燕屋投资  |  Swiftlets Farming  | Swiftlets | Edible Birds Nests Bird's Nest  |  Bird's Nest Exporters in Malaysia  |

News on Swiflets Farming : http://www.swiftletfarming.com.my/contents.php?id=100009


Swiftlets and Edible Birds Nests

Asian Swallow Bird Nests
"swallow's nest". yŗn wō (燕窝)

By 2020. Malaysia is expected to have 63,000 swiftlet premises producing 870 metric tones of bird's nest worth RM3.5 billion.

In 2010 alone, the production of bird's nest was around 290 metric tones valued at RM1.2 billion.

Malaysian government has identified swiftlet farming as a high potential industry, and as such, accorded it priority in the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP)

In Sabah, the production of Edible Bird Nest (EBN) had long been practiced, particularly, traditional bird's nest of high quality from caves, including Gua Guomantong and Gua Madai.

The export value of bird's nest contributed by Sabah was in the range of about RM13 million to RM17 million annually, with the main markets being Hong Kong and China.

He said apart from caves, the rearing of swiftlets was on the rise. According to the Sabah Wildlife Department, in just 2009, there were 500 swiftlet premises in Sabah.

2 types of bird's nests for export from Malaysia
1 2
(Raw Bird's Nests)
(Clean Bird's Nests)

Swiftlet farms are built in large cavernous buildings, that offer plenty of surfaces for the swiftlets to build their nests

The nests of the swiftlet are formed from saliva, and are highly prized as the main ingredient in bird's nest soup

BBC © 2012 :


Birdís Nest Protocol

The new Birdís Nest Protocol ensure that Malaysiaís birdís nest fulfils the standards required and is of high quality. In this new protocol, exporting birdís nest require certifications from the Health Ministry and a certificate of origin from the Veterinary Services Department.

The certificate of origin is important because it traces the origins of the birdís nest through radio frequency to ensure that the edible birdís nest is authentic and safe for consumption.

There are about 50,000 birdís nest traders in Malaysia but the ministry has only managed to register about 2,000 in the last six months.

Edible birdís nest has been used in Chinese cooking for centuries. But China had banned birdís nest from Malaysia after it was found to have excessive nitrite in  July 2011


Birdís Nest Museum : http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/07/13/sandakan-to-have-birds-nest-museum/

July 13, 2012, Friday :
Sabah Birdís Nest Association (SABA) in collaboration with AMG Enterprise is undertaking a plan for a birdís nest museum in Sandakan Town. The museum could educate the public and tourists on the birdís nest industry which is currently growing rapidly.
The museumís establishment could encourage the public to delve into the birdís nest business and subsequently spur economic growth. The museum introduces the birdís nest industryís potential for the ecosystem while at the same time reap lucrative rewards for future businessmen. The birdís nest industry would boost economic growth, especially in the rural areas that are involved.
When completed, the museum will be a tourist attraction in Sandakan. Visitors will be fascinated by the internal design of the museum that will resemble a birdís nest.


Certificate of authenticity

Malaysian government is now investing in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to allows a product to be easily tracked from the source to the consumer.

The bird's nests can be sealed in a box with an RFID tag that contains a microchip embedded with details about the harvest. A handheld scanner emits a radio frequency to unlock that information. Sound similar to barcodes, but RFID tags are harder to duplicate.


Swiftlets Farming - Birds' Nest Farming using Nesting Houses

Birdnest Center | Breeding Swiftlet in The Farming House

is a modern and commercialized way of producing birdís nest

The traditional way has been the harvesting from caves.

Swiflet farming is about attracting swiflets to inhabit in a man-built building, which is referred to as swiflet house.

The swiflets would then start breeding in the swiflet house where, swiflet pairs will build birdís nests for this purpose.

 Birdís nest is where swiflets lay their eggs and hatch them. When the young swiflets reaches maturity to fly and live independently, they would leave their nests, leaving the nests ready to be harvested by the owner of the swiflet house.

Nest harvesters in Indonesia have developed the practice of "farming" which entails buying up houses with colonies of Mossy- nest Swiftlets which are cross-fostered: the eggs of White-nest Swiftlets are placed in these nest colonies.

Once mature the White-nest Swiftlets return to the house and establish a colony.

With the escalation in demand these sources have been supplanted since the late 1990s by purpose-built nesting houses, usually reinforced concrete structures following the design of the SE Asian shop-house ("ruko").

These nesting houses are normally found in urban areas near the sea, since the birds have a propensity to flock in such places.

This has become an extraordinary industry, mainly based on a series of towns in the Indonesian Province of North Sumatra, which have been completely transformed by the activity.


While the Edible-nest and Black-nest Swiftlet are not yet on the endangered species lists of either CITES or the IUCN, there are measures which attempt to protect them.

Supplier countries have domestic legislation to regulate importing/exporting, hunting, poaching, and selling of Swiftlet nests.

For example, since 1934 there has been an ordinance in Sarawak, Malaysia which permits the nests to be harvested only every 75 days.

Currently in Sabah only 2 harvests per year of White-nest Swiftlets are allowed.

Despite policies to protect the bird their numbers continue to decline, probably a result of illegal trade which counts for a substantial percentage of harvested nests.

The World Wide Fund for nature is currently preparing a proposal for the 1994 meeting of the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) which will be held in the United States.

The proposal will recommend that the Swiftlet species be placed on CITES' Appendix II (threatened species).

The rising price and rising demand for these nests have resulted in a decline in the swiftlet population.

Poachers and the cutting down of forests where Swiftlets feed contribute to the decline.

Indonesia is the biggest supplier of swiftlet nests with

Thailand ranking second, followed by





southern India and

Sri Lanka.

The Birds of Madai Caves The Birds of Madai Caves

Market for these nests is booming in Asia. Prices have doubled in recent years. China was traditionally the biggest importer of birds' nests.

Today Hong Kong is the biggest official consumer of birds' nests, importing about 100 tons (grossing about $25 million) annually. In Hong Kong 55 pounds of top quality white nests (the most prized) can be worth $50,000.

The value of the nests of these birds has become so great that harvesters no longer wait until eggs or chicks depart the nest. Both are simply discarded and the nest taken. (photo top).

The nests are identified as "Black Nests" - the 2nd grade of Swiftlet nest. Before export the nest must be cleaned to remove feathers. Black Nests are less expensive than White Nests which are less to find. 


This practice has decimated many younger bird populations in some areas. Each harvest, hundreds of chicks being too weak to fly are left to dead on the cave floor (photo middle).

From the nest of mix black feather and saliva, this young bird is identified as the species Collacalia Maximus.

So plentiful of young chicks are found on the cave floor during harvest that this soft drink lady hawker picked up two for decoration on her T-shirts (photo bottom).

She belongs to the tribe Idaíans. The Ida'ans villagers held their rights to the Madai Caves . And for 20 over generations the Ida'ans harvest these edible birds' nests and sales to merchants who exports the nests to China.



Harvesting the nests

The harvesting of Swiftlet nests is a potentially hazardous occupation.  See above photo.

They are collected from high, dark caves by special collectors who climb up and balance on bamboo poles attached to steep cliffs.

These cliffs reach hundreds of meters in height. This is a traditional occupation and the skill of nest collection is generally passed down from father to son.

Black-nest of Swiftlets - Edible-nest

Black-nest Swiftlets weave a nest from strands of saliva:

The male swiftlet regurgitates a long, thin gelatinous strand from salivary glands under its tongue which is then wound into a half- cup nest which bonds like quick-drying cement to the inside of a cave wall.

Swiftlet nests are carefully removed from the cave wall (see photo). The nests are relatively tasteless and so are usually served in soup or jelly, mixed with chicken, spices, sauce or sweets.

 For centuries in China these nests have been considered nourishing and tasty as well as a booster of health for the sick and aging; they are even believed to be an aphrodisiac.

Swiftlets build their nests with twigs, straws and earth and are no edible contents

But there are 3 special species of swiftlets build their nests mixed with saliva.

These three major types of edible bird's nests have purity protein contents and nutritional value of the saliva secreted.

The species Collocalia ciphaga swiftlets has the the highest saliva contents(see photos below).

Collocalia ciphaga bird's nest Collacalia Maximus bird's nest Hydrochous Gigas bird's nest
1 2 3
ē Collocalia ciphaga bird's nest:

Collocalia ciphaga bird's nest built with pure saliva from swiftlets with minimum impurities.

Saliva dried and in strips form with high affinity for water.

This is the best quality bird's nest.

Color usually white, yellow, red or grey in colour.

ē Collacalia Maximus bird's nest:

Collacalia Maximus is a type of cave swiftlet that have less saliva.

This species of bird build their nests mixing feathers and saliva.

Colour is lighter. Usually white or yellow.

Collacalia Maximus bird's nest require more processing. The nests must be broken up and soaked in water before feathers and impurities are removed. They are then made into bird's nest strips, bird's nest balls and bird's nest biscuits.

As it requires more processing, their nutritional value and price are lower than Collocalia ciphaga bird's nests. Collacalia Maximus bird's nests also have a lower water affinity compared to Collocalia ciphaga bird's nests, thus they do not expand so much.

ē Hydrochous Gigas bird's nest:

Hydrochous Gigas bird's nest may be divided into two type :
1) House Hydrochous Gigas
2) Cave Hydrochous Gigas

Both are mostly found along the coastal regions.


Hydrochous Gigas swiftlets use their saliva and straws to build their nests.

These bird's nests contain mainly pieces of straws and less saliva.


Hydrochous Gigas bird's nests come from swiftlets with specially sticky saliva. These swiftlets love to use young straw and their saliva to build their nests. Their bird's nests therefore are high in impurities and their edible bird's nest content is the lowest among the three types of swiftlets and so is its price. They are usually sold as broken bird's nest and bird's nest strips.

Gomantong Caves
Photo above : Gomantong Caves is the Worldís biggest birdís nest caves.

This birdís nest caves produce Collocalia ciphaga bird's nest.

Only 45 minutes by car from Sandakan City.

Collacalia Maximus bird's nest
Photo above : A young villager with his fortune find of 2 Collacalia Maximus bird's nest in Madai Cave, Sabah.

Each year the bird's nest harvest in Madai Cave is done by professional harvesters who climb up the 100 meters tall cave wall to scrape out bird's nest.

But what ever dropped off to the ground belong to those fortune seeking villagers waiting down below like the young man in above photo.

Hydrochous Gigas bird's nest
Photo above : A House Hydrochous Gigas swiftlet is hatching in an abandoned house in Kimanis, Sabah.

Bird's Nest / Edible Birdnest Processing HACCP

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)

HACCP of Bird's Nest / Edible Birdnest Processing from SIRIM (Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia) is certified by Ministry Of Health.

It certify the bird's nest / edible birdnest processing procedure has fulfilled the international highest food standard

HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.

HACCP is used in the food industry to identify potential food safety hazards, so that key actions can be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk of the hazards being realized. The system is used at all stages of food production and preparation processes including packaging, distribution, etc. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) say that their mandatory HACCP programs for juice and meat are an effective approach to food safety and protecting public health. Meat HACCP systems are regulated by the USDA, while seafood and juice are regulated by the FDA. The use of HACCP is currently voluntary in other food industries.

Edible birdnest processing line including
drying and

HACCP certification of Ministry Of  Health, Malaysia. :
Is according Malaysia Standard set by :
Department Of Standards Malaysia. MS2333:2010,
Malaysia Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) for Processing Raw-unclean and Raw-clean Edible-Birdnest (EBN)

Types Of Bird's Nest

They are actually the saliva nests constructed by esculent swiftlets that are native in Thailand, Indonesian, Malaysia and south of China.

According to the environment in which the bird's nests are formed, they can be classified into
cave nest and
house nest.

Bird's nest sold in the market are classified into different grades according to their shapes.
Premium whole white bird's nest,
whole "bloody" bird's nest,
whole bird's nest and
bird's nest strips
Bird's nest shreds,
bird's nest in compact cake or ball forms; and
bird's nest fragments

Although bird's nests are classified into different grades, their nutrition values are almost same. From modern medical point of view, bird's nest are rich in proteins and amino acids, which serve to treat
gastric ulcer,
heart failure and
coarse skin.


While from the Chinese medical point of view, bird's nest
nourish the whole body,
improve skin texture,
strengthen the Spleen and
benefit the Stomach.


Types Of Bird's Nest according to environment;
1. Cave Nest
Cave Nest - Cave Nest is found in caves, the coulour is yellow or gray with a firm texture. We can get cave nest in Sabah and Sarawak.

2. House Nest

Found under the beams of houses purposely build for the swiftlets, they have regular edges and are white in colour. There aren't many fine feathers and there isn't any impurity. They are looser, softer and smoother in texture.

Types Of Bird's Nest according to shape;
1. Whole Bird's Nest

2. Bird's Nest Strips

Incomplete bird's nests that cannot be made into half-bowl shape are pressed into strip.

3. Broken Bird's Nest




Eedible-birdnest swiftlet ranching.
HACCP certified raw-unclean edible-birdnest processing line.

HACCP certified clean edible-birdnest processing line.

Wholesales and export of edible-birdnest.
Edible-birdnest export permit in Malaysia and import permit in China.


Bird's nest soup is a delicacy in Chinese cuisine.

Only the cave swifts are renowned for building the saliva nests used to produce the unique texture of this soup.

These edible bird's nests are among the most expensive animal products consumed by humans. T

For over 400 years the the Chinese has been cooking this bird's nest soup.

the birds' nests became a gelatinous texture when dissolved in water.

The most heavily harvested nests are from the Edible-nest Swiftlet or White-nest Swiftlet (Aerodramus fuciphagus) and the Black-nest Swiftlet (Aerodramus maximus).

The white nests and the red nests are supposedly rich in nutrients, which are traditionally believed to provide health benefits, such as aiding digestion, raising libido, improving the voice, alleviating asthma, improving focus, and an overall benefit to the immune system.

Most nests are built during the breeding season by the male swiftlet over a period of 35 days.

They take the shape of a shallow cup stuck to the cave wall. The nests are composed of interwoven strands of salivary laminae cement. Both nests have high levels of calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

Hong Kong and the United States are the largest importers of these nests.

In Hong Kong, a bowl of bird's nest soup would cost $30 USD to $100 USD.

A kilogram of white nest can cost up to $2,000 USD, and a kilogram of red nests can cost up to $10,000 USD.



Natural red cave nests are often only found in limestone caves in a bird nest concession island in Thailand.[5]

The nests were formerly harvested from caves, principally the enormous limestone caves at Gomantong and Niah in Borneo.

From there the nests are mostly exported to Hong Kong, which has become the centre of the world trade, though most of the final consumers are from mainland China.

It has been estimated that the products now account for 0.5% of the Indonesian GDP, equivalent to about a quarter of Indonesia's fishing industry.

The bird's nest harvesting industry is contributing to deforestation in Indonesia, notably in the Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan (mid-2011).

The swiftlet barns in this area are built from copious quantities of timber (particularly belian and meranti), and legal timber supplies are inadequate to meet demand, which is instead being met by increasing levels of illegal logging in the National Park.

Bird's nest suppliers in Malaysia

Bird's nest suppliers in Thailand

Bird's nest suppliers in Indonesia

Bird's nest suppliers in Philippines


Federation of Malaysia Bird's Nest Merchants Association

马来西亚燕窝联盟会主席Datuk Paduka Beh Heng Seong
Malaysia Bird's Nest Merchants Association
Seremban Bird's Nest Merchant Association
Johor Bird's Nest Merchant Association
Selangor Bird's Nest Merchants Association

Federation of Malaysia Bird's Nest Merchants Association
Mukah Bird's Nest Merchants Association
East Malaysia Birds' Nest Merchant Association (BNMA)
Johor Bird's Nest Merchant Association



(Swiftlets Nests)
 - 斗湖燕窝Traditional Chinese Health Food -

1-Golden bird's nest   2-Golden bird's nest   3-Indonesia bird's nest   4-Keningau bird's nest    5-Kunak bird's nest
6-Manas bird's nest   7-Philippines bird's nest   8- Sandakan Black bird's nest   9- Sipadan  bird's nest   10-White bird's nest 

Blood Nest, Orange Nest and White Nest, etc.

Swallow bird nests are accepted by Asia to have medical and health enhancing effect, a rejuvenating agent that slows down the aging process.
Swallow nests also act as demulcent to the lungs and are used in relieving phlegm and coughs.  

It is an excellent supplement for all ages:
- Elderly and Children - stimulate appettite and aids digestion
- Pregnant woman - give birth to a beauttiful and smooth complexion baby
- Patient - provide protein and nutrientt to recover quickly from illness
- Women - make their facial skin smooth and lively

Swiftlet Bird's Nests

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