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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How young can the white-rumped shama start to breed?

In chicken, both the hen and rooster when reach age around 6 months old, they can start to breed. Young rooster might needs few more month of age to produce fertile eggs. I wish this is the case for the white-rumped shama, but it's not! :)
As few others who breed this bird before me, and from what I learn, the female can start to lay egg at around 1 years of age (the following season after the first molt), while the male needs to be around 2 years of age to produce fertile eggs. In this breeding season, I have one pair that the male is two years old and the female is one year old. Both produced babies in their first ever clutch which confirm with what I learn. In other pair, both the male and the female are one year of age and in their first clutch, as of 16th days of incubation, no eggs hatched!
In conclusion, young shama can start to breed successful at an age of one year old in case of the female, and at an age of two years old for the male. As with other birds and other animals, first few years of breeding might not yield the most offspring. Too old or too young of a bird won't give max potential to produce offspring. I suspect that the shama will reach their full potential after 3-4 years of age.


  1. I totally agree with your thinking that breeding at young age may not yield good results.

    As for how young shamas in captivity are known to breed sucesfully, I was told by DDS that he had bred from birds (both males and females) as young as 8 months (after 1st molt). Of course, this is not to say that they should be bred at that age. You are most probably right about them reaching max potential at 3-4 years.

  2. As bird keeper/breeder, I want to breed our bird as soon as possible so we can have lots of baby birds and contribute a small chance to increase the total population of shama in captivity. I also totally agree that bred young bird (less than one year old) is somewhat on the dangerous side as it could stunt the growth of the female, cause egg binding, or male might kill the female due to inexperience/not yet mature, unless one can provide great care to minimize those risk. In my case, the young pair are both around 10 months of age, and the other female that are paired with 2 years old male is also around 10-11 months of age. I want to experiment myself to see how young they can breed, to see how my feeding program is doing to the bird in somewhat extreme case like this, and to see what is the somewhat maximum potential of the bird so in the future I can have better plan in keeping/breeding these bird with minimal care and lest cost, yet yield max potential and healthy bird.