Thursday, May 8, 2014

A lazy weekend

Last weekend was a pleasant time with no urgent office work to do or meetings to attend and with leisure to enjoy my shama hobby.

My friend and I had breakfast early on Saturday morning before we made our way to Asby Ang's retail outlet in Balestier to pick up some Nekton vitamin B and bird breeding accessories.

Asby was recently appointed the sole distributer for the Nekton range of bird supplements.  I already had some of the Nekton products but I wanted vitamin B in powder form and Nekton is one of the very few brands that supply this.  I used to buy this product online but the price and the freight charges made it more than double the price of S$15.00 that Asby charges.  I had therefore found it more convenient and less costly to purchase vitamin B in tablet form for humans from and grind it to powder to add to my dry shama food. Now that Asby carries the B in powder form at a very reasonable price, it saves me the hassle of buying it online.

From Asby's place, we went to Ah Kow's place to collect a bird. We then headed to Ang Mo Kio, Block 159 to have a look at the shamas there before returning home.

I had 2 pairs of shamas that had commenced brooding their eggs on the same day 11 days ago and the eggs were due to hatch sometime on Saturday. The pair of particular interest was that of Falcon and Funkie's daughter. They were housed in a large aviary and I had an armchair close by where I could comfortably see what was going on inside.

Before I left the house at about 8 am, the first egg had hatched.  I had seen the female emerge from the nest-box with half a shell. She had carried it to the far corner of the aviary where she proceeded to break it up and consume the tiny pieces.  If I had not been watching, the shell would have been eaten and I would not have known that an egg had hatched.

Sometime in the afternoon, the second egg hatched.  The last egg hatched the following day. That made up 3 fertile eggs, all of which had successfully hatched. This pleased me as I had tweaked the nutrition provided to the breeding birds to try to achieve 100% fertility and hatching.

My wife and I went out for breakfast on Sunday morning. The free time that I had during the rest of the day was spent pottering around the house attending mostly to shama matters, such as providing nesting material for the new breeding pairs and enjoying watching the parents feeding their chicks.  I never tire of this. In the evening, Michael dropped by and stayed for some time.  We discussed some ideas that he had regarding changes he wanted to make in his dry food for shamas.

I am happy with the progress I have made in the care, maintenance and breeding of the white-rumped shama but what makes the hobby continue to be interesting is that there is always something new to learn or some problem to solve.

For those who may be interested in getting supplements, incubators or brooders from Asby, his contact particulars are:

2 Balestier Road, Balestier Hill Shopping Centre #01-687 
Singapore 320002
Tel: (65) 6251 1858 Fax: (65) 6251 1067

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