Monday, January 5, 2015

Shama Foundation Stock

This is Michael Leong's 7th months old shama, Golden Hawk. It is the youngest son of Alpha and Killer from last year's breeding season and it has only just completed its molt. Michael transferred him from aviary to cage over the weekend.

Golden Hawk is highly inbred, tracing his lineage back 14 years to my foundation male sire, Godfather.

It can be seen from the video that he is in excellent condition and exemplifies what can be achieved with good genes and proper care and nutrition during the molt.

BTW, I have been asked why I named one of Falcon's sons, "King David". No, he was not named after me.  He derives his name from a very famous racing pigeon named "King David", which was bred by the great American racing pigeon fancier, David Clausing.

Clausing's King David was not only a great winner in races but he was also a great sire. Below is a blurb from an auction of one of his sons.  It will be noted that the selling point of the young cock is that it ".. represents a concentration of genes for Clausing's older Houben, King David." It is necessary that the birds be inbred so that there will be a "concentration of genes" as this will increase the likelihood of the desirable characteristics being passed on to the offspring

 Auction Detail 
AU2012 FVC 4549 BBC 
Item #: 119112
DescriptionCock Inbred to the Famous and Expensive Houben, 'KING DAVID'. AU2012 FVC 4549 BBC represents a concentration of genes for Clausing's older Houben, KING DAVID. This pigeon was sold for many thousands of dollars by Clausing when KING DAVID was already 10 years old. KING DAVID was the sire to Hall of Fame pigeons "Anna Marie" and "Early Retirement". He also bred David his first Million Dollar ACE Bird. In fact, KING DAVID was sire to "ACE Birds on 3 Continents." This was the original bloodline that brought worldwide attention to David Clausing. KING DAVID was the son of ZIKO and obviously the best son when David still owned him. This bloodline has been responsible for breeding us winners from 100 to 604 miles in 2000 bird competition.

The story of David Clausing and his racing pigeons can be read at:

It is an established fact that to consistently breed wonderful birds, there must be inbreeding and line-breeding carried out knowledgeably and systematically.  Birds with the desired characteristics must be selected as initial stock for breeding and mated to give them the chance to prove their worth as breeders. When breeding with pairs that are not closely related, most of the matings will tend to produce only "ordinary" progeny, unless of course the male or the female is prepotent.  There may be a mating that that results in highly desirable progeny.  If so, it will suggest that the male and/or female of the pair has promise as breeders and they should be repeatedly tested to establish their prepotency. If the progeny of a bird is also able to produce wonderful birds, it has established that it deserves to be foundation stock. This is what I have tried to achieve with my bloodline. 

I have come across a breeder who has little knowledge and experience of breeding quality birds who boasts that he does not line-breed and that his birds are out-crosses.  The short answer is that there can only be out-crossing when the birds have been line-bred over many generations.  Constant 'out-crossing' is not out-crossing in the accepted sense of the word.  It is merely indiscriminate breeding to breed as many as possible so as to sell as many as possible.  This is what occurs in "puppy farms".

Last year, I was fortunate to be able to add Falcon to my very small number of males that have proven that they are able to consistently produce great birds.  Falcon produced 6 males last year and I still have 4 which I intend to retain so that I can test their genetic potential.

Foremost in my stable of breeders is Ballet Dancer.  He is now 13 years old but still producing as well as he did when he was much younger.  Two great birds that he produced last year were Samson and Curve. I also have Pretty Boy and Falcon's father, Skyhawk amongst my top breeders. Pretty Boy produced Mint and others last year while Skyhawk produced a bunch of chicks but these are still too young to accurately assess their potential.

Finally, I have Apache.  He has produced wonderful male shamas such as Cochise, Piston and Funkie.  Apache has not produced anything for the past 3 breeding seasons. For this year, I am taking pains to try to get chicks from him. He has been paired with the most productive female that I have and they have been given the largest and most suitable aviary for breeding. The female has laid 4 eggs and commenced brooding today. I have seen the pair courting and mating so I have every hope that the eggs will be fertile.

Yesterday, I gave in to the temptation to temporarily transfer one of Falcon's sons to a cage to enable me to assess its potential although its tails, which are presently about 11", have not completed their growth.  My helper, who cares for the birds and knows them better than I do, cautioned against putting him in a cage as he might be a bit wild and his tails could be damaged.  I nevertheless lured him into a cage.

I took a quick assessment and immediately returned him to the aviary.  I had previously thought that he would be desirable to have but when I saw his display in the cage, I knew that he had the potential to be outstanding and I was afraid that he might damage his tails by fluttering around in the small cage I had used to trap him. Needless to say, he made my day. There is much to look forward to in my shamas for 2015.

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