This is a very interesting video posted in You Tube by Aeroswiftlet which is very educational and should be seen by all newbies.
There have been many new developments in the swiftlet farming industry in Malaysia over the last 5 years. Most swiftlet farming businesses in the country are owned by SMI and SME operators who account for approximately 98% of all swiftlet farming operations in 2007. This Report was commissioned by the Small Medium Industries Association of Penang with funding from the SMI Agricultural Grant Scheme and prepared by the Agricultural and Agro-based Businesses Sub-Committee according to the Association’s strict academic and report publication standards. The full text and publication of this Report is available for reading at the headquarters of the Association as well as for distribution. It is hoped that more and more SMI and SME operators would be able to use this Report as a starting point for research into swiftlet farming and undertake ventures into the swiftlet farming industry in the country.
The swiftlet farming industry is a relatively new industry in Malaysia as compared to other fundamental and long-standing industries such as rubber, palm oil, oil and gas, timber, financial services and SMI manufacturing, having only achieved critical mass some 5 years ago.
The edible birds' nests industry in Malaysia, on the other hand, has a much longer and illustrious history having been in consistent operation for the last 100 odd years, and is made up primarily of cottage style operations and mainly run by SMI and SME businessmen. Prior to 5 years ago, these SMI and SME businessmen mainly source birds nests from indigenious suppliers who collect the nests from caves, which are the natural habitat of edible nests swiftlets. As the swiftlet farming industry continues to expand and grow, more and more supplies of edible birds' nests sourced from purpose-built farms that are constructed specially to house edible nests swiftlets find their way into the supply chain.
The swiftlet farming industry has the potential to grow into a multi-million ringgit industry due to the industry’s relatively profitable risk-return profile as well as a continuously growing demand for edible birds nests by wealthy overseas countries. There is also a discernable world-wide trend pursued by international as well as home grown pharmaceutical and herbal products companies in using edible birds’ nests as base materials for producing natural and organic health supplement products for local and overseas consumption.
Definition of Swiftlet Farming
Currnetly, the business of swiftlet farming essentially involves the conversion of people-centric buildings into buildings used to house and protect a certain species of swiftlets (i.e. the white edible birds’ nests swiftlets or the Aerodramus Fuciphagus species of swiftlets) that can only be found in the South East Asian region as well as the design and construction of purpose-build buildings for the purposes of accommodating such swiftlet populations as well.
A continuous vocalization of swiftlet chirps and mating sounds are played throughout each and every day using speakers and audio systems installed within such buildings in order to lure the swiftlets that are flying overhead to fly into the said buildings to mate and make the buildings their new home.
Almost 99% of all swiftlet farms in Malaysia are geared towards the production of white edible birds’ nests.
The History of Swiftlet Farming in Malaysia
The swiftlet farming industry in Malaysia only started to gather momentum after the Asian Economic Crisis of 1997-1998. During that period, many businesses, especially small to medium sized businesses, experienced hard times and a great number of them closed down throughout the country.
The premises that these businesses were located in were left empty due to the fact that no other businesses had sprung up to take their place as a result of the depressed economic environment at that time. Rather than leave their properties idle, quite a number of the landlords for these properties then had decided to convert their untenanted properties into swiftlet farms. At that time, there was only one research and development company specializing in the establishment of swiftlet farms in Malaysia and had almost single-handedly aided and helped grow the industry into becoming what it is today.
Due to the industry's expansion, many swiftlet farming companies have now been establish to serve the many and every growing number of swiftlets farms throughout the country. The web-links of the above companies are included in the bottom part of this Summary Report for easy reference.
The Number of Swiftlet Farms in Malaysia
The swiftlet farming industry in Malaysia has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last 8 years. Before 1998, there was an estimate of 900 plus swiftlet farms throughout the country.
However, after the first generation of swiftlet farms that were established after 1998 started to produce commercially harvestable quantities of edible birds’ nests, more and more SMI and SME businessmen, landlords and investors began to realize the financial viability of the swiftlet farming industry in Malaysia. By the end of 2006, swiftlet farms throughout the country number close to 36,000 units, with an average annualized growth rate of 35% per year (for the last 5 years).
The Major Swiftlet Farming Areas in Malaysia
Over the last 20 years, the swiftlet farming industry in the country basically grew through mostly private funding and operational initiatives and without any help whatsover from the public sector.
The major swiftlet farming areas are located mostly in secondary and tertiary townships where food source is in abundance and pollution levels are at their relative minimum. These secondary and tertiary townships include Kampong Tebing, Kampong Tasoh, Kampong Banat Bawah, Jampong Bakan, Kuala Nerang, Pokok Sena, Kampong Tanjung Radin, Kuala Ketil, Lunas, Kulim, Sungai Petani, Jitra, Bukit Mertajam, Nibong Tebal, Kepala Batas, Cangkat Kledang, Legong, Jelai, Cangkat Jering, Bruas, Pantai Remis, Lumut, Teluk Intan, Setiawan, Bagan Serai, Parit Buntar, Selama, Tanjung Malim, Kuala Kubu Bahru, Rawang, Kepong, Cheras, Slim River, Kulai, Kanpong Bahru Paroi, Alor Gajah, Ayer Pasir, Durian Tunggal, Tangkok, Pagoh, Bukit Pasir, Kampong Machap, Ulu Tiram, Tai Hong Village, Senai, Pontian Kecil, Jemaluang, Kampong Seri Pantai, Mersing, Kampong Sawah Datuk, Kampong Air Papan, Kuala Besut, Tok Soboh, Kampong Pinang, Rompin, Pekan, Kuala Terengganu and Pasir Mas.
Industry Projections for the Next 5 years
According to Kuan, H. & Lee, J, Malaysia is currently the third largest producer of edible birds’ nests (7% of gross supply value) in the world, behind Indonesia (60%) and Thailand (20%).
A kilogram of unprocessed white edible birds’ nests (around 90 to 120 nests) is able to fetch production level prices of RM$4500 to RM$6000 in 2006, with supply of white edible birds’ nests being severely tight as compared to ever increasing levels of demand from consumer countries all over the world.
A kilogram of processed white edible birds’ nests is able to fetch retail level prices of RM$15000 to RM$25000 in 2006 in Hong Kong and China.
Kuan, H. & Lee, J. have hypothesized in their above publication that due to the following enduring qualitative reasons that the:
1. consumption of edible birds’ nests is considered as a status symbol;
2. the health giving properties of consuming edible birds’ nests;
3. strong economic growth rates experienced by Hong Kong, China and Taiwan; and
4. potential of edible birds’ nests as a base mineral to be used in the production of herbal and vitamin supplements;
the international market for edible birds’ nests will continue to grow at double-digit rates for the next 2 decades or so.
The Export Markets for Edible Birds Nests
The main export markets for edible birds’ nests are Hong Kong (50% of world trade), China (8%), Taiwan (4%) and Macau (3%) with a consumption weight value of approximately 160 tons for 2006. The total consumption value of edible birds' nests throughout the world in 2006 was estimated to be in the vicinity of RM8 billion to RM12 billion.
The Regulatory Framework Governing Swiftlet Farming
The swiftlet farming industry in Malaysia was duly recognized as a valid contributor of important foreign exchange currency for the country by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in 2004 with the gazzetting of the “Guidelines on Swiftlet Farming” for all local, district, municipal and city councils throughout the country.
The Guidelines require that only premises within commercially zoned areas as well being registered as commercial premises with the relevant council which have not been designated as a Class 1 Heritage Building can be converted into a swiftlet farm.
The Guidelines also require that certain standards and levels of premises upkeep must be adhered to in areas of noise, health, pollution, scope of renovation works, building façade rendition and lighting be adhered to before swiftlet farming licences can be issued by the relevant council.
Methodology of Swiftlet Farming
In its essence, a swiftlet farm is a place in which edible white nests swiftlets mate, build their nests, raise their younglings and live in. Swiftlets had traditionally lived in caves. With their migration into the city and town centres through the years, these swiftlets will find places to live that are not dissimilar to that of their natural cave environment.
Therefore, all swiftlet farmers have endeavoured to design, construct and renovate their swiftlet farms in ways which will control the light intensities, humidity levels, air flow standards, pressure levels, safety perceptions, heat standards, odours and smells and swiftlet flight-paths in order to mimic swiftlet cave environments so as to encourage swiftlets to nest within the said farms.
Once a swiftlet farm has been completely constructed, swiftlet mating sounds and swiftlet chirps are played using audio systems through tweeters in order to ‘advertise’ to swiftlets flying above the new swiftlet farm that there is a new place for them to stay. These new swiftlets will then nest on wooden planks and lay eggs.
Competition Between Swiftlet Farms
Throughout the last 20 years or so, many technological advances, swiftlet farm design leaps as well as improvements in the behavioral characteristics of edible nests swiftlets have been made by the participants of the swiftlet farming industry in the areas of swiftlet farm design and construction, audio systems, mating and chirping sound identification and modulation, swiftlet flight-paths within farms and tweeter design.
Many owners of swiftlet farms whose farms are located in close proximity to each other (within a 5km radius) are constantly trying to outdo their neighbourly competition by implementing more and more scientifically researched and developed swiftlet farming products within their swiftlet farms in order to attract swiftlets from the surrounding competing farms into theirs.
A stage has almost been reached whereby it is now becoming more of a scientific endeavour of luring swiftlets to nest within a swiftlet farm as compared to the more unsuccessful and traditional ‘hit-or-miss’ method of swiftlet farming.
The Public Perception of Swiftlet Farming
The Malaysian swiftlet farming industry has generated quite a large amount of publicity for the print and broadcast medias, relative to the currently small contribution of the industry to the overall growth of the Malaysian economy. Almost all the said publicity has been negative with the media focusing their reporting on errant swiftlet farmers who do not adhere to the Guidelines set by the Ministry but continue to carry on their swiftlet farming businesses in residential areas, vocalizing swiftlet chirps at over and above the permitted levels as well as not in accordance with the permitted timetable as set out by the Ministry, causing public health disturbances, renovating and constructing their swiftlet farms without the consent of the relevant councils and turning thriving townships into low commercial traffic areas by sealing shut their swiftlet farming properties.
There is also a discernable phenomenon of non-swiftlet business owners who reside near the areas of swiftlet farms campaigning against the operations of such farms due to jelousy and envy of the potential financial returns that such farms may bring to the operators.
However, from the field research undertaken in the preparation of this Report, it was found that there existed a high level of compliance with the Guidelines and relevant laws and regualtions amongst a majority of swiftlet farmers who plan to participate actively in the Malaysian swiftlet farming industry over the long-term. The negative perception painted by the media of the Malaysian swiftlet farming industry by focusing on only a select few recaltriciant swiftlet farmers may have the effect curtailing the growth of the said industry or in its exterme, snuff out the interests of participants within the industry alltogether.
A concerted and unified push, in a continuous manner, by the major participants competing within the industry within a framework of engagement and participation with the relevant government departments and agencies and media organizations may have to be embarked upon in the near future in order to help maintain and nurture the healthy growth of the industry within the country.
Potential Financial Returns of a Swiftlet Farming Business
A swiftlet farm, if constructed properly and using the right swiftlet farming equipment can yield returns that are competitive with other types of profitable industries.
It is relatively hard to provide an estimation of the possible returns that can be derived from a swiftlet farm as industry standard figures are not yet available at this moment.
However, from perceptive and cognitive observations, there are many swiftlet farms throughout the country that comfortably yield 1kg to 10kgs (i.e. RM4000 to RM40000) of collected white edible birds’ nests per month. On average, from the field studies conducted by the Committee, an average yield of around 1kgs to 3kgs (i.e. RM4000 to RM12000) of collected white edible birds' nests per month can be obtained from a 2 storey swiftlet farm that had been properly converted from a conventional shop-lot or shop-house in Malaysia.
In spite of the above glowing returns derived from swiftlet farming, this Report estimates that approximately 70% of all swiftlet farms existing throughout throughout the country at at end of 2006 are either unhabited by edible nests swiftlets or can only sustain a nests collection yield of only less than 20 nests per month after 5 years of continuous operation. Such yield rates fall substantially below the commercially accepted yield rates for successful swiftlet farms in Malaysia.
The Profile of Participants of the Malaysian Swiftlet Farming Industry
This Report has determined that the swiftlet farming industry in the country as at the end of 2006 is made up of the following participant groups:
1. The self-build group of swiftlet farmers who personally establish their swiftlet farms through their own self-education, learning, understanding and research of the methodology of swiftlet farming (approximately 67% of the industry). It is estimated that around 92% of this group of participants experience failure in harvesting edible birds' nests from their farms. Such a high sub-industry failure rate is attributable to the lack of proper and reliable information with regards to the nature of the industry, insufficient capital in establishing productive swiftlet farms and lack of access to proper and effective swiftlet farming equipment within the country.
2. Swiftlet farming consultants and advisors who assist SMI and SME businessmen in establishing swiflet farms (approximately 28% of the industry). It is estimated that around 70% of swiftlet farms established by this group are commerially viable farms with growing harvestable yields over time.
3. Well-capitalized companies who enter the swiftlet farming industry as a diversification of their current revenue streams (approximately 5%). This group, although relatively small by industry standards, is estimated to have the highest industry success rates at 95%. The main reasons for such a high success rate is that this group possesses the ability to tap enough capital, either internally generated or through external sourcing, to acquire the best knowledge, design and swiftlet farm set-up and more effective swiftlet farming equipment as compared to the first 2 groups.
Important Links to the Swiftlet Farming Industry in Malaysia
The Top 10 most popular swiftlet farming products and consultancy companies in the country in 2007 are as follows:
1. Crystal Swiftlets
2. Aerodramus Consultancy
3. EBN Resources Sdn. Bhd.
4. Nest Tech Equipment Technology
5. Swiftlets City
6. Malaysia Swiftlet Farming
7. Gan Birds Nests Consultant
8. Birds Nest Center
9. Kong Heng Swiftlets
10. Swiftlet Ranching
The 5 most popular online reading materials on swiftlet farming in the country in 2007 are as follows:
1. Swiftlets of Borneo: Builders of Edible Birds' Nests
2. eBook: The Complete Introductory Guide to Swiftlet farming
3. Birdsnests2U Reference Books
4. C.S. Hor's Swiftlet Farm
5. Make Millioins From Swiftlet Farming: A Definitive Guide
The 4 most popular message blogs on swiftlet farming in the country in 2007 are as follows:
1. Yahoo! on Swiftlet Farming
2. The LOWYAT Forum on Swiftlet Farming
3. NGV Community's Take on Swiftlet farming
4. Swiftlet Farming Made Easy
The past and future conferences and courses on swiftlet farming in Malaysia as at the date of this report are:
1. The Beginner's Guide to Swiftlet Farming Course
2. Kursus Keusahawanan Burung Walit
3. MCA Conference on Swiftlet farming
4. Swiftlet Farm Designing Seminar
Framework for Evaluating Swiftlet Farming Sites
While the world wide web and the internet are important tools for information dissemination with regards to the Malaysian swiftlet farming industry, these tools are also prone to being taken advantage of by site operators sprouting questionable claims with regards to the products and services that they provide. The members of the Committee who compiled this Report have personally encountered a handful of sites which contain representations of high capabilities and performances bordering on grandeur which may not be entirely accurate.
Therefore in order to effectively and properly evaluate websites on swiftlet farming, the following common sense framework has been included as an addendum to the Report which should be kept in mind by users in evaluating such sites:
• Determine whether or not the website operator has a physical premises where he or she conducts business from. A physical premises tend to indicate the seriousness of the operator in participating in and expnding the swiftlet farming industry in the country;
• Make sure that the website is operated by a company or body corporate (i.e. the business entity with a Sdn. Bhd. or Bhd. designation) that has been in existence for more than 10 years or so. The time frame for success in this industry is usually long due to the relatively long gestation periods that swiftlets need in order to build up their colonies within their farms which would then allow for the harvesting of commercial quantites of white edible birds' nests. New swiftlet farming companies or body corporates that have been recently established may not possess the requisite overall knowledge and complete know-how with regards to the challenges and tribulations of the industry in spite of the purported claims on their websites;
• Determine whether or not the swiftlet farming companies produce and manufacture their own swiftlet farming products rather than buying their products 'off the shelf'. This is another factual detail that can be used to indicate the seriousness of the said companies in participating in the swiftlet farming industry for the long-term.
The 2007 Malaysian Swiftlet Farming Industry Report indicates that there is a strong likelyhood for continuous above-average growth of the swiftlet farming industry in Malaysia over the next decade most probably due to the continuous high price of edible birds' nests on international markets as well as the continuous advancements being made in the area of swiftlet farming.
However, there exists certain immedite challenges that may need to be addressed by the industry players, namely in the areas of adhering to relevant council and Ministerial regulations and requirements for such businesses, complying with best swiftlet farm management practices and increasing the continuous education of SMI and SME businessmen involved in swiftlet farming in order to reduce the incidence of the extremely high-failure rate of swiftlet farms associated with this group so that the healthy growth of the industry to continue. Members and the public who are interested in viewing the entirety of the Report are invited to write to the Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Report was commissioned by the Small Medium Industries Association of Penang with funding from the SMI Agricultural Grant Scheme and prepared by the Agricultural and Agro-based Businesses Sub-Committee according to the Association’s strict academic and report publication standards. Links contained in the summary of this Report are authorised and licensed under the Fair Use provisions of the Copyright Act and the Computer Crimes Act. Should the owners of any of the above links withdraw their authorization, kindly inform the sub-committee at email@example.com and the said link shall be removed from the above Summary and deleted from the Original Report within 24 hours.
Every and all information contained in this Report was prepared and published as an information resource only. The SMI Association of Penang disclaims all liabilities and due care responsibilites for any loss associated with the usage of this report for decision making purposes. Should any decision making be required, the services of a qualified individual and or corporate entity MUST first be sought by the user whereby all liabilities and due care responsibilites for any loss shall fully be brone by the same.
The links provided above by the Report does not in any way, either implicitly or explicitly, amount to a recommendation by the Association as to the trustworthiness and professionalism of the services provided by those sites. Individual inquiry by any interested parties is to be regarded as compulsory in order to determine the above trustworthiness and professionalism of such sites.
Each square foot of space in a successful swiftlet farm should be able to produce one edible bird's nest every four months. For a 22ft x 80ft 3 1/2 storey swiftlet farm with a built-up area of 4,180 sq. ft. of built-up area will produce 12,540 bird's nest a year.
Assuming 110 pieces is equal to 1kg of unprocessed edible bird's nest and 1kg is priced at RM4,500, then 12,540 pieces or 114kg will fetch the investor RM513,000 in a year.
Swallows make their nest from grass and mud, and their nest are certainly not edible. In contrast, Swiflets make their nest using their saliva, therefore the highly valued edible bird's nest are actually the dried saliva of Swiftlets.
Edible birds' nest is a water soluble glycoprotein with properties of a protein as well as of a carbohydrate. Its composition resembles that of salivary mucin with a high ash content of 2.5 percent. It contains 10.3 percent nitrogen and 17.4 percent carbohydrate with traces of phosphorus, asernate, sulphur and vitamin B1. The energy value per 100g edible portion is 345 kilocalories. The total protein content is about 85 percent with 0.3 percent of fat. Other minerals present are calcium and iron. 6 kinds of Amino acids isolated from birds' nest consist of amide, humin, arginine, cystine, histidine and lysine. The total content of mono amino acids is about 6 percent. It is possible that when taken with certain other foods through a cooking process may have a high nutritive and therapeutic value to human body. Recent studies in
Studies have shown that is has improved immune responses to bacteria, viruses & tumor cells; promotes wound healing and regeneration of the liver; causes the release of growth hormones; considered crucial for optimal muscle growth and tissue repair.
Functions as an antioxidant and is a powerful aid to the body in protecting against radiation and pollution. It can help slow down the aging process, deactivate free radicals, neutralize toxins; aids in protein synthesis and presents cellular change. It is necessary for the formation of the skin, which aids in the recovery from burns and surgical operations. Hair and skin are made up 10-14% Cystine.
Insures the adequate absorption of calcium; helps form collagen ( which makes up bone cartilage & connective tissues); aids in the production of antibodies, hormones & enzymes. Recent studies have shown that Lysine may be effective against herpes by improving the balance of nutrients that reduce viral growth. A deficiency may result in tiredness, inability to concentrate, irritability, bloodshot eyes, retarded growth, hair loss,anemia & reproductive problems.
Found abundantly in haemoglobin; has been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, allergic diseases, ulcers & anemia. A deficiency can cause poor hearing.
Primary linkage of all different kinds of essential amino acids and like. The basic unit to all different types of amino acids
You can choose either one or all the proposed options as follows:-
You buy a suitable building on your own and convert the building into a swiftlet farm.
This option is a bit delicate where you identify and rent the building from a third party. You convert the building and run the operation there after. Potential problem is when the building owner terminates your rental arrangement and takes away your swiftlet farm for himself.
The most practical approach is by pooling your financial resources with two or three friends and buys a building. Convert the building into swiftlet farm and income shall be distributed evenly among the investors.
The best and recommended method of starting a swiftlet farm is by buying a suitable agricultural land located near any kind of water source, such as lake, old mining pool or river. Before making any land purchase, swiftlets count test must be carried out by an experienced birdnests expert. It is recommended that the land size must be big enough to cater for any future expansion once a test farm is proven to be successful. A 2 acres land is adequate as a start.
A test swiftlet farm should be properly designed. The use of expert birdnests house designer is recommended. Proper approvals from local authorities should be obtained. The house should be at least two stories high complete with all features that will attract the swiftlets to nest. Proper house location on the purchase land will allow future expansion.
Construction of Swiftlet Farms
The factors that have to be considered in constructing Swiftlet Farms are :
Internal environment factors :
The types of buildings that are most favored by white edible nests swiftlets must have the following characteristics :
For swiftlets to enter the swiftlet farm, a rectangular hole that is painted black around its external edges is used as the entrance for the birds to fly in and out of the swiftlet farm.
Management of Swiftlet Farms
The management of swiftlet farms can be divided into 4 stages :
1. Renovation of buildings into farms for swiftlets in accordance with the requirements of the laws and regulations of the local housing and building by-laws, and town and country planning guidelines.
2. The use of modern equipment for controlling the air temperature, for maintaining high humidy and low light encroachment in order to encourage swiftlets to build their nests and breed
3. Understanding the breeding behavior of swiftlets
4. Determine the most suitable time for the harvesting of nests and ensuring the cleanliness of the swiftlet farms and the quality of nests produced.
Below is a video of the birdcall test conducted by my new found friend, Harry, on the eve of the Swiftlet Industry Seminar held in Pulau Kapas which was conducted by Pak Hendri Mulia and Pak Irmant Tjahjadi. This test was held on the car park right in the center of Kampung China, Kuala Terengganu. In the background is the Kampung Tiong Apartments
Observe the swiftlets flying around. Its just fantastic. I had obtained a test set from Harry plus the CD and anyone who is interested in making a birdcall in their area especially in Kuala Terengganu and its vicinity can make an appointment with me by calling HP No.: 0199343828.
I had used duress to call the swiftlets into my farm and the response had been fantastic in a way. The swifllets passing over my farm on their way back to KT town will u-turn to circle and play around my farm. However, they refused to enter my farm. They will head back to town after spending some time circling my farm
As pointed up by Harry, this bird call won't get the swiftlets to go in. He suggested adopting a two minute sound layout where you mix the sound with the mating and baby sound, which means that it is a three in one. I had tried mixing these 3 types of sound which include Duress and I called it Duress Plus. I used a free programme called Audacity which I downloaded from the internet and it allowed me to edit and mix the sound using quick mix.
I am now using Duress Plus in my farm and during my latest visit to the farm, that is on 25.04.08, I observed more swiftlets going in when this sound was played. I have to make more observations to ascertain that this mixed sound really works.
Temperature and humidity are two important factors which determine the success of a swiftlet farm. If one of the two factors are not met, the swiftlets may not want to stay in the farm. They would just come and visit and leave the farm immediately. This had happen to many farms where the owners complained of seeing many swiftlets entering their farm and not staying behind. There are neither evidence of bird shit nor bird nest after having switched on the bird call for sometime, six months or more.
The temperature and humidity will affect the population growth as well as the quality of nest productions. The air temperature inside the farm should be 27°C - 29°C, ideally at 28°C. Humidity should be kept at 75% - 95%, ideally at 85&.
Below are some readings of the temperature and humidity taken in my farm using a digital thermo hygrometer.
This above reading was taken on 11.04.08 at 10.11 am and both tmperature and humidity looks ideal
The above reading was taken on 13.04.08 at 2.27 pm and both the temperature and humidity looks ideal. HI% means that humidity is above 90%
Good external and internal sound contribute to the success of a swiftlet faarm. The external sound will attract the swiftlets into the farm while the internal sound will make the swiftlets stay in the farm for good. As swiftlet farming gets more sophisticated the external sound also gets sophisticated, It is now split into pooling and calling sound while internal sound is split to colony and mating sound. Pooling sound is meant to gather the swiftlets to play around the farm before entering while calling sound is used to call the swiftlets to enter the farm. Colony sound will get the swiftlets to play and stay in specific spot in the farm. For example, in a standalone farm, the owner might partition the farm into rooms but of late the trend is towards an open farm where there are minimal partition. However, the farm is still segmented by RC beams whiich are between 20" to 24" deep and usually the swiftlets will occupy one segment of the farm. Another group which come in later will occupy another segment of the farm. If the owner wants to be sophisticated, he will play the colony sound using tweeters placed at the 4 corners of the RC beams while the mating sound is played by tweeters surrounding the RC beams. In this case, 2 amplifiers will needed for internal sound.
Gound external sound will attract swiftlets to enter the farm. However after a while swiftlets passing the farm will get bored and ignored the sound. It is advisable to change the sound every few months. The owner should have at least 5 or 6 good external sounds in hand and alternate the sounds every few month (preferably every 3 months). Good internal sound are sounds which have pinyik (baby) sound in it. With really good sound the number of nests will increase rapidly and there is a likelyhood that the swiftlets will build their nest on the tweeters.These bird sounds can be purchased from swiftlet equipment suppliers. Readers can search the internet for name of the suppliers. The bird sound can be in the form of CD, pen drive or SD card and in cd or MP# format. Prices of these sound ranges from less than RM50 to RM300 and some even to a few thousand ringgit depending on the popularity. If readers are internet savy, they can search the internet for free download. There are a few sites which offer free downloads and the sounds are equally good.
It is an advantage to have light at the entrance hole for the following reasons :-
a) Swiftlets will normally start coming back home from their feeding ground starting from 4.30 pm (rainy season when there are plenty of insects) until 9.00 pm (during dry season when there are less food). Once the sun in down, i.e. at around 7.00 (Peninsular Malaysia time) the swiftlet have no choice but to use their echolocation. With the light on it will become like a navigational beacon for them to zoom to their target house.
b) Beside being used as navigational beacon, the light is also useful for detection of burglars. If you install camera around your building, the light will make the burglars realized that there are cameras around to snap on their beautiful face.
c) It will keep away night prediators especially Owl. They are not very happy with the bright light around.
d) If you switch the light slightly earlier then 7.00 pm, you will draw numerous small insects to the light areas. This will provide some kind of meal before these birds enter the house to roost. It is more like a last minute meal before going to sleep.....
If you mentioned corners to swiftlet farm owners, it is as if a taboo word. They don't like to hear the word. They are so scared of corners because nest built at corners fetch a lower price. In order to avoid corners farmers introduced corner planks which come in various sizes and materials. However, this is not well received by some farmers and newbies because bird nest traders still discriminate and regarded nest built at corner of this planks and the straight planks as 2nd grade though these nests are three fingers wide, as large as straight plank nests. In order to avoid swiftlets from building nests at corners, there are several ways of doing it. If the farmers are not using corner planks, they can place imitation nest, preferably made from styrofoam at the corners and if they using corner planks they can place the imitation nest right at the middle of the corner plank.
In order to avoid swiftlets from building nests at corners, there are several ways of doing it. If the farmers are not using corner planks, they can place imitation nest, preferably made from styrofoam at the corners and if they are using corner planks they can place the imitation nest right in the middle of the corner plank.
Birdhouse owners complained that they are not getting the desired result, that very few swiftlets are staying in their house to build their nests. What they might have missed out could be an important ingredient, that is, the 'Aroma'. This could have made the difference. The simplest is to place bird shits, better known as guano, in the house, sufficient to get rid of all the unfamiliar smell emitting from the cement, paintwork and certain timbers used to construct the farm.
These bird shits will normally undergo a normal decomposition cycle where bacteria and bird shit insects will turn the shit into guano or fertilizer.
During this decomposition stage there will be a number of gases emitted in the house. These gases are made of ammonia (NH3), Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) and carbon dioxide (CO2). Both NH3 and H2S are very smelly and aromatic to the birds. Their smell seem to be an attraction points for any swiftlets to stay in a BH.
This is mainly due to their nature since hatched into the world. Just try to imagine that you are a young bird just hatched from the egg. The moment you are exposed to the atmosphere, you are already breathing in those natural aroma in the house or a cave. You cannot open your eyes yet but your nose sniffed those pungent smell from your mummy's and daddy's shits.
So it is very common that when these young birds would like to feel peace and safe, they prefer to choose a house with strong bird shit decomposing smell.
This is why you need to consider applying adequate aroma materials to your new house. You can normally used a real bird shit, feces powders, bird nest processing water, specially blend liquids, hormone that are specially ready to use and etc.
Some are applied to the floor while there are some applied to the walls and not forgetting those that can be applied on the nesting planks.
To ensure that these aroma last for at least one month, my advise is to shut all those ventilation holes but open those strategically located holes.
Aroma application have these specific functions:
1) To a brand new house, they can be used to remove all those unusual cement, wood, smoke, oily and welding smells.
2) To an old BH these smell will create the original atmosphere duplicating a house with lots of birds staying in it. As such you make the birds feel save and peaceful.
3) To make the nesting plank smells as if there are many nests being built on them. This will cheat the swiftlets to feel that there are many other swiftlets in the house and he is not alone to start a family.
4) One of the most important function is to let the smell exit the house via the entrance hole(s). The moment the wild swiftlets smell these fragrances they will be very curious to enter the entrance hole(s) of your bird house and perhaps stays.
We have heard complaints from birdhouse owners that there are many birds flying into birdhouse and staying overnight but nests are few. One of the reasons could be that they did not feel comfortable with the birdhouse. Besides the temperature and humidity that must be right, the birds also would like to have a comfortable place to hang. For young swiftlets the grooves in the nesting planks may not help the swiftlet to hang comfortably or may be the nesting planks may be too hard for them to grip. So, supports in the form of rectangular-shaped styrofoam could help these young swiftlets to hang and build nests.
Studies had shown that having lots of these fake nests could increase the nest counts by 30% the normal growth rate. For new farms, owners should forget about nest quality for the time being. After two cycles, the owner can take away the styrofoam and harvest the nests and let the birds rebuild their nests. Fake nests can come in all shapes and sizes but the cheapest could be the rectangular cut styrofoam which can either be screwed to the nesting planks or glued using the white styrofoam glue used for pasting papers. Many owners used plastic and silicone nests shaped like the original nestsbut they are slightly expensive costing between RM4 to RM6 per piece. We can also make nests shaped like the original nest out of styrofoam but is it really necessary unless we would like to attract stray pregnant birds which have their nest harvested and have no place to lay their eggs.
Standalone Farm is getting popular these days because farms in shophouses are encountering numerous problems such as getting licenses, illegal extensions, creating noises and being smelly. Standalone Farm, normally 2 to 4 storey high and vary in sizes from 20'x 70' to 30'x 100' and cost ranging from RM200,000 to RM500,000 are normally built on agriculture land. What are the guidelines?.
The first thing that we need to know is how big we can build on a piece of agriicultural land.
Bird's Nest from a Clinical Experimental Point of View
According to a recent medical research reported by
Bird's Nest from Traditional and Modern Chinese Medication's Point of View.
(Chinese Medication Dictionary) Bird's Nest is used as restorative and remedial food since the Ching dynasty as recorded in (Major Herbs Guidebook) and (Major Herbs Digest). Previous clinical researches have concluded that bird's nest has a (sweet and calm) character. Bird's nest contributed medical benefits to lung, stomach and kidney neural system. Several ancient medicine books such as (New Major Herbs), (Southern Mountain Chronicle) and (New Herbs Revised) all recorded plenty of detail of bird's nest remedial benefits.
Bird's Nest from a Nutrition Point of View
The main nutrition contents of bird's nest are carbohydrate (30%) and protein (5%) although its protein content can be compare to that of milk or eggs. Bird?s nest also contains plenty of calcium and phosphorus, as well as some iron and iodine. There are still some other untraced compositions that may have medical benefits; hence we can not judge its value by the main nutrition contents alone.
Bird's Nest from a Biochemical Point of View
The book (Evaluate Bird's Nest) written by a biochemist has also proven that protein contained in bird's nest have some bioactive elements which might have nourishing and replenishing effects on humans body.
The experts conclude that bird's nest has three main functions: