( nests from my few months old farm)
One of the mistakes commonly made by many farmers is delaying harvesting. This is due to unable to set a schedule for harvesting. Nobody knows your farm better than yourself. You know your farm best. The number of nests, number of birds, number of nest marking, the weather around your area, and so on.
All these would help you in planning out your harvest. A good planned harvest helps to increase birds’ population and nests.
There are many farmers reluctant to harvest nests especially in new farms that have 20-50 nests. Reasons cited are ‘lets the nests grow more, too early to harvest, too few to harvest and so on with 100& 1 reason. In fact by delaying the harvest they are preventing the number of nests to increase.
I had visited many failed farms and often seen nests in these farms are not harvested some have been there for months or years. I asked the owned why didn’t you harvest them? The reply was ‘If I harvested them then I can’t see them anymore”.
It is so precious to them. They’re afraid if they harvested all nests they will lose them forever. This is nature, swiftlet have no use of their nests after their chicks fly away. Often they will recycle or use back their old nests if it’s not removed from here you would lose every each nest that is recycled by the bird.
In fact if they had harvested them the number of nests would have been increased by double. Harvesting boost up the nests grows but it has to be done properly in a well planned and systematic manner.
For farms that have many nests a poor planned harvest will not only affect the number of nest (future) but also the birds’ population, nests quality and so on.
Let’s not be afraid to harvest the nests in farms, be it 5 or 10 nests because harvesting is part of a technique of pushing up the number of nests in farms.
Some of the tips here are:
- Never harvest the nests on a rainy or cloudy day. As many Swiftlet may be in the farm. Raining day swiftlets wouldn’t travel far for food often they will come back to the farm. It is uncommon to see many of them in the farm.
- Harvesting should start in the morning and should finish by 2.00 pm.
- Start with one section complete that part then only move to another.
- Do not spend too much time in the farm if it is not necessary. Your objective is to do harvest not TehTarik.
- Do a record and mark them down how many nests for every each harvest (date and time)
- After every each harvest spray Love Potion to eliminate human odor and create an environment that would make the birds feel comfortable.
After you have done the above and on the coming next harvest compare the number of nests you have harvested, the number of new nests, the quality of nests and so on with the previous record then you would understand what I mean.
Good Farming All!