Monday, April 27, 2009

Lack of 'Form'

My Singaporean friend who lives and works in Thailand was in Singapore during the weekend. Over coffee, he, Jeffrey and I talked about shamas as we usually do. He mentioned that due to some inexplicable reason, his birds had lost their form and he could not understand why. He explained that he had kept his shamas in the same manner that he had always kept them. With the help of information from the Malaysian Shama Forum, he had seen his birds continuously improve until they were in really good form. Then, for no apparent reason, his shamas had gone into moult. In the space of one year, they had moulted twice and after the moult, their form had not risen as it should have.

We went through all the possible causes. Could his shamas have been frightened by something during the night? Had the food been changed? Had the environment in which he kept his shamas been changed? etc. To all these questions, he replied in the negative. We were at a loss to offer any good explanation for the cause of the problem but continued to brainstorm possible causes.

Finally, my friend himself mentioned something that we had overlooked. He said that his birds had previously had their drinking water from a well that had potable (drinkable) water. During the time that they drank water from this source, they had high form. He had stopped offering this water some time ago and had instead used tap water for his birds.

Of course, this was the likely cause since other factors had been eliminated. For one thing, the birds had become used to the water from the well and the tap water could contain matter that was unsuitable for the birds. To paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, eliminate the possible causes one by one and the answer will be found in what remains.

My friend said that when he returns to Thailand after the weekend, he will again offer water from the well to his birds and let us know if their form improves.

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