Tuesday, December 16, 2014


One of my favourite shamas is Skyhawk. He has all the attributes that I look for in my shamas.  Not only does he have the structure, song and feather quality that I seek to breed in my shamas but he has also proven to be a prepotent sire with the ability to produce males as good or better than himself.  An example of an outstanding male from him is Falcon.

Because of Skyhawk's ability to produce outstanding chicks, he is one of the mainstays of my breeding program.  Consequently, he has spent much of his time in the breeding aviary and he has been entered in very few competitions. Even then, he has managed to do well in the competitions in which he was entered. He was champion in perhaps the last competition that I entered him in, about 2 years ago at Block 159 AMK.

Skyhawk's desirability can be seen in the unsolicited offer of S$18,000.00 that I received for him some time back.  I refused the offer. Fortunately so, as, he is now starting to produce quality offspring in significant numbers.

The trouble that breeders often have in breeding their outstanding animals is that sometimes such animals tend to have very few offspring for some reason or other. This was the problem that I seemed to be having with Skyhawk until recently.

Last year and early this year, I had very few chicks from him and they were mostly female.  To try to reverse the trend I made changes in his diet and I also paired him with a carefully chosen female.

The changes seem to have worked.  In the first nest with this female, he had 2 male chicks.  Below is the video of one of them, DDS296. At 50 days of age, its tails are 5" and the primary tails, still in sheaths, are continuing to grow.  I think there is a good chance the primary tails will exceed 6" in the next 2 weeks.  If so, based on past information of my line of birds, its first molt tails will likely exceed 12". We shall see.

In Skyhawk's second nest with this female, there were 5 eggs of which 4 were fertile and hatched.  Three of the chicks seem to be male, judging from their structure, the size of their heads and the dark blue feathers that are starting to emerge on their shoulders.

Here is the video of the chicks that I recorded this morning. They are 30 days old.

The chicks have the same structure as their older brother, DDS296 and this suggests that Skyhawk has the ability to produce offspring that are very much alike.  It also means that if DDS296 turns out well, as I expect, the other chicks from Skyhawk will likely turn out the same way.

Skyhawk's third nest also had 5 eggs of which 4 were fertile and hatched. The eldest 3 chicks are 11 days old today and the chick still in the nest is 9 days old. It looks like there will also likely be 3 males in this clutch.

Below is the photo that I took of them this morning.

Their mother commenced brooding a new batch of 5 good size eggs 2 days ago and the eggs should hatch 11 days later, i.e on Christmas Day.  It will be a lovely present if 4 of the eggs hatch and an even lovelier present if all the eggs are fertile and I get 5 chicks.

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