Before I went to the North I was invited to visit a farm located in Sg.Besar. I knew this place quite well. Many years back I used to come here to charter the local fishing boat for fishing. It was more than 20 years ago.
Those days not many people know about Swiftlet farming. But today if you are in Sg.Besar you could notice almost all upper floors of the shop lots here are Swiftlet farms. I have yet to talk about those standalones in the Oil Palm estate.
It is mushrooming everywhere and more farms are coming up every day. It has turned most of these small towns into potential area for Swiftlet farming due to its location of plenty of greenery and close to river mouth. As I have said in my “Feng Shui” article as long there are water (river & sea) and greens (plantations,padi fields,etc ) around, farms built in such areas would have great potential to be successful farm.
To name few, T.Intan, Setiawan,P.Remis, B.Serai, K.T, Kuantan, Pekan,Matang,etc all are located either near river or near the sea. As long there is water and green there will be food (insects) and such area would attract plenty of Swiftlets to foray for foods.
But why in such good area there are still many failed farms? The reason has to do with the farm itself it has nothing to do with the location anymore.
Given an opportunity of such good area yet most Swiftlet farmers didn’t know how to take advantage of it.
Mr.E had called me many times. He wants me to have a look at his farm. It has less than 50 nests after 2 years of operation. What has gone wrong? In such area it should have more than 100 nests.
Well I have to see it myself in order to know what happened. I need to observe it and do some investigation before I could give recommendations on how to turn around his farm.
Mr.E and friends anxiously waiting for me at the ground floor of the farm,
it is a 3 storey farm with 2 upper floors converted in Swiftlet farm. While in the farm I discovered many things that are not properly done.
The flying path of the birds was not observed when the consultant builds the farm making swiftlets having difficulty to fly deeper into the farm.
There was a pool at the entrance hole but it has dried up. Therefore the concrete floor is constantly hot and when wind from outside passes this area it will bring the hot air into the farm making the micro upside down.
The planks are of low grade meranti. As the temp goes high most farmers would use humidity to reduce the temperature. There are correlations between both but one must understand how it works before applying it. Making it worse, when the Rh is high especial in farms that are using low graded Meranti (95% Swiftlet farms in Malaysia is using Low & Poor graded wood). The high Rh causes the nesting planks to grow fungus.
Once the Nesting planks are infested with mould and fungus then it is the end of the farm. Birds won’t make nests on infested planks. There are so many choices now. If this farm is not good enough for them then they just fly to the next one across the road or the farms next to yours.
Secondly the internal sound was so bad that I could only hear the hiss sound other than that nothing else. Well most farmers wouldn’t know how to distinguish this can’t blame them.
There are only few tweeters in this farm, though it is of the Audax type but the number of tweeters should be higher. If the internal sound is of poor quality then using Aaudax is useless.
The entrance-hole position was totally out, it was too low. Swiftlets, especially those young one having difficulty to enter this farm. Those that wanted to enter have to dive vertically before making a quick up ward turn.
In fact there were dead birds at the entrance hole. By judging from it sizes they were young birds.
I advised Mr.E to change the position of the entrance. Increase the number of tweeters at those strategic areas and change the internal sound.
He also needs to erect some partitions and those that are not needed should be removed. I taught Mr.E many techniques especially on how to increase the number of nests in the shortest period of time.
After listening he is very happy about it. It was already 3 pm by then and I have to head for Setiawan.
Good Swiftlet Farming All!