Yesterday I met up with a reader of mind to pass dozen of Love Potion to him. He has been using Love Potion for the past 6 months now and the numbers of nests shoot up like rocket from 300 plus as till now 700 plus. He asked my advise should he do force harvesting every month as his friends asked him to do so.
I explained to him the pros and cons of force harvesting……….and what he should do…..Not all force harvesting would bring good. Too often it would cause disaster.
Well in order to do force harvesting one must know and understand the natural behavior of Swiftlet.
The processes of making nests take place during night time by both female and male Swiftlets. During this time the (night) farm is in totally darkness and Swiftlets us echolocation to locate their roosting area, socialize and fly.
By understanding this, material that is soft that could absorb sound should not be used as wall or partitioning in farm because it absorb sound and doesn’t bounce it. Hard surface wall material in farm is important for echolocation which is the essence for birds navigation How many of you have thought of this or knew this? Some even use plastic canvas as partition this kills the echolocation purpose.
The Nests making process takes about 45- 80 days. Several factors influence the length of this period the availability of food around, the non- breeding (season) period, etc.
During breeding season the Nests making process could exceed 75 days. During this period the nests built are bigger and fuller. They are intended to hold eggs and chicks. Not all swiftlets build nest for eggs laying purposes. Nests that are built outside this season normally smaller it is used for roosting purposes only.
If force harvesting (harvest every nests indiscriminately) is done during breeding season the swiftlets would immediately build new ones. Though initially you would see immediate increase in nests because almost every pair of birds would build twice for that short period but with prolong practice of such the birds’ population and the number nests would reduce. Swiftlet would migrate to other farms that are safe with fewer disturbances.
I strongly discourage force harvesting because I don’t believe in killing the chicks and throwing the eggs.
During mating season Switlets would look for partner this can be observed one chasing another in a circle motion and calling the clicking sound. Once a partner is found the swiftlet would find an appropriate place to make nests. They would look for farms that are safe and have good micro environment which consist of good Aroma, Internal sound, Rh, Temperature, good planks, etc. Bear in there so many farms to choose from so your farm has to stand out amongst all.
It is common that young male swiftlet from other farms that come and play at your farm and later enticed the female back to their farm and make nests. To prevent this make sure you farm has good Aroma and good hypnotizing internal sound.
The combination of Hypnotizing Internal sound and Aroma (Love potion) would hypnotize those male swiftlets that come to your farms. Instead the male swiftlets taking away the female birds they ended up staying in your farm.
Nowadays competition is stiff winner takes all loser left with nothing. Everyday there are hundreds of new farm coming up. (Of cause 90% not up standard). Then again somehow there would cause some impact to your existing farm too.
There are still many do not concern much about internal sound. They believe and solely relied on external sound only. As I had mentioned above birds stay and make nests during night time so “is internal sound and aroma inside the farm is important?” needless to say further you judge it yourself if you still don’t get what I mean then swiftlet farming is not for you.
After Swiftlets found their partners they will make nests together until the nests completed.The mating takes about 5-9 days thereafter the female would lay eggs. Commonly female lays 2 eggs. Incubation would be done by both birds.
It takes about 45- 50 days for the chick to grow and later fly. So all in it would take around 3-4 months or more to complete a cycle.
But yet I often receiving emails and calls from readers asking “James I built a 30 x 80 3 storey farm 1 month ago how come still got no nest?”
Well there is good and bad of knowing very little about harvesting and simply harvesting nests on the advice of friends who have little knowledge would cause reduction in birds population.. Look at the bright side what these people did is creating stress to their birds and on the other hand it create the opportunity for their birds to fly to our farms to stay.
Good Swiftlet Farming All!