Monday, December 30, 2013

Preparing for competition

Preparing for competition

NGTC to DDS, 25th December 2013

Hi David,
Read your blog on the above and I fully agree with you that consistency is very important, afterall if the form of that shama has peaked in that manner BAU should therefore be maintained as much as possible.

I have seen 2 casual shama friends pushing their shamas hard in their preparation work, ramping up the amount chai sessions as well as on the foods, and sadly both their shamas failed to perform on the big day though one of them was pretty consistency at the chai arena.  Sometimes the more "kan cheong" you are the worse it becomes.

You mentioned that after molting the form could rise in about a month and thereafter how long will this form last and when would there be a peak?  Of course I am presuming the best care has been given.


Hi TC,

Consistency, to me, does not mean that we should do the same thing over and over again with never any change whatsoever.  It means making any changes gradually and only after we have reason to think that the change will be beneficial.

As I lack much competition experience, I myself need to give thought to try to determine what is required to bring a male shama to top form and to maintain him there for extended periods.  I am lucky in that I already have a sound base from my years of keeping and breeding shamas.  I therefore have the basic knowledge and all that is required is to try to tweak what I have been doing in order to prepare the bird for competition.   I should note that for breeding purposes, the shama need not be in competition form.  Just as humans do not need to be athletes to beget children, so also shamas do not need to be in competition form in order to be successfully paired.

To be a top competitor and to be regularly successful in competitions requires the shama to be brought to a substantially higher level of performance than a breeding shama.  The competition shama needs to sing and display under the stress of having many other shamas in close proximity to it for over 2 hours or more.  This is something that is not required of a shama in the home.  To be in competition form also requires the shama to be accustomed to transportation, the presence of other shamas in good form and also the presence of people.  All this needs to be done over a period of many months so that sometime before the competition the bird is already ready and all that is required in the final 2 weeks is to maintain the form.

Michael just came back from a trip to Thailand where he visited Jambul farms and also met and spent time with one of the top Jambul competitors there.  He was told by the top Jambul competitor that his birds are prepared for competition with proper food and care and, in the final 2 weeks before a competition, the birds that are intended for competition are kept secluded from other Jambuls.  I would think that the same applies to shamas. Contrast this with some of our local shama competitors who bring their birds to the chai tio regularly and even the week before a competition.  Such a bird is unlikely to have fully recovered before it is required to perform again.

If we are to successfully compete our shamas, we should try to understand and accommodate their individual personalities and remove anything that causes them unnecessary stress in the home.  For instance, you may find that a shama may not like a particular location in the home.  He may be restless when his cage is placed in that location and may seem to be more comfortable somewhere else.  When I see this, I transfer the cage to the place where the shama seems comfortable and try to consistently keep him there.  

I could go on and on with regard to what I think is required to prepare a shama for competition but what I have is still only theory which will need to be tested and proven correct by actual competition.  This is something I have just started to do.  I am looking forward to the forthcoming competition this coming Sunday to see if I am on the right path with what I have been doing.

I answer below your query regarding the form after molt.

If the shama has been well cared for during the molt, its form will begin to rise even before the molt is completed.  It should continue to rise and the bird will be in breeding condition about 1 1/2 months after the molt is completed.  I would think that this is when its testosterone will be at its highest and this will be the peak of the bird's form. I have tried to mate males that seem to be in good form before 1 1/2 months have passed after molting.  Whilst the male will accept the female, I have found that if she lays eggs shortly after the pairing, the eggs tend to be infertile.

The shama should molt only once a year.  If it molts more than this, the molt is induced by stress of some kindthe form should gradually rise after the molt and then go down as the molt approaches.  

A bird with tails of say, 6 inches, will take about 1 1/2 months to complete the molt of its tails while a 12" bird will take about double the time.  Often, the head and body feathers will start to molt about 2 to 3 weeks before the tails are shed.  A short tailed bird will therefore be in good form about 1 1/2 months longer than a long tailed bird.  The form should start to deteriorate about a month before the bird starts to molt.

A short-tailed bird should therefore potentially be in good form for about 8 1/2 months while a long-tailed bird should be in good form for about 7 months.

Hope the above helps.

Best regards,


No comments:

Post a Comment