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Articles on Swiftlet Farming

Brief History on Swiftlet Farming
The trade in edible birds’ nests began in China during the T’ang Dynasty (A.D. 618 – 907) when some of the royal merchants presented edible birds nests collected from Java to the emperor as a health delicacy.

Physical Characteristics of Swiftlets
Swiftlets as generic bird group have the following descriptive characteristics.

Swiftlets Echolocation Capabilities
Echolocation – Apart from using their eyesight for finding their way around their surrounding environments, swiftlets use echolocation (or sonar – using sound and their echos) in order to penetrate, orientate and navigate in total darkness of cave interiors and swiftlet farms.

Swiftlet Feeding and Roosting Times
Swiftlets leave their cave or swiftlet farm between 6 am to 7.00 am every morning in order to forage for food and fresh water 

Darkness – Roosting in Caves and Swiftlet Farms
One of the main reasons why swiftlets nest in dark areas

Diet and Foraging Behavior
Swiftlets only eat small insects

Natural Predators of Swiftlets
There are a number of predators that swiftlets are very mindful of

The Nest Building and Breeding Cycles of Swiftlets
Generally speaking, both male and female swiftlets take part in the building of their nest.

Edible bird nest - Aerodramus Fuciphagus Sub-Species
The sub-species of swiftlets in the Aerodramus Fuchipagus family produce white edible birds’ nests.

Edible bird nest - Aerodramus Maximus Sub-Species
The sub-species of swiftlets in the Aerodramus Maximus family produce black edible birds’ nests.

Swiftlet Farming – Aerodramus Fuciphagus Swiftlets
Since white edible birds nests are the most valuable types of nests in the world, 95% commercial swiftlet farming activities in the ASEAN region are geared towards attracting the Aerodramus Fuciphagus swiftlets.

Edible White Birds Nest Building
White edible birds nests are constructed of thin, irregularly shaped strands of edible salivary material that are deposited on top of each other to form a cup.

Reproduction cycle of swiftlets
A swiftlet hatchling that is 8 months old is ready to find a mate, locate a suitable and safe home to build a nest and reproduce.
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