In just few short weeks, most if not all shama thrush keepers in the State is about to enter 2010 breeding season. With the cold and big rain/storm arrived to California for the last 2 weeks, hopefully there will be no such weather condition in upcoming months. If weather is co-operate and no big rain/storm coming in near future, I do plan to introduce the first pair (H3N1 and H2N1) at the last week of Feb. (just like last year). If by that time the weather is still too cold and forecast is expecting to have rain/storm coming, then this process will be delay until the rain/storm over.
A month later, I will plan to introduce the second pair (H1N1 and H4N1). The reason I choose a month later to introduce a second pair is in case if any of those two pairs for some reason decide to not incubate or raising young during the breeding season, it has a better chance that both females will lay eggs at around the same time (based on last year breeding, almost exact one month is the total time for the female starts to lay eggs, incubate, raise young, and start to lay eggs again) and I can use other female as segregate mother for the abandon eggs/chicks. Of course, no one want this to happen, but everyone should be prepare for the worst case scenario and hope for the best :)
I also plan to do some trial test with introduce a 3rd pair which both of the birds are under one year old of age. I want to see how young the shama can successfully breeding if they are feed with proper nutrients. Proper nutrients is meaning that I feed them with varieties of live food, good commercial dry food, and full spectrum of vitamins and minerals. I did not force feed them like farm animals, hehe I can't force feed them even if I want to.... lol.
I also hope that the pair of Hwamei will produce babies this year. This year will be officially the first year I try to breed Hwamei and will see that the pair is proven to still be able to breed or not as I have no idea how old they are. As you remember last year when I acquired the pair, it was too late in the breeding season and both birds are not in a condition to breed. I got few eggs last year that laid on the floor with very soft shell. Hopefully this year will be much better result.
Will try update everyone regularly the progress during breeding season. Until then, happy bird keeping and good luck to everyone who plan to breed any bird this year!