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swiftlet hotspots

swiftlet hotspots in malaysia / taburan burung walit di malaysia

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Thursday, January 27, 2011


Garis Panduan Pembangunan Industri Burung Walit(Januari 2010)
Swiftlet Farming Guidelines (January 2010)
养燕子指南 (二零一一年一月)

to download your own copy: 1GP.pdf

if you found the above convenient, will appreciate a RM20 donation to be received at:

maybank: 5-14721-05140-1
e-mail: swiftlets@htatt.com

my tip, whats a small price for convenience

Liquid Gold

Welcome to Indonesia's bird nest soup factory town

Kumai birdhousesBirdhouses have come to dominate the skyline in Kumai
The tiny port of Kumai on the southern tip of Indonesian Borneo is a burgeoning trade centre in one of the world's most valuable animal products - the nests used for bird's nest soup.
Drab concrete buildings have sprouted up all across Kumai, towering above the traditional low-rise shop-houses.

The buildings have no windows - instead they have many tiny holes. They are in fact birdhouses, or more accurately, bird's nest factories.
Kumai's human population is about 20,000. Its population of swiftlets - the tiny birds whose nests are so valuable to the Chinese - must be 10 times that number.
They cover the sky, thrashing about and letting out screeches that are audible in every part of town.

It's like drinking a thick jelly-like soup”
Ching-He HuangChinese food expert
The explosion in the bird population has come as an irritation to some in Kumai.
"The Chinese started building birdhouses here about 10 years ago," says a local park ranger.
"At first it was fine, but now it's taking over the whole town. The people don't have much of a say. Local politicians just let it happen."
Tasteless, but wholesome
The edible nests, which the birds make from their saliva, have been a part of Chinese cookery for more than 1,000 years.

They can be used in sweet or savoury dishes.
Food writer and broadcaster Ching-He Huang says one way of preparing the nests is to slow cook them with rock sugar, allowing them to take on the flavours of other ingredients.
But she explains that the nests are revered for their reputed medicinal benefits and cultural importance rather than their flavour.

Bird's nest soup

  • First eaten as a delicacy in the court of the Tang emperors (618-907)
  • Widespread consumption by 15th Century, but was banned by Mao Zedong in 20th Century
  • Fans dub the soup the "caviar of the east"
  • Used largely as a thickener, can be simmered with sugar for a dessert, or cooked with meat for a savoury soup
  • Reputedly boosts immune system, libido, improves complexion, relieves asthma
"Many Chinese women I know have it because the gelatinous texture of the bird's nest is said to be very good for maintaining youth - it's thought to help collagen production," she says.
"The sweet version is delicate. It's like drinking a thick jelly-like soup. It can be served as a dessert or on its own."
The dark damp caves of South East Asia's tropical regions provide the natural habitat for the swiftlets.
Indonesia has many such caves, and has a long history in the bird's nest trade. As far back as the 17th Century there are records of the trade in the archipelago.
For most of that time, the nests were collected from caves by skilled climbers using flimsy bamboo trellises.
Lucky charms
According to local legend, the practice of farming the birds in houses grew up accidentally several generations ago, when a local landowner in Sedayu, in East Java, left his house to go on the Hajj pilgrimage, says Ani Mardiastuti, from Bogor Agricultural University.
"Later on, he imitated the condition of the swiftlet room in other rooms, and he succeeded, so inventing the technique to farm the swiftlet."

Dried bird's nests preserved in a plastic box at a shop in Crab Island off Port Klang, west of Kuala Lumpur
The nests can fetch up to $3,000 a kilo

"He went to Hajj for several months, and some of his rooms were closed. When he came back from Hajj, he found that the swiftlets had been using his rooms for nesting," she says.
Bird farmers are still notoriously secretive about how they attract the animals - but part of the method appears to be playing recordings of the swiftlets' song.
Reports abound of industrious Indonesians trying anything from lucky charms to casting spells in an effort to lure the birds into their buildings.
From caves, to cities
But for much of the 20th Century the trade was relatively small, and was dominated by traditional nest collectors.
China's authoritarian Communist ruler Mao Zedong denounced the soup as a decadent luxury, so almost the entire world market was in Hong Kong.

The soup only started to regain popularity on the mainland during the 1990s, but experts say it has now overtaken Hong Kong as Indonesia's main export market.

A swiftlet chick in a nest in Sarawak, Malaysia
Swiftlets nest in dark caves, but increasingly they are enticed to birdhouses in cities
As demand has risen, concrete birdhouses have been erected throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and most recently Cambodia.
The birds have willingly moved to the cities, and the high-rise accommodation provided for them, complete with birdsong on the CD player.
Some environmentalists have warned that other species of swiftlets with less desirable nests may suffer, and have also expressed concern that the industry is entirely unregulated.
But for the swiftlets with edible nests (known as white-nest swiftlets), the industry's development is no bad thing, says Richard Thomas from the Oriental Bird Club.
"A lot of new habitats and breeding areas have been created, and there seems to be a good understanding that if you take the nests away too often, the birds will not build new ones," he says.
"Also, as the industry moves more into the cities and away from the caves, it allows the other bird populations to live undisturbed in their natural habitats."
The surge in demand has forced the prices up from about $400 (£250) a kilo (the equivalent of about 120 nests) in the mid-1990s to $3,000 a kilo for the highest quality nests on today's market.
Indonesia map

Indonesia reportedly made $226m in 2009 from the industry, and dominates the world market.
So the birds are happy, Chinese foodies are happy, and most importantly, the taxman is happy. The complaints of locals may just be drowned out for the time being.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

predators inside of birdhouse

cb, you do not want to see any predators in your birdhouse. the predators are namely:

1. owls
2. helang birds
3. rats
4. lizards or geckos
5. snake
6. ants

owls & helang birds prey on swiftlets as they are carnivorous birds. how owls and helangs prey on swiftlets is that if you have a good "look out point" near the entrance hole, they will perch there and as the swiftlets exit the dog kennel, these owls / helang birds and their strength can easily catch up in flight with the swiftlets and gulp them.

one should have bird spikes if they have exposed surfaces vulnerable as landing points for these owls and helangs.

the difference is helang fly / hunt at mid day and owls are nocturnal and start preying the swiftlets at dusk...near 7pm waiting for the lasts of swiftlets to zoom home before night falls.

if you have a roving room design, make sure these predators are not able to access the roving room...if they can get in, make sure they have no perching point...

i once visited a birdhouse (shoplot) with maybe 300 nest and i was shocked as i walked by the entrance hole, a helang type bird flew from the "toilet" out...this bird must have been distrubed by our presence....the bird does not dare go deeper into the birdhouse as it is dark and they are unable to navigate. so the bird preys at roving rooms (where the former toilet use to be).... later on i was told the owner installed grilles to restrict large bird from breaching the birdhouse.

other predators such as ants, rats and lizards are much easier to control as they are surface bound, either walls or floor and they love your bait....be sure that these pest control bait are odorless and do not cause harm to birds...there are may brands in the market and should be applied in a birdhouse as preventive measure, not a counter measure....apply it monthly...

my tip, an unattended birdhouse soon can be taken over by predators and no longer a birdhouse

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Garis Panduan Pembangunan Industri Burung Walit Negara Hasil Cadangan SPRM

Garis Panduan Pembangunan Industri Burung Walit Negara Hasil Cadangan SPRM

Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) menyambut baik langkah Kerajaan meluluskan Garis Panduan Pembangunan Industri Burung Walit Negara pada 9 Julai 2010 yang lalu. Melalui pengumuman Menteri Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani, Datuk Seri Noh Omar, beliau menyatakan akan membentangkan satu Garis Panduan Pembangunan Industri Burung Walit Negara pada mesyuarat Majlis Negara Mengenai Kerajaan Tempatan yang akan membolehkan lebih 50,000 premis rumah burung didaftarkan dengan jabatan Perkhidmatan Haiwan sebelum dilesenkan oleh pihak berkuasa tempatan yang berkenaan. Ini akan dijadikan panduan bagi mendaftarkan lebih 50,000 premis rumah Burung Walit di negara ini termasuklah Sabah dan Sarawak.
Langkah kerajaan untuk membolehkan aktiviti burung walit di negara ini didaftarkan amat disambut baik oleh SPRM demi menutup berlakunya amalan rasuah. Sebenarnya, garis panduan berhubung mendaftarkan aktiviti burung walit tersebut merupakan hasil kajian dan usul yang telah dibuat oleh Bahagian Pemeriksaan dan Perundingan SPRM. Bahagian Pemeriksaan dan Perundingan SPRM ini merupakan salah-satu daripada 14 bahagian di SPRM yang berperanan dalam melaksanakan aktiviti pemeriksaan dan perundingan dengan memberi khidmat nasihat berkaitan amalan, sistem dan tatacara kerja untuk menutup ruang dan peluang berlakunya rasuah kepada agensi kerajaan mahupun pihak swasta.
Merujuk kepada aktiviti burung walit tersebut, Bahagian Pemeriksaan dan Perundingan SPRM telah menerima aduan berkaitan aktiviti perusahan burung walit yang dikatakan banyak menimbulkan masalah seperti pencemaran udara dan bunyi, mengganggu kehidupan penduduk sekitar serta risiko mendatangkan penyakit kepada penduduk setempat.
Sehubungan itu, satu Kertas Pemeriksaan telah dibuka. Pembukaan Kertas Pemeriksaan ini berasaskan kepada isu berkepentingan umum atau isu nasional kerana SPRM menerima aduan berhubung isu tersebut daripada kebanyakan negeri di Malaysia. Ketiadaan tindakan penguatkuasaan khususnya daripada Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan (PBT) menimbulkan persepsi negatif bahawa wujudnya amalan rasuah dalam melindungi perusahaan ini di sesetengah kawasan.
Hasil kajian terhadap sistem dan prosedur kerja berhubung perusahaan sarang burung walit ini mendapati walaupun perusahaan yang bernilai berbilion ringgit ini wujud di semua negeri di Malaysia, tetapi didapati ketiadaan undang-undang, peraturan dan garis panduan yang seragam dikuatkuasakan menyebabkan ruang dan peluang rasuah terbuka luas serta menyebabkan PBT tidak mengambil tindakan terhadap pengusaha-pengusaha terbabit. Ketiadaan undang-undang dan peraturan juga menyebabkan tindakan penguatkuasaan tidak dapat dilaksanakan. Malah, masyarakat beranggapan bahawa PBT mengamalkan rasuah dan seolah-olah penguatkuasaan terhadap isu tersebut sengaja tidak dibuat. Memandangkan terdapat kelemahan berhubung pengusahaan aktiviti burung walit yang sedia ada serta memungkinkan wujudnya ruang dan peluang perlakuan rasuah, khidmat nasihat dan satu garis panduan yang jelas telah diberikan oleh bahagian ini. Hasil khidmat nasihat dan garis panduan yang diberikan oleh bahagian ini, kerajaan kini mengambil tindakan proaktif dalam menggubal undang-undang, garis panduan serta tindakan berhubung aktiviti berkenaan.
Sehubungan itu, SPRM mengalu-alukan mana-mana agensi kerajaan mahupun pihak swasta yang ingin mendapatkan sebarang khidmat nasihat untuk penambahbaikan sistem dan prosedur kerja di sesuatu jabatan mahupun syarikat daripada Bahagian ini. SPRM berharap hasil pemeriksaan dan cadangan penambahbaikan yang dikemukakanakan dapat membantu jabatan dan syarikat swasta memperkemaskan sistem operasi dan pentadbiran supaya lebih bebas daripada risiko berlakunya rasuah, salahguna kuasa dan penyelewengan.

Monday, January 24, 2011

CNY promotions

as chinese new year draws close, there are many promotions to encourage spending...

rewards and gifts during and around cny often has birds nest as part of the hamper...

why? i also don't know....up until last year, i often like to savour those bottled birds nest we received over cny...as mentioned many times before i am stingy and i don't and wont spend money to purchase these frivolous stuffs but if given then i will makan la...

as i recently paid closer attention to these hamper baskets, the contents are mainly canned abalone and birds nest...and that is suppose to be a healthy gift as oppose to giving crackers, chocolates and alcohol...

then on radio i heard a commercial sounding something like, 要送礼,送健康。。。

my tip, 要送礼给我,送黄金,直接了得

Friday, January 21, 2011

Another Swiftlet Ecopark

Wednesday January 19, 2011

Johor may become biggest bird nest producer


TANGKAK: The Payamas industrial area which is located about four kilometres from here is set to become the state’s biggest producer of swiftlet bird nest.
The project, undertaken by Sialin Holding Sdn Bhd. was formed by a group of businessmen and the swiftlet nest production centre comprises some 40 units of shoplots in four buildings.
Sialin chairman Datuk Saipolbahari Suib said each unit in the three-storey building costs RM530,000 while the ones in the four-storey blocks were priced at RM750,000.
He said participants in the bird nest project invested a total of RM33mil to purchase all the units, which was converted into swiftlet nesting area.
“This is the first commercially set up swiftlet nesting project in Johor and we expect to harvest between 200kg and 250kg of bird nests in the initial stages.
“Since the site is located near Gunung Ledang we hope to attract swiftlets from around the mountain,” he said at the opening of Taman Burung Walit Payamas by Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar recently.
Saipolbahari said the project was mooted by Noh and several businessmen in the state, including in Ledang and Muar had decided to set up a company for the purpose of bird’s nest production.
He said the company also planned to set up a cleaning, processing and grading centre within the bird park as it wanted to produce high-quality nests.
During the launch, Noh urged the company to focus on the quality of the nests as the highest grade fetched about RM8,000 per kilo.
He said Sialin Sdn Bhd should also become an anchor company to the surrounding villagers and help them with all the necessary needs, including technical expertise.
“The swiftlet industry is a lucrative business and we want all, including the poor villagers, to get involved,” he added.

Thursday, January 20, 2011



PUTRAJAYA, Jan 19 (Bernama) -- Swiftlet farmers, who have yet to register with the Veterinary Services Department, are given three years to do so, said Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Noh Omar.
He said the registration, which could be made online, would enable the department to regulate and monitor swiftlet farming activities.
Otherwise, he said the entrepreneurs would find difficulty in exporting the bird''s nests.
So far only 10 per cent out of some 50,000 swiftlet farmers are registered with the department, he told reporters after launching a guideline on swiftlet farming here today.
The guideline priced at RM15 could be purchased at the Veterinary Services Department headquarters.
Noh said swiftlet farmers could apply for fund from Agro Bank and the department as a start-up capital or to expand their business.
The industry, which is worth RM1 billion, is expected to reach RM5 billion by 2020, he added.

Pengusaha Burung Walit Diminta Daftar Perusahaan Mereka

Pengusaha Burung Walit Diminta Daftar Perusahaan Mereka

PUTRAJAYA, 19 Jan (Bernama) -- Pengusaha industri sarang burung walit yang belum mendaftar kegiatan mereka dengan Jabatan Perkhidmatan Veterinar (JPV) diberi masa tiga tahun dari sekarang untuk berbuat demikian bagi mengelak mereka daripada menghadapi masalah untuk mengeksport produk mereka ke luar negara.

Menteri Pertanian dan Industri Asas Tani, Datuk Seri Noh Omar berkata ketika ini hanya 10 peratus daripada kira-kira 50,000 pengusaha yang berdaftar dengan JPV.

"Apabila mereka mendaftar, JPV akan melihat di mana tempat dia buat, tengok premis, bagaimana prosesnya, kualiti dia bagaimana. Jika tidak memenuhi syarat, mereka tidak akan mendapat lesen kebenaran untuk mengeksport," katanya kepada pemberita selepas melancar dan menyerahkan buku bertajuk Satu Garis Panduan Pembangunan Industri Burung Walit (1GP) kepada agensi-agensi kerajaan dan swasta yang berkaitan, di sini Rabu.

Ia boleh diperolehi di Ibu Pejabat JPV di sini dengan harga RM15 senaskhah.

Untuk mendaftar pula, pengusaha perlu memuat turun borangnya melalui laman web JPV dengan bayaran sebanyak RM50 bagi setiap pendaftaran.

Noh beliau mengalu-alukan penglibatan mana-mana pihak yang berminat untuk menceburkan diri dalam industri tersebut kerana ia boleh memberikan pulangan lumayan dan membantu menambah pendapatan.

Katanya pelbagai pihak boleh memberi bantuan dalam bentuk dana untuk menceburi industri itu termasuk oleh Agro Bank dan JPV sendiri.

Beliau berkata nilai pengeluaran industri menternak sarang burung walit kini mencecah RM1 bilion dan boleh mencapai RM5 bilion menjelang 2020.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

how do you know if the birdhouse belongs to a chinese?

chinese are an interesting breed...we believe in faith, karma and rituals that would bring about good and bad luck / fortune.

so i was passing Bidor yesterday and i passby this birdhouse. saw the owner's car there and the read cloths both hung at the birds entry hole and the entrance door. it immediate struck me that i had to share this with my blog readers...

the owner is a chinese man....and by that i mean he is a real china man...very likely of hokkien descendant....

i remember when we moved house, my dad would hang a read cloth to signify this auspicious occasion and to woo away any evil spirits. it serves to bless the property and its occupants.

more close up shots of the entrance hole. i think the two siren lights may not be good enough to ward off owls.

the steel door looks flimsy....

my tip, swiftlet farming is a combination of luck and skill, so what ever brings luck please go for it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

malaysian mosque and swiftlet farming

yesterday i come across an interesting article in malaysiakini a website with somewhat impartial reporting on malaysian gutter politics. the title "Azan row: Volume lowered following complaint" refers to the lowering of mosque loudspeakers during the daily 6 am (approx.) azan/ subuh prayers which some residents living near mosques feel is too loud and causing to them pre-mature-awakening.

in the comments section, a more interesting discovery is that a comment left by a malaysiakini reader, comparing swiftlet farming tweeters's volume vs mosques prayer's loudspeaker.

i think what the comment is trying to say is that our birdhouse tweeters come on at 7am to 7.30pm and is regulated in angle, 45degrees towards the sky, and a maximum of 60 decibels.

mosque loudspeakers would come on at azan prayers which is round about 6am every morning and from my faint memory of observation is directed to the horizontal and can be heard neighbourhoods away as per the commentor's mention. 

i spoke to a friend recently that symbols of religion (such as crosses and buddhist pendants) and she answered, to some is a form of constant reminder and an outward declaration of embracing god, and to others worship is free-willing but conforming to gods guidances...all these while, i know during prayer hours, the howls of prayers are heard far and wide...i still have yet to ask my muslim friends whats the purpose of such grandiose display...

i am not the first to write about prayers and bird calls. some time ago, a famous blogger did write of swiftlets are more attracted to birdcall noises partly lined with mosque prayer sounds as he discovered that in the mornings and evenings, birds are guided by prayer sounds as to the break of dawn and dusk.

i believe in what ever we do, it has to be in moderation. so please turn down the volumes of your bird call tweeters and let the prayers be heard.

my tip, if your birdhouse is near the mosque, please be considerate

CCTV7 农业节目 马来西亚燕窝


an introduction to malaysian birds nest 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

wet floors

how wet can the floor inside of a birdhouse be?

if you ask JPV [Jabatan Perkhidmatan Vetirina] they would tell you that there should be no water on the floors of your birdhouse. also there should be no stagnant water in the birdhouse. the only allowed humidification would be from self timers and mist systems that are piped to 

as these days have been rainy and cloudy, the constant setting of my humidifier should have been adjusted to meet current climate conditions...

unfortunately, i wasnt there to adjust my humidifiers and hence caused this damp spot from ponding.

my next birdhouse, if and when i will have the floor slightly slanted...so the water would not be left stagnant on a single spot. the water would flow off to the sides and then not causing seepage to the floors below causing mould problem...

to solve my ponding problem, i drilled a few holes through the floor so water would gradually flow through to the lower floors and then out to the open...

my tip, when fate is cast, we innovate, not sulk.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

extra large birds nest

the above nest is 5.5 inches long or 140mm in length.

i observed the development of the nest from installation of the polyfoam till the day the baby swiftlets left the nest. it was almost 6 months.

0 month = installation of polystyrene foam
1st month = no swiftlets, still remains undetected
2nd month = right side nest marking
3rd month = left side nest marking, right side 1/2 cup nest
4th month = left side & right side egg
5th month = baby swiftlets
6th month = swiftlets with hair
6.5 month = harvested 

its quite funny...the chinese saying goes “ 瘦田无人耕 耕开有人争 ”...

there are many polystyrene strips all over the nesting room in my birdhouse. why does the swiftlets choose the same polystyrene strip to build their nest?

瘦田无人耕 耕开有人争 = means that a lean yielding project/ land/ venture interests no one. however seeing that there is potential, there will be rush to get a piece of the action.

swiftlets like humans like company...they also have a sense of commune and jealousy...

the above picture is another prime example of swiftlets living in colonies and loving companionship.

this nest is the result of harvest of the nest in picture 1. it weights in at 14grams!

my tip, what ever works, we swiftlet hoteliers are tasked to provide the most conducive living environments and keeping our flying guests happy