Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Shama Care

16 February

Hi Dave ,

Allow me to introduce myself.

Singaporean working in Indo JKT. Pickup Shamas about 8 months ago.

Have written to u a couple of times but have not received replies from u.

Anyway later found out that most if not all my questions , the directions from u were all in your blog.

Nowadays , I frequently visit your site on a regular basis. However, there is a reason why I wrote this am.

a. My first bird - kalimantan , went thru the first molt n came out well , stronger , chatty , braver , loud.

I went thru the whole process of what u hv written in yr blog.

b. My second bird medan , the picture attached is alrdy after his molt. -

But he is no alike the borneo bird , he sings but still whispers , his beak is not wide open.

Though the trust is there , he will eat the live food off my hands.

c.But to my surprise , last weeks ( alrdy 2mths after his molt ) he shed all his secondary white tails of course one at a time.

Fright Molt , Weather change ? I do not keep other pets , and he always sit at the best place in my terrace house. Pouch not too

hot , open , not too windy.

I kept these two birds apart. one at the bck of the hse n the medan infront , where they hear each other but never see face to face.

Please advise what shud I do to improve the situation fr my medan bird.


The indo way , is somewhat different - they like to put their Shama direct under the morning Sun fr hours. 7 to 10 am.

they claim will improve their stamina on singing /loud n their body will be more toneup ( feathers not fluffy )

Supply of live foods is abundance here incl buffalo worms , Indo says cant be feed to Shama , they will lose all their feathers.

Need your opinion on above.

Hi Sunny,

When I first started in shamas, there was no literature available on them and I learnt the hard way through trial and error. In an attempt to shorten and flatten the learning curve for others, I have placed a great deal of information on the care and breeding of shamas on my website and blog. Nevertheless, I still get many basic questions by people who would rather take the easy way out and ask questions when the answers are already available with a bit of effort. I have learnt to stop answering questions from the start as a reply tends to invite more questions and I just don't have the time or inclination to provide personal tuition.

Now, to answer your questions. You will find that I have mentioned on my blog that if a bird receives the correct food and care during the molt, its form should start to rise as the molt comes to an end with the bird reaching top form about 1 1/2 to 2 months from the completion of the molt. If the bird does not start to come into form, then there was something wrong with the keeping of that bird. As I have also written on my blog, citing Robert Black, what may be suitable for one bird may not be completely suitable another bird of the same species.

Your shama has obviously had a stress molt. Such a molt could be caused by any number of things. Could it have had a severe fright without you knowing it? A bird that is on the floor or clinging to the cage bars in the early morning, very likely had a fright during the night. Was it eating well as observed from the droppings. If a bird is not eating well, it could mean that it does not find the food suitable. If the dry food is scattered, this is not an indication that the bird is a fussy eater, but rather that the food that is offered is not suitable for this bird. The bird scatters the food as it looks for food that it can recognize as such. If the bird is merely eating less, my guess is that it is a vitamin deficiency and the most likely vitamin that is given in insufficient quantities is B Complex. As mentioned on my blog, B Complex is required to assist the shama to digest protein and if not given in sufficient quantities the bird will eat less for the reason that it cannot properly digest its food. If you give Vitamin B, make sure that it is bright yellow in colour as this indicates freshness. A lack of Vitamin B will result in a stress molt.

When I keep short-tailed Indonesian birds, I continue to sun them the way the Indonesians do. I do not sun my long tailed birds as the heat tends to curve the tails upward. The main benefit of sunlight is Vitamin D3 and I make sure my birds get enough without too much direct sunlight.

I do not feed live buffalo worms to my adult birds. Jeffrey Low says that when he kept Lohan Fish and fed these worms to them, when one of them died and he cut it up, he found that the worms had bitten through the stomach. I do offer them to the parents of newly hatched chicks as the parents make sure the worms are truly dead and softened before feeding them to the offspring.

Best regards,



  1. Hi, i am a Singaporean also stay in Jakarta. I just bought 3 Shama at home. Looking for birds KaKi here. Can keep in touch with me @ 08788446501, hope you read my massage. =D Keno

  2. how to take care of a shama from young