Why There Were Many Feathers On The Birdhouse Floor?

On many occasions, when I visited new BHs being occupied by those young birds I do come across a few with those long feathers on the floor.

Come to think of it sometime there can be as many as four to five long feathers (wing feathers) while many are those short feathers.

I wonder if anyone of you have ever asked what really happened and why?

I was at my birdhouse one evening and glued my eyes on those swiftlets returning home via the CCTV. Once a while I can see certain activities (wing clapping, chasing and so forth) at a few of those new nests.

There were a few occassions I observed that one of those birds was hanging to the wing of the other bird resting in the nest. The hanging, I strongly believed, is the cause of those long feathers being pulled out of the wing.

The agression continued for many minutes and many nights.

I concluded that this must be a young couple who have just built their nest and the male must be harrassing the female for copulation (making love).

Why should the male pull those feathers out?

I strongly believed that the male just wanted to remove a few of those feathers so that the female birds will be a bit defective in order for him to chase and catch her more easier. With a few shortage of long wings feathers she will be much slower during flight. He will have the advantage on speed and get what he wanted. Yes easier sex in the air.

If you do those birdcall tests, you might come across some birds that have a kind of missing feathers (like human with missing teeth). Those probably are female birds.

I do not wish to claim an expert on this but the above might be some explainations why there are so many feathers on the BH floors.

Most Common Problems In New Birdhouses !!!

What do you think the most common problems in almost all birdhouses that are not doing well?

My personal observations are as follows:

a) Temperature.
Nearly all that faces nests population problem are due to high temperature. The owners are not aware of it and they never have any indicator to monitor their BH temperature.

I believed the main reason is not the BH but the “con-sultant” whom they employed who is either an old fashion guy or who never have any clue on the dos and don’t of a good BH. They simply follow what the have been practising all these while. No scientific method to ensure that the room temperatures are within range. Just depend on some luck.

They need to monitor the temperature as accurate as possible and make sure they are within the recommended range (26*C to 30*C). Use the most up to date calibrated sensors to do this, if you can.

The hottest time of the day, BH standard in Indonesia is between 2.00pm up to 7.00pm (Peninsular Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam is one hour later). Most critical is at 6.00pm till 7.00pm when those birds starts to come home to rest.

2) Humidity.

Why do you think humidity can be a major factor in attracting those young birds to stay and be your permanent tenant?

It has something to do with the quality of nest which they will bring up their babies up. If your BH humidity is dry (60% RH till 80%RH) the nests constructed will be very dry and brittle. If your BH humidity is within the recommended range (85% RH to 95% RH) the quality of nest, especially it’s toughness will be superior.

Consider this, every nest can only accommodate one bird to lay inside it at any one time. Just imagine when those two young birds are growing up. The moment they outgrew the nest size one of them have no choice but to move out of their nest and cling to their nest. Just imagine if the nest is weak, dry and brittle? The moment the young bird, with not fully formed wings, grip the side of their nest and it break, she will fall to ground. There is no way she will survived.

So if you are the going to be parent entering a BH with such a sick environment, will you build a home for your family? Just sit down and think deeply on the situation and make a decision.

However what happen if the humidity is too high (above 95%RH)? It is better to start a mushrooms plantation. Those wooden planks will be wet and soon you will start having lots of white powder (fungus) on them.

3) The External Sound.

More often then not the sound played are some oldies that attract very little attention of any birds within a thousand meters.

The sound have no significant contribution the BH at all. It is like not having any sound at all.

In all the owner is not aware on how important those sound can be. Their “Con-sultant” always suggest them to keep changing the sound and selling those sound for the owner with sky high price and doesn’t care whether it’s suitable for the area or not.
The owner is not aware that playing wrong and bad quality sound will not attract more bird but contrary it will scare those birds away.

If U think U need to change your ‘ineffective’ sound, you can contact me to get higher quality sound collection for your BH.
(You can email me at hdswiftlet@yahoo.com.au or SMS to +62 8194867197 if you want to know how to get these good sound collection)

4) The Sound Equipment.

More often then not their “Con-sultant” will install the cheapest ever found items in the market (if you have paid for a package deal). Be it the tweeters, the amplifiers or the sound cables.

How do you play a sophisticated sound, like one of my best sound: Awan Hitam or black cloud, if there are no buttons to tweak on those outdated amplifiers?

What about those tweeters? The most important are those external tweeters. Look at the quality and how long do they last? Just ask the owner the brand and the value?

“Hmm I am not sure about the brand but I know each unit was not more then 80 sen.”

How are you going to be a super star BH, fighting with those 5-6 stars BH, using these kind of low quality items?

“Hendy, I just talked to the BH owner beside my BH the other day and his BH is doing very well. He told me that he uses only the cheap tweeters?”

Do you think he will tell you the truth? He might not want to leak his secrets to you (except somebody that call himself con-sultant) and let you believed that low quality tweeters is okay. In this way you will be always be below his superior standard.

Again, if U need help of how to get those quality equipment with very efficient cost, just SMS or email me.

5) The Owner Have No Idea On How To Be a Good Swiflet Farmers.

If you want to be a successful chicken farmer, what will you do?

If you want to be a successful quail farmer what will you do?

If you want to be a successful chili farmer what will you do?

If you wanted to be a successful goat farmer, what will you do?

The answer is always the same. Learn as much as you can about the chosen line either by asking more experience people, read some reference from book or the internet and do not leave everything to those “Con-sultant”. The more you depend on those “Con-sultant” the higher the risk of becoming a failed farmer.

In swiftlet farming, I always recommend the swiftlet farmer to have a specific goal.

A good example is ” Within two years (24 months) I want my BH to be occupied with 300 nests.”

Then you list down all the things that you will do to achieve the chosen objective.

Don’t believe so much on those seminars, talks, or wasting money invite a  person to be your advisor. My advise is best to read as many books on swiftlet farming as possible or there is a cheaper way to get more information about swiftlet farming by walked down to the closest BH supply shop and ask the owner for free advise.

You also need to list down all the necessary actions to ensure that the target is met.

The list of things that you need to attend to every month, every two months, every three months, every 6 months, every year and so forth.

All these lists will eventually help you to move towards your goal. You cannot let the BH to run by itself without any intervention. Everything need to be scrutinised to a specific range of good swiftlet farming practises.

The Spiral Sound Platform Technique !!!

What do you think is wrong with a BH where those birds keep entering the opening, entrance hole,  but within a few seconds they rushed out?

One second they flew in and the next second they flew out.

Another interesting but similar was a BH owner who says: “Pak Hendy the number of birds that enter the entrance hole were so many but there were not a single bird shit spot on the floor.”

So what can be the possible reasons for such thing to happen?

I visited many of these types of BHs and my findings seem to zoom to the improper use of external sound tweeters.

Those birds that enters your BH were attracted to the sound you used to lure them from a far.It is not that they love your BH per say but they were attracted to enter the entrance hole just because you played an attractive external sound.

The moment they entered the entrance hole they will passed those tweeter’s base and will suddenly will lose the soothing sound that they came for.

What do you think those birds does when they loose the sound that they love to hear?

They will turn around and come out of the entrance hole.  This, I believed, is the real reason why they entered for one second and flew out within the next second.

So how can we solve this in and out problem?

Well you need to re look at those external sound tweeters arrangements to get those birds to continue they flying moves towards the far end of your BH.

You need to think of a way to install those external sound tweeters in a kind of stations and consistent in distances so that once the birds passed the first tweeter the next will take over the luring function.

If you can get this idea right I am sure those birds will enter and stay much longer then one second.

Last weekend I visited a sizable green BH having more or less the same problem.

The BH was well designed and located below the flying paths. On the roof top they have a massive water pond that were well kept and those birds loves to come for a dip and sip.

The entrance into the BH was facing the wrong direction and the path into the various floors was a big shaft, 25 feet by 25 feet, top to bottom.

Those birds entered the house, according to the owner, but they will fly out as fast as they entered.

I make a very careful observations and I found that there were no follow up external sound tweeters on the tunnel’s walls.

This could be the possible reason and I advise the owner to perhaps look into installing a spiral sound platforms that might help to pull those birds downwards.

The idea is to install the platforms as such that the tweeters on the platform will attract them to come lower and lower until the base of the tunnel.

This, hopefully, will help in luring the birds, at least into the tunnel.

Very Crucial: Positioning Of External Sound Tweeters !!!

 I just arrived from Cisauk, Tangerang after a visit to a newly build BH on an Agricultural land on the outskirt of Serpong town.

Last week was contacted by a newbie friend who can no longer see the sadness on his father’s face when his 500million newly build BH was not having any birds inside.

Though the house was recently put into operation mode, they sense something funny when there were  so many birds visiting the entrance area but the number of bird shit spots inside their BH were just too little.

I was asked to drive down to Cisauk and make my observation and provide solutions.

Well, since I happened to be free,I accepted the offer but first I need to drive more then 1 hours from Jakarta.

As usual the things that I discovered were nothing new:

1) It was very clear that the contractor or consultant who erected the BH was in a rush to complete, put it in operation and then never turn up to fine tuned the BH.

2) The building structures were well done but his knowledge on the precise positioning of  the hexagonal, external and internal  tweeters were not seen. This is what I told the owner, not many contractors can be giid in everything.  If they are good in construction they might have difficulties to understand how to fix those sound system.

3) Due to  a rushing job and with very little knowledge on those precious swiftlet characteristics, the consultant place those tweeters, especially external sound, wrongly.

4) The BH was bare with only those basic equipment.  Something like wearing just a pair of stocking and underwear but no shirt and pants.

5) No external sound tweeters inside the BH except at the LAL. This was the main cause why those birds refuse to enter the BH.

6) There number of internal sound tweeters are normal but he tend to be happy with those cluster tweeters.

7) All those 90* corners were covered with corner covers.

8) No fake nests being installed on any nesting planks in the BH.

9)  The cement smell was too strong.

10) The LAL positioning on the higher floor to the 1st floor was too far from the entrance door from the roving to the nesting room.  The sizable gap allows those birds to jump Que and not flying above the LAL.

11) The contractor opted for a ziz-zaz  LAL positioning pattern.  To me this design is not suitable and difficult to populate the lowest floor. Better to go straight at a 45* angle from top to the bottom floor.

12) There were a few half partitioning structures on each floor however the reasons for constructing the partitioning were no meaning.

13)  The contractor installed a few chicken coop humidifiers and the power source to activate all the humidifiers was via a humidity controller.  I was surprised that the setting was not proper and the plug used was on the wrong point.

14) The amplifiers used was not properly chosen.  The volume knob to control the left and right volume level was on the “Balance” mode.

15) The contractor have very little knowledge on the BH sound engineering.  He got this notion that the external should be played, internally, for 24 hours. As such he installed two amplifiers to fit his believes.

16) The temperature sensor shows a maximum temp reading of 34*C.  This was very disturbing.  I took it as if he must have carried the temperature hygrometer outside and forgot to reset.

17) There was only one external sound to be played daily and no other sounds were provided to the owner to substituted if they become in effective.

The above are nothing unusual.  I would say that nearly all failed BHs shows exactly similar characteristics.

If you have something similar to the above, I would say that you will soon have to get Pak Harry to come over to reconfirm the exact similar situation.

After visiting, a good mother’s day dinner and the next morning roti chanai breakfast, I quickly wrote a report , about 10 pages, to the owner.

Beside the above, the following interesting events that I would like to share with all my blog reader:
1) There was a stand alone BH about 500 feet away from the visited BH that plays “Duress” sound everyday.

2) I managed to view a very successful BH in Cisauk.  Took some video clips.  The number of birds rushing into this BH was very interesting.

3) While conducting the sound tests, another BH owner just a fence away, walked up and greet me.  Are you Pak Hendy?  Yes I told him.  He confessed that he reads my blog everyday.  Pak Hendy Can I purchase the “Black Cloud” from you.  I got many birds inside but they refuse to build their nests.

I hope the above write up gives you interesting things to learn.

I am very happy to be of service to the two BH owners.  I will be submitting a full report tonight.

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