Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Care of shamas

9 August 2013

Dear mr. David,

My name is Sean. I’m from Arizona, USA. I have 2 male shamas that i bought from Andy Doan in California.  After their 3rd moult,  they don’t sing as much and as loud anymore. Should I get a female shama for them?  

I’m feeding them insectivoir Mazuri,  superworms and crickets everyday.   Do u think they might lack of vitamins?  What kind and brand of vitamin should i give it to them and where can i find them? Can i have the website?

My biggest problem is taking care of the tail.  they are in biggest bamboo cage and taking a bath every couple days.  Doesn’t matter what kind of food I’m feeding them,  their tails never look good and healthy.  I’m so depressed.  Can u please help me?  I’d appreciate it.



14 August 2013

Hi Sean,

I have corresponded with Andy over very many years.  I think he has some of the best shamas in the USA.  You should be happy with the birds from him.

The shama in captivity will be in his prime when he is about 4 years of age.  He should therefore be approaching his prime after the 3rd moult and should be singing and displaying better than ever.  The drop in the performance of your birds could be due to several factors.  I will list some of them so that you can see if any are likely to apply to your birds:

*  The diet may be lacking in vitamins and other supplements. I would think that Mazuri, superworms and crickets is not likely to meet all the nutritional needs of the shama.  It is advisable to give a multi-vitamin supplement with very high doses of vitamin B.  Nowadays, I use the Energy Revitalization System that I purchase from  I add this to the dry food.

* Shamas require some oil in their diet.  I add extra virgin palm oil or cod liver oil or vitamin E oil or extra virgin coconut oil to the dry food.  These can all be purchased from Without oil the feathers, including the tails, tend to be dry and brittle.

* In the home, the shamas should be kept separate so that they are not within sight of each other.  I try to keep them at least 10 feet apart.

* They should be offered a bath daily and at least once every 2 days.  Bathing keeps the feathers clean and assists in feather growth during the moult.

* Do not expose them to prolonged light during the night.  If you go to bed late, cover the cages with a cloth.

It is not feasble to give detailed advice by correspondence.  You may wish to refer to my blog where the needs of the shama are considered in greater detail.  If you know Andy, he will be the best person to assist you.

Best regards,


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