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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Tested A New Sound At Rantau, N9.

Been very busy for the last few days.

Yesterday came back from Trengganu and on the way back received a message from a good friend that he wanted me to test a new sound.

I have been looking for more new sounds and the news from him was something I have been hoping for.

Today make a trip to Rantau N9 to carry out the sound test.

Before getting the sound tested drop by a number of fruit shop hunting for banana, condense milk, bread and flour.

I wanted to test a few new ideas on how to generate insect for BHs.

One method which I have tried before was by using normal bread with condense milk.

I took about half and hour to prepare about 2 kilograms of insect food.

I also prepare what I called it as insect cake using banana, chicken feed and yeast.

This is something very new and never tried before.

What I am sure about is that the smell of ripe banana will surely attract those fruit flies.

Managed to get about 3 kilograms using two sikat of ripe bananas and three scoops of chicken feed.

I wanted to see if this new method works however I am not happy that the bananas was  a bit too expensive (RM4.5- per kilo).  The chicken feed was about 1.50 per kilogram.

Just to try them out and see which one brings the most number of insects plus the cheapest.

After having the two insect foods prepared I started the sound test.

It went quite well however I was not very happy with its background noises.

I call my good friend who email the sound and told him about the noise issue.

He immediately took some action to clean up the back ground noise.

Have received the revised sound and I hope I can test it one more time in Kedah.

The birds seems to be quite responsive.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Wakaf Tapai BH Revamp Operation Have Begun !!!

This hardware shop owner finally received my visit report and begun his BH transformation.

His BH was a two unit shop lots just above his hardware business center.

According to him during those good days a customer who cannot pay his bill came to offer a contra-service to convert the two empty floors.

After five years his BH tenants stop at 350 nests and they refuse to populate the deeper part of the BH.

This was when he started to find the answer.

Before meeting me he was approached by a few "Consultants" who offered him a JV arrangement.

"I will do up the BH and whatever the BH generate we will share 50:50"

He was very smart to ask the "Consultant" what are the things he wanted to do to improve the BH.

"Those are my secrets and I cannot let you know. Just say yes and I will do the rest."

However this young man was a bit educated and he says no.

His searching for the right solutions was answered when he stumbled onto my blog.

He immediately contacted me and ask for some help.

After meeting me at TH Hotel Kuala Trengganu he feel that the solution came to him.

He immediately expressed his desire to allow me to carry out the necessary inspection.

He will loose very little and if he can carry out himself he will sage a lot of money.

Once he received my visit report, last week, he have his Myanmar general workers to start works.

I told him to watch what his workers are doing and please be precised.

They must be supervised and not to do their ways.

Every day keep asking his progress and I believed he is doing well.

The external sound tweeters were properly installed at the entrance door.

The extended roof above the monkey house structure was cut to about 10 inches.

The partition walls were well done with a new door.

He cleaned the nesting planks as per instruction.

Those fake nests were now up and a lot of them.

The cross woods are also up.

Hope to visit his BH next week.

If I do not follow up the owner will do half way and abandon his initial idea.

This is my biggest challenge.

Look at some pictures on what was done on the monkey house roof top.

I told him to cut the hat extension to about 10 inches.

Before trimming it was about 2.5 feet.

After the hair cut it look neater and easier for those birds to find the entrance hole.

(Workers on the roof getting ready to trim the roof hat)

(Roof Hat Was A Bit Too Long about 3 feet)

(Trimmed to about 10 inches long)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Should I Spray My BH Walls With Water !!!

(A BH with water spray on the wall using water from a pond.  During hot season there is no water in the pond??)

A very common question from newbies in swiftlet farming.

"Pak Harry can I pump cold water onto my top floor and have this water spray system to wet my BH walls?"

He was hoping to get a yes answer from me but I turned him down.

His brilliant idea was to allow these pumped water to fall like those waterfall you see in the movie.

Once that happened the walls will be cool this nesting rooms will also be cool.

My response to him was something like this.

Okay what happen when your water pump failed to work or electrical supply failed to connect or there is no water in the water well?

This water spray system will fail and will create havoc in your BH.

It might not happen in a year or two but it will happen.

Let us imagine that your BH is with a few hundred nests and very cool inside.

Suddenly your water spray system failed to function on a dry part of the year.

You will have a temperature shock inside your nesting room (once your room temperature hit 33-37*C) and in a very short weeks all your tenants will move out.

Why must you opt for something that will fail to operate one day?

My experience with a BH in Teluk Intan a few years back proof my point of concern.

I was asked to do something to this old BH (6 years into operation, I think).

I went up to take a good look of its surroundings.

When walking around I saw these taps connected to a large piping system.

I asked the BH owner what was all those pipes were all about.

"Pak Harry I used to pup those river water up and sprayed on my BH walls.  It went well for some months however I became very concern will the electricity bill every month.  The cost of pumping those water up to the top floor every month hit almost rm 650."

Well I told him that what he did was a short solution about internal temperature but he was lucky to stop the pumping.

My best experience on cooling a wrongly designed walls construction is still the heat shielding from the inside.

This method after completion will assure you that all your walls stays at 29*C.

If all your walls both on the west and the east will stays at 29*C.

When this temperature is on your walls I can assure you that your BH nesting room will stays the same on maybe lower.

This will be the range that your tenants would love to stay.

So before you start thinking about pumping water to spray on your BH walls please think twice......

Monday, April 27, 2015

Changing From Side Entry To Top Entry !!!

My latest headache was to help a BH owner who wanted to transform his BH entrance system from side entry to top entry.

According to him there will be more residential houses around his BH and he cannot effort to be requested by local council to shut down.

The only out to him was to divert those bird call sound towards the open sky.

He is not considerate but he know when to take action.  Or else some wise guys will take action on him.

What came to my mind when he first informed me was to ask him to take a few photos showing the top part of the monkey house so that I can sit on it.

After receiving the photos and talking to him what he actually wanted me to do I came out with a solution.

I told him that my preference is to open the whole roof section where his corren entrance holes were located.

He though half will do but I told him to open the whole thing.

However he need to create a slight slant to face the birds flying home path.

A new cement wall have to be erected to allow rain water to be drained via a drain hole.

I took just 1 hour to sketch a few things and quickly emailed to him.

He called to say thank you and at the same time asked for some clarifications.

I told him why I chose the total opening and why the slanting shape walls.

He agreed and shall start work next week or so.

I need to follow up with him so that he will do the right things.

Beside the change of his BH top entry he is supposed to upgrade or revamp his BH in a big way.

My full visit report was submitted to him one week ago and I advised him to concentrate only on the ground floor.

The top two floors to be temporarily shut until the right time.

He need to clean up his BH not only the floor but also his BH nesting planks.

I will constantly keep in touch with him and I hope he will appreciate what I am trying to do with his BH.

His BH have a very strong chance of producing those "Super Grade" nests.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Kampung Kelulut BH: Heat Insulation Recommendation.

This pictures were inserted inside my report to a BH owner whose BH used single layered walls.

The three stories building was a bit too tall to carry out any insulation on the outside.

I am very sure he is not willing to climb those tall staging to cover up the external walls.

My suggestion to him was to heat shield from the inside.

Much simpler and easier to carry out.

He might want to carry it out himself.

First he need to calculate the surface areas where he wanted to heat shield.

Once that is determined he can start to calculate the amount of raw materials required.

He need wood (2"x 2"), bubble heat shield (QTE), cement boards (4' X 4') and a lot of those nails plus stapler gun bullets.

He should start from one end of the walls and finish it up to the other end.

Start with the bottom part and then move to the upper sections.

One very tricky thing to do is to get the air ventilation holes made.

The bubble shield and the cement boards that will on these 4" diameter holes need to be precisely cut.

Once he mastered that things will be very smooth.

Have a look at these pictures which was extracted from the list of pictures taken while installing the same at Chenderong Balai, Perak

Enjoy the pictures:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Newbie Who Wanted Some Advise !!!

A few days back received a phone call from a newbie who wanted to start a swiftlet farm.

I told him that if he is serious I will be very keen to help him out.

Finally we met at a coffee shop somewhere at Jalan Ipoh Kuala Lumpur.

He told me that his friend owned a piece of agricultural land in N9 and wanted to go into swiftlet farming.

This was where the fun begins.

First he elaborated on how he started to come out with this interesting idea (to him is interesting but to so many others this is rubbish).

He started to search for some contacts on the web.

After getting those so called "Sifu" and started to call one by one.

His complained was that many seems to stop answering their phone (fixed lines).

He also came across "Sifus" who answered his calls and as soon as he mentioned swiftlet farming the other person on the phone simply slam down.

"Pak Harry what is happening man?  How come I received so many cold shoulder treatment from these so called "Sifus"?"

He started to realize that something is not right out there.

The only person who answer and willing to answer in a more humanly manner is Pak Harry.

How came the industry is so bad, Pak Harry?

I can only smiled and pointed to him to look at the bright sides.

I related to him what is happening to the industry and how he can take advantage from this doldrums.

Many "Sifus" close shops and many BH owners abandoned their BHs.

Just imagine what happen to a BH that is populated with some birds and the owner aborted their maintenance.

These poor birds will have to move to another BH.

Just imagine if you came in into the market.

Will there be some advantages?

He understood my messages but after the 45 minutes meeting I told him that he should not jump into this swiftlet farming business.

What I strongly asked him to do is to attend the next Productivity Seminar to be held at Grand Beach Resort at Port Dickson N9.

Hopefully and friend will learn something as his first step into swiftlet farming.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Kampung Kelulut Visit Report: Submitted To The Owner !!!

Remember this BH at Kampung Kelulut where I was speechless during my trip inside?

I became numb (my brain suddenly experienced not enough blood) looking at so many errors and I talk so little with the owner.

Sometime when you are in a state of shock you will experience the same.

I finally managed to finish my visit report and emailed to the owner.

I know all those recommendations will be good for the BH but I wonder if he will ever implement it.

Not that I don't trust him but the amount of expenses will be a bit high.

Main activities that might incur cost will be the heat insulation method.

The BH was erected using a single layered walls and with the current high temperature outside his BH is not spared.

I can feel that if nothing is done to insulate this BH the nesting room temperature will be higher than 34-37*C.

If this BH is populated and suddenly the room temperature shot around this temperature all his tenants will vacate the house.

What I told him to do is to heat shield the walls from inside the BH.

This method proved very successful in a BH at Ceneh Kemaman Trengganu.

Once the heat shield  layer is installed and protected by cement boards the internal wall will drop to 29*C all the way.

No matter how hot the external wall is the internal wall will stay at 29*C.

Let us hope that he will carry out this recommendations.

The following ideas were also recommended:

1) He need to perhaps look into the installation of a hexagonal tweeter.  For his BH case the height of the unit must be above the apex of the monkey house roof structure.

2) My next recommendation was to carry out some modification to the main entrance hole.  I suggested to open it wider and installed a wood lining on its frame.  The bottom frame to be installed with owl spikes and at the side frame with external sound tweeters.  I also insisted that the top frame to be installed with two more AG 35 tweeters facing slightly up towards the sky.

3) One very critical thing he has to carry out is to block the connecting area between the tunnel and each nesting room floors.  He need to erect a wall and open a door to block those bright lights.

4) My another idea is to reorganize the nesting floors.  He need to create a VIP room on each floor.  He might want to erect a room to block those light from the earlier door mentioned too.

5) What about the external tweeters inside his VIP rooms?  I stressed to him what to do with a number of sketches.

6) The VIP room need a lot of internal sound tweeters and I explained to him why.  In his case one floor he should accommodate about 120-150 tweeters.  I showed him precisely how and where to install all of them.

7) I do recommended to him on the installation of as many fake nests as possible.  This is one of the very attractive gear to lure and trap those young couples.  What about 250-300 pieces per floor?  I told him how to cut them from styrofoam and how to install both the rectangular and triangular shape fake nests.

8) His BH amplifier running system needs a serious make over.  The way the amplifiers are running were not good.  The external sound should run during the daytime while the internal must be on a continuous basis.  Currently his internal sound was not.

9) The wet nesting planks on the middle floor need immediate action.  I have been talking to him how critical it is to quickly dry them up and perhaps clean all the planks.  He have never clean them before and if he did he will realized how dirty they are.

I will be doing my part to follow up with him and I keep telling him that the only way to reactivate his BH is to follow all those recommendations provided.

"Try not to talk to too many "Consultants".  They will make you more confused"

Let us hope that he will carry out all the things recommended.

If you face the same problems just call this number : 017 7551318

Have a look at some of the sketches done for him:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I Find It Very Amusing When Someone Says That He Can Cure A Sick BH By Looking At BH Photos !!!

I might have not mastered this new technique yet.

After so many years in swiftlet farming I still believed that the best method to evaluate a sick BH is to visit its site and view inside and outside.

You need to really see how bad were those entrance hole.  Its bright light coming from the monkey house into the hall and pollute the nesting rooms.

You also need to see how bad are those ventilation holes are affecting the nesting rooms light.

You need to see how bad those nesting planks are attacked by fungus or dirt or foot marks.

You need to see how bad were the gap between the ceiling and those nesting planks.

You need to see and feel how dry are the rooms, its floors and walls.

You need to check if there are any signs of owl attacking the BH.

You need to check if the external sound tweeters are properly placed.

You need to check how many internal sound tweeters were installed and how they were installed.

The amplifiers setting need to be checked.

The way the amplifiers were timed are correct or not.

The room temperature.

The heat on the walls.

And many more.

How can you judge what is happening in the BH by just looking at some photos?

I think I need to quickly learn how to master this new technique.

If I do there is no need to take those long journey here and there.

This Super Sifu is coming to Peninsular Malaysia next month and I hope he will show his technique on how to apply his strange method.

Let see how many BHs he will cure.

I can't wait to see what happened next.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Kpg Kelulut BH: I Was Speechless When I Entered This BH !!!

During my visit Monday visit to Marang Trengganu I took a gamble to view this DIY BH.

The owner claimed that he read about 10 plus books on swiftlet farming.

He was hoping that all those things that he learn were enough to make him a good BH builder and owner.

Well he did put up the BH up but he now realized that it was not as easy as what was told in all those books.

Nothing seems to work and he cannot understand why.

"I have applied nearly all the things that I read but those birds seems to ignore my BH" he complained.

I don't blame him since I was one of them who wanted to follow some ideas from those books and blogs.

All that were found in those books are not enough to handle this specialized business.

What he needed is experiences.  Yes a lot of experiences plus very close observations.

I took more than 10 years to discover the secrets and I do know what is wrong with this particular Kampung Kelulut BH.

Very recently, about four days before I arrived the top floor experienced flooding.

The water seeps into the floor (cracks I think) and started to wet the nesting planks below it.

Almost 30-40 % were affected.

I was speechless and shook my head a number of time.

Simply a big challenge to step into a BH and with this so called disaster struck just before you arrived.

After viewing his BH I sat down with the owner and told him to quickly do something to dry up all those water drips and those wet nesting planks.

There is a very slim hope to selvage the BH if all those planks starts to be filled with fungus, I told him.

The BH was erected with a single layered walls.  This is not a good choice.

The external sound was not adequate on the outside and the inside.

The monkey house tunnel was left opened with not partition walls to block those bright lights.

He recently erected a wall after attending my talk in Kuala Trengganu and I guess he was trying his best.

His internal sound was not running on 24/7.  One of his amplifier " rosak" and now waiting to collect from the repair shop.

This is a very big mistake among the many errors.

For a new BH or lowly populated BH those internal sound once stop will make those new birds to quickly vacate the BH.

The ventilation holes were with two cover caps.  One outside and one inside.  I don't think the inside is necessary to be capped.

So with so many errors, I still need to get the best recommendation what can be done to bring back those birds.

Already 3-4 years with only 2 nests.  One was half shape (at a 90* corner cover) and the other in a fake nest.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kertih BH: Perfectly Located With High Potential !!!

On my way back from Kuala Trengganu a few weeks back I detoured my journey home just because a BH owner wanted me to view his BH.

This special BH is somewhere at Kampung Cabang, Kertih Trengganu.

When I first chat with the BH owner he was making a story that his BH was not a successful unit.

He wanted me to know that after 3 plus years his BH nests population stop at 200 nests.

Upon further questioning I discovered that his BH was running on Solar Energy System.

Running with solar energy and he can still achieved 200 nests.

This to me is something positive.

Usually any BH with solar energy will have a lot of limitations.

One thing for sure is the energy to operate all the required humidifiers is a bit on the low side.

You will have not enough power to pump water to the top most floor.

During rainy seasons you will have very little sunlight.

This will again affect the sound system, the most important in running a BH.

This is more or less a very challenging situation day in and day out you will be on your nerve if everything is running okay with your BH.

However when he expressed the nests numbers I was smiling and keep wanting to look what was so right about this BH.

He on the other hand wanted my professional view how to populate his BH.

A good trade in between him and me.

Well I arrived at his BH and he quickly took me into his low performance BH.

A very well designed BH with double walls and main entrance hole facing the north-east.

The nests distributions looks more on the lower floors and lesser on the top most floor.

It should have be better if not because of those bright lights.

The main culprit was the light from the main entrance hole.

The second was those light from the air ventilation holes.

The BH was with minimal partition thus the light can freely enter the nesting rooms.

I set down with him about what he can do and I think if he can follow all the recommended things he should be on a smooth ride.

I bet that within 8=10 months it will have 400 plus nests.

All he need to do is to strictly comply to my recommendations and try not to listen to too many "consultants".

There are so many so called consultants around you and each have their own unproven ideas.

So let us hope that he will do well and will keep me posted with his progress.

Monday, April 20, 2015

BH With Only 10 Nests After Almost 4.5 Years !!!

A typical BH with so many mistakes will have very little chance of pulling more birds into it.

No matter how good the sound is the chances of retaining them is slim.

Today visited this 4.5 years old BH owned by a lady located somewhere in Dengkil,Bangi, Selangor.

I was busy attending a BH at Rantau, N9 and I realized that she was asking for help at a whatsapp group.

I quietly contacted her and asked her what kind of problem was she having.

He confession makes you feel how unlucky some people have to go through.

She attended a number of Seminars and decided to borrow some money from a financial institution to fund her BH.

After 4.5 years with the lender on her back she was deep in the blue ocean looking for help.

About two "consultants' came to visit her BH and nothing tangible happened.

She was about to get help from a "Sifu" in a whatsapp group and that was when I offer her my inspection services.

Found my way to where she proposed to meet and she took me to inspect what was wrong in her BH.

Just 15-20 minutes around and inside her BH I listed a few findings which to me is nothing unusual.

Her BH failed because it was simply not attractive to those birds.

The BH nesting rooms (top and middle floors) were very bright.

She keep telling me that her Sifu insisted that the room brightness must be bright enough where you can read those newspaper prints.

What a crap and I explained to he the rule of the thumb.

Just apply the 2 feet rule.

If you stand two feet apart you cannot see your partner's face.

The next problem was where those LAL holes were located.

The current location will be prohibitive.  There is very little chances that those wild birds will find them.

Beside lighting her husband was busy fixing a water container with water fountain.  The water was leaking all over the place and were leaking to the lower floors,

I caution both husband and wife to shut the system since it will do more harm than improving their BH.

There was no rooms and no external sound tweeters inside the nesting areas, as usual.

Set down with both of them and wrote a few notes and hope they will know what to do.

I keep reminding them that if they follow my advises they will get their BH back to what it was design for.

I refuse to let them buy both external and internal sound.

They need to finish the revamp works and thereafter let me do the sound selection.

A very sad case and I hope my visit helps.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Super Grade Nests !!!

(Try to compare its size with the 90* corner wood)

Just wanted to show you all some of those pictures taken when I was inside the Gong Badak BH.

Look at the size.

It can easily reach 3.5-4 inches in size which we categories them as Super Grade.

Currently you can see that it is not white.

However if the BH is well managed (dust especially) we might be able one day to be like those ivory white.

Most important is where the BH is located.

In this case is below the flying path of this big size species.

He is lucky but he did not realized it until I told him.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Highly Potential Super Grade BH !!!

On my recent trip to Trengganu visited this BH located somewhere closed to the Trengganu Stadium (Collapsed Stadium).

The owner became very agitated when his BH has only 15 nests after operating for 3 years.

The BH miserable performances is not helpful with his family relationship.

He should have used the land to build some home stay houses which at least he can earned some income.

Well after spending some time inside his BH I told him something which stunt him.

"Your BH have a very strong potential of producing Super Grade bird nests" I informed him.

What do you meant by that?

Based on the shapes and sizes of those 15 nests found in his BH I told him that his tenants are large and have a very strong ability to produce large shape nests that once done they can fetch the Super Grade nests categories.

Super grade are those raw nests that are large (four fingers), thick and if his BH is properly managed they will be ivory white.

These Super Grade fetched a price much higher than the standard grade A.

Current price of grade A is around RM 1600, super grade might be as high as RM 2400 a kilogram.

We are looking at a RM 800 per kilogram price different.

His BH seems to be located below those Super Grade bird's species flying home path.

The only big problem was his BH location (in the middle of a residential area).

I let down my list of things that I found inside which he might want to modify.

I told him that my recommendations are based on a BH on an agricultural land without any loud mouth neighbors.

1) The first thing he should do is to relocate his main entrance hole direction towards the flying home path.  Current his BH main entrance hole is facing the opposite.

2) He need to install a hexagonal tweeter.  Once installed he need to think of the best method how to time the sound so that it will not affect his neighbors.

3) The old entrance holes (he opened two) need to be shut off so that the amount of light entering the monkey house area is under control.

4) His BH uses this 45* slope flying in path.  Once the birds entered his monkey house they need to make a 90* turn towards the staircase whole Lubang Antara Lantai is beside it.  The amount of light coming down from the monkey house is simply too much.  I recommended a kind of partition on the top most floor just to block those bright light.

5) The three nesting floors were simply too big and not advisable at the moment.  What I wanted him to do is to shut off temporary the two floors and concentrate on the ground floor.  The ground floor seems to be their preferred floor with the most number of nests at the moment.  The room temperature and humidity were more friendly to those wild birds.  Once the ground floor is populated to about 500-1000 nests he might want to reactive the other two floors.

6) The current floor plan (ground floor) need a kind of reorganization.  He need to erect a few walls and remove those that are blocking those birds flying path.

7) His BH nesting planks need some cleaning.  I think he should learn how to clear those dust, footsteps markings and fungus. I plan to coach him on what to do.

8) I will also would like to see that all those corner covers be removed.  These 90* corners are the number one choice of those birds.  Blocking them is like asking those lovely birds to go away because I don' like you to stay in this BH.

9) He need to increase the number of internal sound tweeters.  I told him that I am very unhappy that the number of internal sound tweeters were too little and at the same time not precisely installed.

10) He know that his 30 odd tenants love those fake nests.  Nearly half of those nests were erected on the fake nest and the rest at 90* corners.  I recommended that he should installed at least 300 fake nests.  Each must be precisely located and not every where.

11) His sound system seems to be very bad.  The data room was cluttered with too many rubbish.  His amplifier setting were all wrong and at the same time arranged poorly.  I need to get an upgrade system for him.

This BH if he follows all those recommendation will be easily populated, I told him.

My guarantee to him was that within 10-12 months he should have at least 60 new nests.

Yes now only 15 but I think he can easily reach 95 within the next 12 months.

He need to listen and follow my prescription and try not to listen to too many advisers.

Let us hope that he will get where he wanted with his BH.

I am just trying to help.

Call me if your BH is facing the same problem.  017 7551318

Yah, like wife no longer in good term with you after you erect your BH.

Some very nice pictures obtained inside and outside of his BH.