This has been debated many years ago in some of the Swiftlet farming forums on the net. I always stick to my stand of NO Standardization when it comes to building Swiftlet farms be it structurally or internal environment control or in term of measurement.
Many have asked me how and what is the required distance between nesting planks. I would say it all depended on the design of the farm, the location, the height of the farm, the size and so on….
It is common to hear most followed 16-20 inches between planks. In fact this has been the standard being followed by many. Well for me anything from 13-24 inches will do and all depended on the design of the farm that’s included the partitioning. I have seen very successful farm in Setiawan and B.Pahat which using the box type system 3x3ft or 3x4ft. Also straight format system without cross planks equally successful.
Many years back some of my friends were so afraid to have anything less than 16 inches worrying that when both birds flying into the planks on both sides their wings might hit each other.
Obviously that doesn’t mean 13 inches between planks is not good. It is equally successful. It also depended on your budget. The nearer between the planks the more planks are needed therefore it will cost more.
I wouldn’t suggest anything below 12 inches. Whether it is a Matrix system or Combine type it depends where the sunlight comes from and the size of the entrance hole.
The nesting planks should be placed horizontal again the entrance hole. This is to prevent and to reduce the sunlight directly hitting the planks. Swiftllet prefer the darker side of the nesting planks this is where they feel safer.
Even though this is the common basic knowledge but sad to say so no many understand it well that included very well known consultants.
I had visited many farms that are built by very well known consultants, some internationally acclaimed yet they fail to understand the density of light in farm therefore It is common to see the nesting planks being place vertically direct to the sunlight. I wonder how they could make such mistake.
The distance between nesting planks also influences by the width of the planks. Wider the plank the distance should be bigger and via versa.
The size of the farm also influences the planking formation and it measurement.
Good Swiftlet Farming ALL!