Last week I was invited to visit a farm in the South. I had postponed it few times due to my ongoing swiftlet farming projects but Mr. G calls again and insisted I see his farm.
He had engaged few local consultants to help him but somehow there is no improvement. There were less than 10 nests after 2-1/2 years of operation.
Mr.G: James you must be very busy but don’t forget to come and help me. Last week we supposed to meet. So when are you free to come to B.Pahat?
Me: Hi Mr.G, sorry for the delay. I will be at your place hopefully this weekend. I hope by then I shall clear all my things.
Mr.G: Yes very good! Make sure no more postpone Ok? I don’t want to wait anymore. I want to solve the problems.
Me: Ok, Ok……
Mr.G : Thank you very much . I will wait for you.
His farm is located not far from B.Pahat town. In fact is a good area for Swiftlet farming and how come there are so few nests in his farm. Before I entered the farm I anticipated there must be problems here that most of the consultants didn’t notice perhaps they might not know.
I had always said “there is no smoke if there is no fire”. Perhaps many of them didn’t notice the smoke or they can’t find the fire.
Even if they had found the fire they may not have the expertise to put off the fire. Hey! I hope you all get what I mean. Not as easy as putting off a fire with water!
It was a 2 storey farm. One of the biggest problems was the humidity in the farm. I don’t need a Hygrostat to know this. As I walked into the farm I could sense and smell the wet air. It was too wet. I asked Mr.G whose idea is this making the farm so wet? He replied, it was the consultants’ idea. They said the higher the Humidity the better.
I replied, that is not necessary. Everything has it limit. Too much or too little is not good. It has to be moderate and balance. That is why we call it “ STABLE” I told him that. He replied, no one had ever told me this that included the cons….
I told him your planks are gone. The humidity is too high and all the planks have mould and fungus then how are the Swiftlets going to make nests on the planks?
When fungus and mould grow on planks they produce the powdery form of residue on the planks. The powdery residue prevents the saliva of Swiftlets from stick on planks. Often the swiftlets tried to build the nests and at the end they would give up. Then they would seek for other farms that have no planks problem to make nests.
Have you ever noticed on the planks with many new nests marking in a straight row and later after few weeks or months there are not even single nest? Often most would say the birds have left or they don’t like the place and so on…..This could be planking problem.
Simple go and touch your planks with your palm. Sweeping them few times with your palm. If you could feel the powdery effect on the planks then you have to watch out the humidity in the farm.
Secondly nowadays there are so many poor quality planks sold in the market claimed to be Meranti in no time 90% of all farm will have fungus and mould problem.
7 out of 10 farms I had visited have planks problem. It is a matter of how severe there are. Some 30% infested, some 60% infested and so on. If one uses a genuine Dark Red Meranti high Humidity would not be a problem.
Not only Mr.G’s farm has plank problem the internal design was bad that birds having problem reaching the nesting areas. The Birds have to take a U-turn to enter the roving from the entrance hole then another Ziz-Zag to enter the nesting rooms.
I asked Mr.G why you need so many rooms. He replied, the Cons… said this is a very important room for birds to mate and make nests. I told him Oh so you had decided where the birds should mate and make nests isn’t it? He was blurred……and replied I think so….
I replied, if so how come the birds didn’t follow what you had planned? Mr. G…. blurred again…never mind.
I told him “new birds are so hard to fly in and young birds are so hard to fly out so”…the answer is DEAD END!
Besides that the sound system arrangement is suck. One amplifier for all Tweeters connections. That’s mean one sound for all, internal & external. (This is to save cost by the consultant).
This farm is really pain in the neck. It is not easy to revamp. The Planks have to go. Some walls have to come down too, wiring, sound system, etc………….
I told him you need to spend quite a lot to salvage your farm. He pays very hefty to learn from such mistake. I pity him. His biggest mistake was choosing someone who he thought was good in Swiftlet farming and pricing factor. At the end he is paying double for what should be less.
Well I often seen such scenario and it is very common in Swiftlet Farming .
Good farming All!