Friday, April 11, 2014

Breeding Season 2014(1), shamas for sale

For this year as in previous years, my captive shama breeding program has as its aim the production of top quality birds that will be a joy to own.  For me, shamas have always been a hobby and I breed shamas to satisfy my own need to have the type of shama that I want for myself.  I do not, and never had, any wish to breed shamas indiscriminately to supply the market. 

Photos and videos of my shamas can be found in this blog. Below are photos of 2 random examples of the type of male shamas that I strive to consistently breed:

In early March, I paired my top males that were in breeding condition, Ballet Dancer, Falcon, Firefly, Apache and Flame to carefully chosen females. The selection was made on the basis that the birds in the chosen pairs would complement each other so that certain desirable characteristics or features may be improved or retained.

The first crop of male chicks arrived in late March.  Below are photos of 3 of the 4 male taimongs (juveniles) that were hatched in March.  I think they are likely to be males from their bright  markings and very dark colour.

[By the way, the poop on the floor of the cage above is from 4 taimongs at the end of one day.]

[In the photo above, the hind toe of the chick on the right has slipped into the band.  This often happens when the chicks are very young.  Its a simple matter to ease the toe out of the band.]

April should be a very productive month.  All the 5 pairs are sitting on eggs.  As far as possible, I try to let the parent birds incubate the eggs.  I believe that this is the best way of ensuring that quality offspring are produced.  While robbing the nest and artificially incubating the eggs may result in more chicks, the possible long-term detrimental effects are just not worth it.

I candled the eggs of Ballet Dancer, Falcon and Firefly. They have, respectively, 4 eggs, 4 eggs and 2 eggs and all the eggs are fertile. Its too early to candle the eggs of the other 2 pairs as signs of the developing embryo may only appear from the fourth day of incubation.

I have been trying for years to achieve 100% fertility in my breeding shamas and it would seem that the lessons I have learnt are bearing fruit. Another reason for me to be happy with the fertility of my shamas is that poor fertility could indicate that the birds have been over-bred and the fact that my shamas are more fertile than ever suggests that my breeding methods are along the right lines.

The eggs of Ballet Dancer and Falcon should hatch today or tomorrow and Firefly's eggs should hatch in the middle of next week.  The eggs of Apache and Flame should hatch in about 10 days.

BTW, Ballet Dancer was hatched in 2001 and at 13 years of age he is more productive than he ever was.  I attribute his continuing fertility to the lessons that I have learnt over the years in providing good husbandry and management. 

If I continue breeding my shamas at the rate I am doing this year, I will have more birds than I have space for and I will need to find homes for the birds that are surplus to my needs.  There may therefore be male shamas for sale later in the year.

The birds will mostly be sold as taimongs and they should become available to go to new homes from around September this year when they are at least 3 months old. At this age, the taimong tails will be fully grown and the character and type of display will be more evident.  Also, at this age, the taimongs will have had the time and opportunity to learn the songs from my many adult birds.

The prices for the taimongs will range from S$2,500.00 to $6,000.00 or more, depending on my assessment of the potential length of the tails and the bird’s other qualities. 

I price my taimongs on the basis that, with proper care during the molt, the buyer can expect to own a shama that he will not only be proud to own but which will likely also have a market value that is not less than the price that he paid.  

In many cases, the market value after the first molt should be substantially more than the price paid. Be aware though that whilst I price my birds according to my assessment of them, it is not possible to be always correct and things may turn out differently.  A shama that I price low may in fact turn out to have longer tails and be worth relatively more than a higher priced shama as the true potential of a taimong will only be proven after the first molt.

If you are interested in acquiring one of my captive bred male taimongs, please send me an email at  I would be grateful if you could indicate the quality of shama that you are interested in purchasing using the above indicative prices as a guide. If you are a serious buyer, I will place you on the list of potential persons who are interested in acquiring a shama from me and I will contact you when a shama becomes available that meets your requirements. It will help if you provide your mobile number.

N.B. I regret that I do not export my birds and delivery must be taken in Singapore.

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