Wednesday, September 3, 2014


The video is of Ballet Dancer's juvenile male offspring partway through its moult under Jeffrey's care. The accompanying closeup of the tails show that they are practically flawless.

Jeff had sold the bird to a friend who was unable to take immediate delivery and Jeff had agreed to moult the bird for him.

The video shows what is achievable when there is knowledge and understanding of a bird's needs during the moult.  These include the provision of a suitable environment and care and proper nutrition before and during the moult.

Jeff takes great care to ensure that the moulting bird's environment is correct.  This is the time when it's metabolism should be geared solely to growing the feathers that it will wear for the next 8 to 10 months.  Its surroundings must therefore be conducive to moult and must not be too warm.  There must also be sufficient humidity with no competing shamas close-by that could stress it.

From the video it can be seen that although the bird is in moult, it is alert and full of energy. It is not displaying and singing its challenging territorial song as Jeff has not placed a competing shama close-by.  Jeff of course knows that this should not be done during the moult. To do so would result in the moulting bird getting a rush of the hormone, testosterone, and this will likely adversely affect the hormones that are required for a good moult.

The feather quality in the photo shows what can be achieved with outstanding nutrition for a captive shama.  There are no stress lines whatsoever in the tails.  To assist the feathers (especially the tails) to grow to their full potential, Jeff provides a daily bath for the birds.  This softens the growing feathers and the preening during and after the bath helps them to grow.

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