor Dr. Mustafa Abdul Rahman of UMS Sarawak.

His topic was on The Swiftlet roosting and nest making behaviors.

His studies gives us some interesting conclusions:

1) During nest making the male birds seems to be the hard working guy.

2) Both male and female will carry out the nest building but the male are more hard working.  The male seems to work twice harder as compared to the female bird.

3) These young couple will normally perform the nest building during three important hours of the day.  They will start as early as 6:00 am - 7:00 am (Sarawak time), 7:00 am till 10:00 am and finally when they return home from their feeding time ie at 18:00 till 19:00.

4) The most interesting observation was during the post emergence hours i.e 7:00 am - 10:00 am.  They will fly out to eat for a short while but will return back to resume the nest building until 10:00 am.  After which they will fly out hunting for food.

I managed to corner Dr Mustafa just after his speech and asked him the following:

1) When do the couple start their copulation?  Was it when the nests was about to be build or half way or upon completion?

He cannot provide me with the right answer since it was not in his main objective.
He promised to review those video clips and perhaps give me the answer.
I told him that Fatick Marzuki of Indonesia indicated that the moment the nest is ready the female bird will start to make a love call to be copulated.

2) Did he recorded the sounds made by the couple during nest building?  I was curious on how the sound was like.

He did not but maybe in the future he will install are recorder.

3) During his introduction he showed a slide with the angle where his camera was focusing at.  My question to him was where those birds prefer to locate their nests.  Was it at the straight plank or at the 90* corners?

He could not answer this question too since he did not carry out the specific observation.

4) Are these swiftlet monogamous or polygamous?

His cannot give me the specific answer but hinted that there is a possibility that they are polygamous. However there must be some specific study to confirm this.

5) I also touch about those feathers usually found on raw nests.  Are these feathers intentionally embedded onto the nests or accidentally?

Again he was not able to answer my query accurately.

I told him what those feathers might be for and he nodded his head when I explain why these feathers were there in the first place.  They were for scene marking.  Both male and female need to know which nest belongs to them so they use their feathers to identify it.

Overall I am very pleased with the Seminar.

Three of my blog followers (Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei) joined the Seminar and we have some good time talking about how they started their involvement in swiftlet farming.

I am looking forward for the next EBNIC.

My Short Visit To A BH In Bukit Mertajam !!!

I was asked by the owner to find a suitable buyer.

Before I can inform any buyer I told the owner let me have a short visit to his BH.

The BH he was referring to was on the top floor of a four stories shop house located in the middle of Bukit Mertajam town.

Very small unit about 22'X55' with a ceiling height of about 8 feet.

He bought the unit already converted into a BH about four years ago when swiftlet farming was still at its high.

It was more like an investment but never realized that one year after buying the Chinese hit the market with nitrite problem.

Now after four years holding to it he wanted to let it go.

My observation and comments are as follows:

Overall the BH looks quite okay with 110 nests.

The house uses a top entry method.

Unfortunately during the visit the external sound system were not operational.

The BH was not one but 1 1/2 unit.

Both floors were a bit too bright.

I told the owner if he should have asked me to revamp the BH the total number of birds might be much higher then now.

The strong point about this BH are as follows:

1) Even with those bright light the nest population was about 110++ nest.

2) The nesting planks used were those thick piece of 1.5 inches thick.

3) Most of the planks were okay with no fungus growth however a bit dirty and need cleaning.

4) The tweeters seems to be well arrange.

5) The owner adopted the installation of styrofoam fake nests about 50 pieces at least.

6) Half of these fake nests were occupied.

7) The brightness of both rooms can be easily tackled.

8) Most of the nests were at the front furthest from the entrance hole.

9) The nests size a above average and bigger then average size.

10) The sound system should have been better.

11) The BH is located in between two very successful BHs in BM.

I told the owner that if properly revamped I can easily double the nest population within 6-8 months.

Right now need to write a full report to a buyer who is already very excited over the property.