Jeffrey Low

Monday, October 20, 2014

Just how good is the dry food we use for our shamas?

A good dry food will provide all the nutrients required in the right proportions:

1) For growth

2) For maintenance and performance

3) For renewal of the feathers

4) For reproduction

And finally, if it is really good enough, the parent bird will even use it to feed her chicks!

Katrina choosing to feed her chicks with the moistened dry food instead of the crickets.

Katrina holding a lump of moistened dry food between the beaks and encouraging her chicks to pick up the food on their own, from the cage floor.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Polygamy in captivity - polygynous and polyandrous mating to facilitate the breeding strategy

In the wild, the male and the female shamas will both provide parental care, thus indicating that they are monogamous by nature. Perhaps, under certain circumstances, there may be occasions where a shama in the wild could have more than one mate within a breeding season, such as the losing of a mate to predators early in the breeding season. In captivity however, polygamy can be employed if the breeding strategy requires a single bird to be bred to more than one mate during a breeding season.

The polygynous mating system uses a single male to be mated successively to several females during the breeding season and the polyandrous mating system uses a single female to be mated successively to several males during the breeding season.

Below are the videos of two clutches resulting from polygynous mating, using a single male mated to two females successively. The male was removed from the aviary of the first female 2 days after she started incubation and placed with the second female. The first clutch started hatching on 22nd September and the second clutch on 30th September. Both females are now raising their respective clutches on their own without the male.

As part of the breeding plan, these two females, both still fresh from their annual molt, will be bred  to other males later on during this same breeding season. Hence they will be participating in both polygyny and polyandry within a single breeding season.