We used to visit our Swiftlet farms once or twice a month, those were the good days. This time many of us are abandoning what we used to do. Maintenance helps to improve the Internal environment of the Swiftlet farm thus increase Swiftlets population. It helps us to identify problems, we have to be in the Swiftlet farm in order to know what is going on. Without our presence, we won’t know anything.
I was asked to visit a Swiftlet farm located in Pulau Carey (Jugra). I have known the owner Mr.J for quite a while. This is his latest Swiftlet farm, in total he has 4 Swiftlet farms. He complained to me about the current low price of Raw Nests, and this made him lose interest in taking care of his Swiftlet farms. He is not the only one who is affected, there are many out there facing the same situation that's included me. I am not exempt from such a situation as I have many Swiftlet farms myself.
The 4th one is the problem and was very unlucky. Started off somewhere in the late 2011 the time when the government imposed and implemented all sorts of unrealistic and unreasonable regulations and laws that are beyond achievable. This is the time where many Swiftlet farmers lost their hearts for Swiftlet farming.
“Is it adult birds or chicks?”
“It is young birds and Chicks. What does this, James?”
“ Mr. J, your Swiftlet farm must have been infested with pests. Let me have a visit I shall find out the causes.”
This is how I ended up in Pulau Carey a place famous for seafood.
I asked him how long this has been going on? He replied, “ few months”. That was very silly of him letting this situation prolong. I asked him again, didn’t you see fewer birds coming back and the number of nests has dropped? No, James, I just don’t bother to see how many birds coming back because the Nest Price is so low. Now I see dead birds , so I call you.
His reply really gets into my nerves. He is lucky because I have got good anger management. The sad thing was many young chicks died. I felt very sad. These birds build nests for you so you could sell them and feed your family, and now the nests price is low and you abandoned them. You see how mean a human can be.
With my experience, I knew there are some insects that killed these Chicks, definitely not big predators as the whole dead body still intact. I climbed up the ladder and do some CSI forensic checking. To my horror all the nests were infested with Red Ants. Thousand of them feasting on the meat of the chick.
That's not all, they even bite through the egg shell they really enjoy the yolk inside. The ants are not interested in the nests they want the chicks and eggs. They are carnivorous, they are more dangerous that cockroaches which only eat nests.
It is not easy to get rid of them, many of you when facing such situation would have used an aerosol insecticide spray (Shieldtox, RidSect, etc.) to kill the ants. But this doesn’t solve the problem, ants that are on the surface of the planks and on the nests can be killed but not those that are hidden behind the corner boards and in the ceiling. Furthermore, aerosol insecticide could kill other birds in the Swiftlet farm because it contains Prallethrin and d-phenothrin a powerful poison. (Identification: toxicity, water pollution potential, ecological toxicity)
-Irritation of skin and eyes.
- Irritability to sound or touch, abnormal facial sensation, sensation of prickling, tingling or creeping on the skin, numbness.
- Headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, fatigue.
- In severe cases: fluid in the lungs and muscle twitching may develop. Seizures may occur and are more common with more toxic cyano-pyrethroids
Therefore, I don’t encourage the use of aerosol insecticide in Swiftlet farms.
I put a fake nest next to the nests that had been infested with Red ants. I pour a little of this China made Ant poison into the fake nest marked it with “P” (poison). In fact within minute I saw some ants crawling over inline toward the fake nest. Bingo! They are taking the poison back.
This is a lousy excuse. He had abandoned his Swiftlet farm and now all the chicks are dead. He is the one to be blamed.
Now he is worrying about his other Swiftlet farms. He asked me, “ James, the nests in my other Swiftlet farms had not increased for quite a while are they facing the same problem?” My reply was, “ Well it could be, you never know until you check them out.”
So to all readers please don’t abandon your maintenance works or delay or stretch them to a longer interval period. Take care of your Swiftlet farms they had taken care of you during the good time now it is the time for you to show your appreciation.