Monday, February 28, 2011

My ideal Shama Resort!

Been thinking this for quite some time now. An ideal "Shama Farm" ,it consist of Shama Breeders, bird shops, boarding facilities, chai Arena,Vet for Birds,transport service and a sweet coffee and breafast corner with beautiful landscape for all birds kakis!

Maybe a land of one arces to one half should be ideal. Here in Singapore we are always lack of a good all in one places for birds... So it would be nice to have a place where everything is under one roof!

I will work on it once my things is settle. Meanwhile, should any bird kakis out there is able to start up something like this please do so, if i am in any position to help out just let me know. I am quite familiar with licencing and vet side, basically AVA regulations i would say... cos i am in the pet trade.i won't be able to start this project so soon therfore i hope someone else can do it and benefit from it : ) for me, i might have to wait for another year for my things to settle : ( 

Haha... ! I have to say, one would need at least $500k to make this happen o..! And be ready to breakeven only after two years. hee hee... !

A good home for Punky Head and Tom boy

Smart looking little fellow ... just about a year old.  
Sigh... been thinking about Punky Head and his wife Tom Boy. I know this day will come sooner or later as space is indeed an issue. Now that Darfie and Wild Boy has a permenant home, i am still short of one for Gusty boy. He is now going through his molt, in no time i will have to arrange an decent house to breed. So far i do have a couple interested parties keen to have the pairs but i am really hoping that the new owner is very willing to spend on live food and dote on them.

Kinda worried if they goes to the wrong owner. Although they are nothing fantastic but thats does not mean they can be treated less important. When it come to any breeding, the simple rule of thumb is to treat the animals well! Their emotions,welfare is very important to a flavourable outcome!

Some may ask, its just a female bird why so expensive? ( they expect $50 ) ! haha...! From this mindset, more or less i can tell if this person is human enough to breed any pets.... if breeding is all about money then i can say the outcome is not going to be as good as hobby breeder. Difference is; hobby breeder will not cut cost and corners. whereas money driven ones most probably will ! ( max margin , min cost)

I would like to share my own dog breeding encounter here. There is a case in Singapore years back that the kennel owner got into finacial problem. He can nolonger provide for the dogs in his kennel, he tried to get other breeder to take over but somehow due the dogs conditions no taker at all...

Soon after it was in the News paper, the dogs are so hungry that they actually feed on carcass! I made many phone calls to persuade breeders to help those poor dogs but to no avail. I keep track on the lastest news on that kennel...

On the third day, other then all the critics and investigations. No solid help is offer to that kennel, sad huh! At that time, i wasn't in any ideal condition to do anything as i myself don't have such funds to make a difference so i got 3 packet of 15kg dog food to the kennel and pass it to the worker for time being.

well, to cut the story short I manage to persuade the kennel owner to let me take over the kennel. A special kind of payment(take over fees) is being arrange as he owe rental. Because my main concern wasn't about money, i gave the dogs much more food, freedom, toys, medical treatment, heaps of supplement etc... It really drain me out, i become more broke then the previous owner!

But to my surprise as i was about to find the next better player to take over , the dogs repay me like nobody buisness! Everyday i spot at least heavily pregnant mothers! I didn't even know when they mate! From that they gave me four times the money that i have put in for them with 6months and all the other kennel people comented that they have never see so much puppies in this particular kennel before and also some that have one times more breeding dogs kennel can't even produce half the amount i have....!

This is to show that if you cut cost, the output is for sure gonna cut too! It is just the same as our car theory, less throttle less speed :) So i hope , all breeders can see things beyond cost factor. i am not saying to give abalone or carvair... but the basic needs is a must!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Machie and Demure 2nd batch update

For this second batch of babies i decided to leave them with the parents for a longer period just to see the difference as compare to the first batch which i remove at three weeks old...  they hatch on 8th and 9th Feb, slightly over 2weeks now.. somehow this batch is looking bigger in size.. it could be due to never ending live food supply during first season therefore lots of goodies in mummy's tummy to produce tougher chicks.. haha! Just my guess..

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Tranquil of Shama's Melody

I couldn't find another better phrase to express how i feel when i visit Mr David De souza's house .

Nothing beats the tranquility feel of sitting in the garden filled with lovely melodies of shama and chatting with two very experienced Shama sifus David and Jeffery. It was what i've been dreaming to fulfill, a garden filled with lovely melodies of shama. The song of nature... 

So far to me that is the only place in Singapore i feel the serenity, it calms me down, clears my mind makes me feel like closing my eyes and soak in the ambience. It will be great if one could sit in that garden early in the morning, feel the dew, cup of hot coffee slowly sip and enjoy the song of nature!

Hmmmm.... look forward to this kind of retirement. Thats what i would really appreciate if there is a chance... 

Been doing that the nature park thingy last time, somehow birds that sings there don't really give me that serene feeling plus the mosquito Fire For Effect kinda attack make it even worst!

Or maybe i shall try to persuade David to start a bistro in his garden :p Then i can be there to ... Uncle ! Kopi ji buay ! Roti kaya gu you ! haha..... !
Just kidding and secretly wishing hope David don't mind . kekeke...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Darfie Duck is now with Pretty Girl

Been five days, so far no big issue.

Atleast Darfie try hard enough for me to see : )
well, still too early to tell. Darfie is actually still very young, just that i see him being very interested to mate thats why i give him a try....

Darfie's father has 11" tats what i was told by han zi , he is now currently about 8.5". should have chance to reach 11" as he has two more molt to go... personally, i really like his posture,soft tail and the prawn tail thingy. The rest is kinda too early to tell especially his song. I am no expert to Shama, to me for now in my house Darfie has the best posture and long neck.. i will try to take some pics and post it here..  below is Pretty Girl's pic....
Darfie Back view, i am actually very near behind him for this picture. The other picture is him inspecting the spare nest box and trying to impress his babe :p

After the photography session, they move to their new house which i just complete today. So from today onwards they will be my toilet birds! :p

I hope they like their toilet suite package !

Alamak!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pretty molting :'(
Sigh.... bad timing. Got to change to Timid Girl, all the stress restart again for the birds...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gusty's taimong tail drop..

As i try to measure the tail, this problem come up to me... start from where??
i was told two version, one of them is the full lenght and the other is where the feather start. So which is which?? the difference can be as much as half an inch! Scratch head...

Some pics which i like : )

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Machie and Demure's baby out of nest box

As their Care giver, i am really very happy to see the four chicks emerge from their nest! All four seems very healthy and very well fed.

i went into the room twice today, feeling all the tension in the room! To me, this is a very important signal that the parents are sending out to me...

At this moment, don't try to go near any of the chicks or spending too much time checking on one single chicks as this might cause trouble for that little ones. As i am still very new to birds breeding i might be wrong at this.. but somehow i can feel if i try, the parent might abandon chicks.

Machie and Demure has never react so aggressive towards me before and both of them did it today!

Best thing to do is, top up all food supplies and get out of the room ! The morning top up is just the regular amount but i increase the evening to double so that tomorrow morning i only got to peep and check supplies without much stress causing to them..

Kinda sad as i can't sit in and watch them like what i use to do on the first batch. I guess both parents has matured from their last nest and start learning how to protect their chicks... this is some how nature that build in them, no matter how tame our bird is before its not gonna change much when their parent instinct kicks in... !

So i guess so call captive bred ruins nature instinct thingy is not that true after all... Why is it so ? Cos i felt i have lost my super tame Machie ever since he become a father... he is just like a wild bird, keeping his distance from me, chasing me out of his room and evening try to attack me when my hand go in to top up food : (

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Captive bred shama Write-up by David De Souza

I have been following Mr Davids Blog since i restart to keep shama. It is because of him i find out the reason of how i loss all my shama years back, without his blog info i don't think i dare to take the chance again. He even offered solid advise whenever i email him, what a great guy ! haha.. ! Btw , till today i still don't him or how he look like : )

Well, i manage to get his permission to post his write-up here. so i guess with my Computor skill the best i can do is to copy and paste it here... as i won't know if there is such thing that enable me to link it. here it goes ....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Shama Singing Competition Held On 13th February 2011

Yesterday (Sunday), the Kebun Baru Bird Singing Club of Singapore held its first Shama Singing Competition of 2011.  The venue was Block 159 Ang Mo Kio.

Michael Leong and I entered 3 of our captive-breds.  They were Apache, Sky Hawk and a young male that would benefit from some competition experience.

I had not been keen on entering Apache and Sky Hawk.  Apache had been singing less and less at home. I guessed that he was going to have his annual molt soon and I was not sure that he would be able to perform on a decent level.

As regards Sky Hawk, in December 2010, we had paired him with a female in the hope of getting chicks before the female entered her annual molt.  She had built a nest but then she had molted and we separated the pair.  I intended to pair him with another female but the competition came up and Michael suggested that we enter him and Apache although the birds were not in their best form.

Shama singing competitions in Singapore used to be held over 4 rounds of 1/2 an hour each.  This was too tiring for the birds and they did not display and sing their best in the 4th round.

Nowadays, shama competitions are usually held  over 3 rounds of ½ an hour each.  Three judges assess, in rotation, 1/3 of the birds in each round.  The average marks decide the winners and the losers.

Yesterday's competition was supposed to be over 3 rounds. However, at the end of the 3rd round, the contestants were informed that there would be an additional final round.  It would be in 2 parts of 15-20 minutes each.  There would be 2 judges and they would take turns to assess about ½ of the birds in each part.  The marks would then be added.

The Final Round
Having a final round is generally popular as the number of birds will be reduced by 2/3 and it will be easier to see which birds are performing.  The disadvantage is that the shamas will be really tired and will not be performing at their best.  Consequently, only those birds that are in good form and have the required stamina will be able to still perform in the final round.

Yesterday’s competition was scheduled to start at 9.00am and last for 1 1/2 hours.  As is often the case, the competition started ½ an hour late.  By then,  the birds that came in time for the competition, such as our 3 birds, had already been singing in their cages with cloth covers, for 1/2 an hour or more.  Similarly, after the 3rd round, time was required to tally the marks to decide the birds that would qualify for the final round.  In total, the birds would be singing in close proximity to each other for 3 hours or more.

The top 25 birds out of the 70 or so contestants qualified for the final round.  All our 3 birds qualified.  Sky Hawk's final round competition number was 8 and Apache was 14.  The young male was No. 6.  This was a front row position close to the crowds, as our intention was to use the competition to provide training for him.

Results of the Final Round
Apache and Sky Hawk were the top birds after the final round with marks of 49.8 points each.  They had received  identical marks in both parts of the final round.

The organizers decided that lots should be drawn to decide the positions in those cases where the marks were tied.   As Michael and I do not distinguish between the birds we own, we dispensed with the drawing of lots.  Logically, Apache and Sky Hawk should be deemed to be joint champions since they had identical marks in both parts of the final round.

The 3rd and 4th placed birds had the same 49.5 points each and their places were decided by drawing lots. I think 2 other pairs also tied for lesser positions and they drew lots.

The young male that Michael and I had entered for experience, placed 12th.  I am sure he would have done better if he had not been unsettled by the crowd.

Captive-bred Shamas Are Winning Song Competitions
Contrary to the loud declarations of some people that captive-bred birds are inferior to wild-caughts, the captive-breds have been doing quite well in competitions since my birds started to seriously compete from November last year.

Apache was 6th in the 21st November 2010 competition, 3rd one week later in the 28th November 2010 competition (when his son Helmet was 6th) and joint champion yesterday.  He has improved as he has got used to competition conditions.  His continuous progress confirms that he not only has the qualities of a top competitor but also, and just as important, that the methods that we used in preparing our birds for competition are along the right lines.

Sky Hawk was champion when Michael entered him in the Cyber Shama Competition organized by Dance4Rain in the Malaysian Bird Forum some time ago.  Any concern that he might not be able to compete in an actual competition with the crush of other shamas around him, was laid to rest by his performance yesterday.
One further bit of news - I was told yesterday that Ah Choon’s shama with 13+” tails (that I bred), was champion in the shama singing competition in Penang about 2 weeks ago.  This is his second win in Penang. The first time he had won in Penang was in early November 2010 as I reported in my post on 22nd November 2010.

What This Proves
There is a lot of b/s in the bird forums from some people who hold themselves out as knowledgeable about shamas and freely give advice on their care and breeding.  Some of the opinions and advice is really rubbish.  Amongst the rubbish is that captive-bred birds cannot compete successfully against wild-caughts. Another, is the simplistic observation that line-breeding or inbreeding will result in inferior birds.

One of these experts recently also advised in the Malaysian Shama Forum that shamas bred in small aviaries lack character. G-- knows on what he based his declaration.  Perhaps it was his own limited experience with the captive breeding of his own birds.

The claim of these so-called experts that captive-breds are lacking in character, song and stamina is clearly not true as proven by the fact that birds bred by Michael and me are doing well in song contests. Its all a matter of proper selective breeding for structure, courage and stamina and bringing up the birds with the right food and in the right environment.  Having small aviaries close together and many shamas in the home is a disadvantage when breeding the birds and preparing them for competition but this can be overcome with care and planning.

The captive-breds with long tails showed yesterday that even when there is the stress of a final round, they can still do well.  In fact, Apache (with 12” tails) was probably displaying better than the other birds in the final round. Sky Hawk’s tails well exceed 13”. 

I should note that shamas with long tails compete at an inherent disadvantage against those with shorter tails, regardless of whether such birds are wild-caught or captive-bred. Whipping long tails up and down takes much effort and energy but no marks are officially given for the beauty of long tails.  Where the competition takes a long time, such as where there is a final round, the long-tailed birds are at an even greater disadvantage and they need to be especially prepared so that they are fit enough to last the distance.

I have always felt that captive breds need not be at all inferior to the wild caughts.  Actually, I always felt that with proper selective breeding, care and training, the captive breds can far exceed the wild-caughts in every department, including song, structure, beauty, length of tails, stamina and courage.  This is now proving to be the case.

Future competitions
Michael and me entered our captive breds in the last 3 competitions to test their character, song and stamina in competition conditions and also to see if our preparations for the competition are correct.  The fact that our birds did well is encouraging.

As suspected, Apache is starting to molt and he will be transferred to an outdoor aviary.  He should be ready for competition around August this year if we do not breed him.  We may be tempted to do so, though, as his offspring have good song and exceptional courage. We have not decided if we will breed Sky Hawk or still enter him for future competitions.

We have other birds that we could try out for competition.  Amongst them is my favourite shama, Pretty Boy, who completed his annual molt recently.  His primary tails are about 15".  We would also like to give our other shamas a chance at competition, including 2 of Apache's other sons.
However, we have not made up our minds to compete on a regular basis.  The breeding season has started and, as always, our desire to breed better birds may override our wish to test our birds in competitions.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Shama Competition at 159 AMK on 13 Feb 2011

I very much wanted to go on that day but i over slept. Only to wake up 11.45am !

Well, at first i tell myself.. just another competition out of so many in a year, no big deal i can always try harder the next round... Thats me when it comes to play stuff, always take it easy.. to live and survive in our country is stress enough so hobby should not be that way too right?

BUT !!!! That nite after knowing what happen i almost bang myself on the wall! I miss the most important competition ! For the last almost three years of Shamahood, i have been told by many old bird keeper not to waste time n effort on captive long tail shama. They claim those are just for display can't really compete in competition. But but but !!! I still go ahead and get myself some of those "captive bred long tail" .

Why? The reason is because i believe that its the character of the birds that makes the difference and not where they are being breed. As for the tail, yes i agree that the longer the tail the bigger the burden for the birds.. but i still rather  keep a long tail aka White Rumped Shama with a long tail ! That is why in hokkien they are called "long tail" mah!

Now it is even better! The birds has prove to all of us ! Both captive bred shama came in top ! I am glad that all the bad rumours about captive bred Shama has to come to a stop as not one but two of them came in Champion!

How i wish i was there on that day! It must be very beautiful to see their tail display.. Sigh! Hope the Owners of both birds ( Mr David and Mr Micheal) spare more time to join more competition in future so that people like me can watch and learn what a real good shama should achieve. Altough right now i am breeding them just for fun but i would like to go even further into it. To be able to improve my shama quality in years to come....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy father on Valentine day for Punky Head!

I was expect his 1st Chick to hatch today, so i check it early in the morning but none hatch. A bit of a concern as Punky is still young and this is his 1st batch of babies. Well today is only the tenth day, i just got to wait and see with candling the egg in mind 3 days later. Now all my worries seems to be answered !

Just about an hour ago, Punky suddenly sing non stop as if he wants to challenge everyone in the house. In my mind , i was like " whats wrong with you Punky" ??? i went over to check their ( Punky and Tom Boy)food supply , still able to last for at least 2 days.. but upon seeing me he quickily go to the nest and make soft "quik quik" tone. To me they only do that when they try to tell each other something but he this time he is not looking at Tom Boy but me . haha! i knew the baby must be coming ! i grab the penlite and shine in and i spoted the crack line !

Its really a very special kind of feeling which i can't express with my limited english. The bond between Punky/ Tom Boy and me surprise me many times! Just don't understand it at times! I am even allowed to video through out!

The video actually has 3 parts,  i will upload them just to share with you guys! Thanks for viewing !!

 15.feb , 2nd egg hatch today. Glad to see both new parents taking good care for the babies!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Birds for exchange or sale

I do have some birds to let go sometime as i can't possibly keep all. Right now its a little over crowded, therefore i am letting go some of them. If anyone interested you can always leave a message here or give me a email at

List below :

1, Hwa mei male. great singer but aw tao.

2, A pair of Magpie, not jadi but male bird can chai with that snake head action.

3, Taimong from Machie.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Machie and Demure 2nd batch

After the 1st batch , they start to prepare on the 2nd after a two weeks rest. On 26 Jan demure laid her 1st egg followed by 1 a day till 29Jan , total 4 eggs.

Today 8 Feb, i wasn't expecting anything as i am expecting 1st hatching around 10 of Feb. But to my surprise i saw 2baby chicks after chatting with a new shama friend downstairs which he is viewing Machie's 1st batch baby. Wow! its indeed getting more interesting !

Sorry for the picture quality... its kinda hard to take lah : )

09.02.2011 Today the other 2 eggs hatch, glad that all 4 eggs hatch this time round. 1st batch only 3 out of 4 hatch. The best part is , i get a chance to see how the chick work its way out!

Demure start feeding them right away. She is such a good mother ! Whenever there is a lack of something she will come to me and give that kind of i need something face.... luckily i always manage to get it for her.

Just now while i was there , she look at me then she look at the crickets. Jump into the tub but somehow she did not pick up any cricket, she then come to me (very near about 1 feet ) from this i can feel she is having trouble with something , something with the food i provide... so i suspect that she find the crickets might be too big for the chicks, then i put in some meal worms (about 5 ) she grab it ! so to me this is something new that i have learn today, and i shall remember by heart to take note of live food size when there is chicks!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Taimong chics photos

They are machie's babies, i have not name them yet. I like their courage and the flat head ( frog head) Pics just taken two days ago..