Techniques of indoor salanganeS BREEDING




According to the research on the natural life and habits of salanganes, a bird house is required as follows:

 - The location of bird houses must be close to paddy fields, bushes, forests, sea, rivers or lakes. These places have favorable conditions for birds to find food easily, expecially in rainy season.

 - Houses must be built in the areas where salanganes live and look for food or under their flyway.

 - Houses mustn’t be 1000m higher than the sea level, it is recommended to be under 500m.

 - Houses should be located far from workshops or factories where the insects used as bird foods are usually killed by the urbanization.

 - Bird houses must be built in safe places to avoid some birdeaters such as crows, eagles, kestrels… The salanganes are so threatened that they fly away for a safer place.

- Research the conditions of temperature, humidity and wind direction and compare with salanganes’ adaptability to see whether they are suitable or not. This will help builders have appropriate adjustments on planks, ventilators, doors, building materials and styles.




Shape: A bird house is similar to a big warehouse which is pipe-shaped or rectangle-shaped depending on its location. It can be roofed or with a flat ceiling.


 Size: The common size is 10x20m (appro. 150-200m2). A bird house may be bigger or smaller but you need to increase its capacity, by dividing the house into floors (3-5 floors) for instance.


Wall height: 5,5-6m. High houses will be convenient for dividing into floors and rooms, air-conditioning, maintaining the indoor temperature and humidity.


Wall thickness and building material: Sand, mortar and cement must be mixed with the proportion of 3:2:1. The concrete wall is 20-25cm thick. in hot areas, to reduce the heat, we should build 2 layers of bricks and the space between them is 5cm. Both wall sides must be covered by mortar, especially the outside must be cemented smoothly to avoid other animals like cats, rats…

For prebuilt houses with smooth walls, instead of renovating by using new techniques, bird house builders pave solid plastic nets on the wall so that salanganes can hang and build their nests effectively.


    The house must be roofed carefully in case of raining. We can use other materials to roof the house, such as green cool sheet, in sunny areas, the roof’s sloping corner should be wide(450) to absorb the heat better. In cold areas, the roof’s sloping corner is narrower (300).


 Some bird houses have no roofs - a flat concreted ceiling on with a brick heat-proof system lined with heat-resistant materials. A low large cistern is usually built on the ceiling for this kind of bird house.




The door for people: Only one door is built. There is a small room before the bird room.

The door for birds:

The door for birds must be put above to avoid hindering them from flying in and out. The smallest size is 30x20cm and the biggest is 45x30cm. The room will not be suitable for birds if it’s too bright because of the big door size.

It should be 40x80cm.

The door direction depends on the flyway and wind directions.

There’s no need to tile the floor but some large empty basins or cisterns are necessary to regulate air humidity. Water pipes runs from the floor up against the wall with the height of 1.5m. If necessary, we turn the faucet on to leak water on the wall surface and regulate the room humidity as expected. There should be slots along the wall in order not to damage the floor and water outlets in case of cleaning. A small pump system can be installed to pump water up throught holed plastic pipes, and let water flow down the bricks in the cistern (similar to the pump used in fish tanks).

The construction of bird house should be finished around 2 months before the breeding season to lose the smell of mortar and cement and the house gets older then.




Each floor is at least 2m high (in cold areas). However, there should be spaces between the floors to create a similar atmosphere to natural cliffs.

The number of floors: at least 2. One-floor house is least likely to be successful because it is too low, inconvenient to the bird flyway, difficult to adjust temperature and humidity and not easy for birds to choose them the most suitable place.

The number of rooms:  

If there aren’t any waiting rooms above, another one should be built on the same floor with the resting room because birds like hovering in the waiting room before flying through a door into the resting room.

The house is divided into many rooms of at least 4mx4m(3-4m high). If the room is smaller, we must increase its height, even removing the partition between the 2 next-door rooms to make it wider.

There is a communicating door between small rooms. Different rooms have different door sizes and shapes but the ideal one is 20x20cm.


The space between floors:

In a multi-floor house, there is always a space through the floors from the top to the bottom. This area doesn’t have any floors so that birds can hover freely between the floors as if they are flying in canyons or deep caves.


Wooden beams in bird’s room:

Wooden beams which are put on the ceiling so that birds can hang on and the nest-building area rises are 1.5-2cm thick and 15-20cm wide.   


The wood chosen must be good enough without new wood smell because birds don’t like living in a house filled with strange smells. Teak wood which is light, durable, smellless and white is a good choice because it’s easy to hang on.




Whitewashing is the best choice. White is comfortable, flat and hard to damage. We just mortar the inside without painting. However, new technologies have been applied for building bird’s houses. Nha Yen Nha Trang uses green plastic nets to pave the wall. As a result, birds can build their nests on the net and it’s easy to harvest the nests (just take the net down).

Light intensity in bird house:

Naturally, birds like living in dark areas, so the light in the area where the birds build nests is nearly the same as that in caves (0,2-0,6 lux).


6. humidity and temperature


            Humidity: 75-90%

            Temperature: 27-290C


In order to create the temperature and humidity as above, you need to do the following things:

The height of the house must be reasonable.  

The house must be located in the wind direction to bring the wet air. You need to consider in what direction birds fly every day to have an appropriate door direction.  

In order to remain the temperature, humidity and darkness, ventilation must be considered. The ventilation design may be L- shaped, straight pipe-shaped placed slantingly or we can leave alternate direct small windows between 2 brick layers.    

Humidity adjustment: Build low water pools or water pipes running against the wall from the floor up (1.5m high) in the bird’s room. Water pipes must have slots and be collected to one side in order to do bird house hygiene conveniently. The spray of water around the house can help decrease the temperature and increase the humidity.




It is ideal to build the house in a precinct with a surrounding yard (4x4m) for hovering. There must be a small slot around the house’s walls to avoid ants.

The house needs to be protected by a surrounding fence.

We can plant some trees like fig trees, banana trees within the precinct but they are not allowed to be higher than the doors to avoid stopping birds from flying out and in.




Wooden plank: you should choose light, spongy and durable wood, which enables bird’s nails to hang on and bird’s slaver to stick.

Water spray equipment: PUW pump - 2300 specially used for bird houses to maintain the stable humidity (75-85%) and decrease the temperature, restrict the mildew growth, then the bird’s nest quality is guaranteed.


- Thermometer and hygrometer to follow the temperature and humidity in bird houses.

- PML light measuring machine - 06.

- CD players, CDs with the sound of flock calling.

- Mirrors with handles to check eggs. Handy oil lamps for nest pickers.

- False nests for stimulating birds to build nests.

- Solutions smelling exciting to entice salanganes.

- The yard is scattered with powder to create the familiar smell.  

- Raticides and insecticides (such as rats, cockroaches, ants, bugs which are harmful to salanganes). 




- Salanganes have a good sense of smell, thus, solutions with organic smell that will be sprayed so that the birds feel like their body smell and the sound of flock calling in the breeding season will encourage them to accept the house as their new own one to do the birth-giving well.

- The yard can be scattered with a little of bird shit and do not to wash it out when the house is dirty. However, if the house is crowded with salanganes, we need to clean up bird droppings regularly. Otherwise, the room will be too hot because of the thermal radiation in the process of waste decomposition and there will be an increase in the concentration of NH3, CO2, etc.



Use CDs with the sound of flock calling. When hearing it from the CD several times, Salanganes passing here by chance will fly to the house.

Finding the place where the sound comes from, they will constantly fly into the house. If they realize the living condition is suitable for them, they’ll call their friends to come and build their nests here day after day, then the number of birds will increase.



Stick false nests on the planks or walls to entice birds to hang on and make nests. 




Tidy up and and give a good protection to the house.

Clean up all milled wood and wipe out pests.

If the house is full of bird droppings, we need to do the cleaning up. 

Pay attention to the humidity and temperature. 

Plan an exact harvest program.

 13. PESTS:


Salanganes are scared of rats the most. Birds will fly away if there are any rats inside though they have built their nests in the house several times,. We must wipe out or stop rats from running into the house through the doors, roofs, ceilings or ventilation pipes, etc.

Don’t let eagles, crows or owls fly around the bird house or have any chance of catching birds. Try to wipe out or drive them away.

Cats often watch for birds from the ceiling or doors. Trees or pales which help cats climb into the house need to be removed.

Bats often rouse, eat eggs and baby birds, especially in dry season. Salanganes will fly away when seeing bats. Don’t grow fruit trees around the bird house.

Ants and cockroaches often make nests in bird’s nests, then salanganes will leave their nests (using insecticides) 

Pigeons and small birds often frighten and block salanganes. You should act on them and get them away from the bird house. 

Though spiders don’t do any direct harm, spider nets will prevent birds from flying in and out and finding places to make nests (beams or house corners). Notice that spiders will make nets again after a few hours, so you’d better wipe them all out or prevent in advance.

Bug is a disturbance. During the ceiling and beam installation, do not create spaces between the planks where bugs usually shelter.

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