Saturday, November 1, 2008

How Much Can You Earn From EBN Farming?

This is the question the prospective nest farmer will ask before he ventures into EBN farming. It is also a very important concern. Unfortunately, this information is a closely guarded secret by those actually engaged in the business. Obviously, merchants will have to reveal their buying price to their gatherers/collectors but very rarely will they divulge annual earnings.

To have an idea, we will have to rely on the experience of nest farmers from Indonesia and Malaysia. Harry Kok who maintains a blog at has written:

Birdhouse Farming is unique. The main advantages as compared to investing into a conventional business are:

1) The amount to invest is low. Around RM120,000 (US$ 35,881.77/PHP 1,573,416.00) ) to buy a worn-down shop lot, 2 stories, and renovate to attract bird to nest. Renovation is about 20K (US$ 5,980/PHP 262,223.00) per floor (estimated). Total outlay is RM160,000 (US$ 47,839/PHP 2,097,740.15). (U can take a bank loan if U know them well).

2) Monthly utility cost(electricity and water only) is very low. Roughly about 10-20 ringgit (US$ 3-6/PHP 131.55-263.10).

3) If U compare with a conventional business U will have no monthly fees to feed the birds or so except your monthly payment to service your loan. There are no Salaries to be paid, no EPF, no Socso, No holidays, No allowances, No medical leaves, No maternity leave, no retirement fees and no etc etc etc. My employee is actually the birds. They come into the house on their own accord. No contract and no letter of appointment. The best is that they never talk bad about you or back stab U. U let them use your shop lot to nest and the will eventually say thank U by leaving their nest for us to harvest continuously until they die.

4) U only need to check on a monthly basis on the condition of the birdcall music and water spray.

5) Once the bird start to make their nest, you will now hit a jackpot. Your income will steadily increases or multiply by 3 every year. (Note the birds will reproduce every 4 months ie 3 times a year.) Beside that your bird’s nest house value will start to climb in value base on the number of nest that U have in it. Let say U have a hundred nests. Each nest, rule of the thumb, will be worth RM1000 (US$ 299/PHP 13,111.15). As an example.: If U pay 120K for the shop lot and 40K for the renovation of the two floors and U now have 100 nests, the value is 120K + 40K + 100 nests X 1000 = RM260,000 (US$ 77,737). If the next year U have 200 nests, the value now is 260,000 + 100,000 = 360,000 (US$ 107,642/PHP 4,720,101.70). No other business can multiply your asset value as fast as this Bird’s nest business.

6) You can harvest the nest once in every 3 months in the beginning and slowly to 2 months. The best is to start harvesting after the first year of operation. Allow the bird to settle down and breed and multiply to a reasonable numbers. Every 120 nests ie 1 kilo is equivalent to 4,000 - 7,000 Ringgit (US$ 1,196 – 2,093/PHP 52,444,60-91,778.00) depending of the quality and shape of the nests.

7) If you are lucky by year 5 after the 1st nest was built, U will earn about 120,000 ringgit (US$ 35,882/PHP 1,573,425.70) every harvest assuming that you will harvest about 50 kilo of bird’s nest. This is equivalent to 60,000 (US$ 17,941/PHP 786,712.85) a month income doing absolutely nothing.

8) U can then start to multiply the number of units to the maximum from the income U receive.
I guarantee U that U will be a millionaire within 10 years of operation. This guarantee is subject to U following some pertinent rules and regulations that most birdnest farmers do. There are various methods where you can have a piece of the cake. The best is to form a partnership with a few investors and form a venture.In this way your investment is low and the risk is distributed.

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For a three storey shophouse of 20' x 70', how many nests can we collects per month when all the wooden planks are been taken up by swiftlets ?..If you have adopted a matrix system of 1' x 3' matrix box when installing the wooden planks, each box will be able to accommodate 14 nests max. The total usable area for each floor of the farm is as follows :
- The 3rd floor - Total usable area is 1,160 sq ft (minus roving room area).
- The 2nd floor - Total usable area is 1,400 sq ftThe Grd Floor
- Total usable area is 1200 sq ft (minus control rooms area).
So, Total usable area is 3,760 sq ftWith each sq ft could accommodate max ~ 4 nests.3,760 sq ft x 4 nests = 15,040 nests.
For a 3 storey shop, each year we could harvest maximum 45,120 nests. And with each nest weight min 8 gram.Total Harvest (kg)/ year = 360KG. With the wholesale price of raw nest at RM4,500,Total harvest income per year is equivalent to RM1,620,000.00.
This is equivalent to RM 135,000.00 a month.

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I would encourage everyone to visit Harry’s blog as it serves as a clearing house for information on EBN farming. Take note, however, that our conditions are different from those in Malaysia and Indonesia.