Friday, May 29, 2009

RJF Chicks (update)

The 1st generation cross RJF chicks (Male - RJF crossed, Female - original RJF) appears to be lighter in colour than I anticipated. Was expecting a darker colouration. They are on the alert and aloof side and appears quite wild despite being raised in captivity and in the presence of humans. Perfect specimens to be released to the care of "Puteri Gunung Ledang" (Princess of Mount Ledang/ Mount Ophir) - trappers beware, these are the things that breeds mysterious stories ;)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Telomian Dog

This is non bird related but its a thing that I am also interested in. Actually its something I have been interested in longer than my bird keeping days.

It happen earlier this year (was meaning to write about it but just couldn't find the inspiration) when I visited the local council to get licenses for my dogs. Anyway, they are not new dogs, its just that I let the license expired too long and need to get new ones. Interestingly, I was passed some simple forms to fill up and part of it was attached to the brochure below. I noticed a dog "Telomian" (pictured below) and couldn't help myself but to ask for better clarification.

"What is a Telomian?" I asked. The reply was short and straight to the point - "anjing biasa" which means normal dogs. Well, I gave her a short lecture on "Mongrels" and "Telomians" which are distinctly different. All the while I have listed my dogs as Mongrels even though they are a pedigreed dog.

For the fun of it, I have decided to list my dogs as Telomians this year. Telomians are supposed to be an ancient breed of dog that originates from Malaysia. Not many people know that and if I have not been misled by what I have read, these are the real Malaysian dogs that one day I hope to keep and breed (in their true untainted form). I am not aware of any effort to save this ancient breed from extinction, maybe there is, maybe there isn't. Lets hope there is ;)

There is a vast improvement on the quality of the dog license badges that was issued and to that due compliment was quickly offered:

Starting again with Red-whiskered Bulbuls

Well, its as good as any time to re-start again my keeping of Merbah Jambuls (Red-whiskered Bulbuls). I did have a few some time ago. Most were given away and one was sold off. Now, I have started to toy again with the idea of grooming these bulbuls for competition. Wanted to use the tall cages that is popular in Singapore but have to give up due to difficulty in buying such cages.

Currently head count stands at 4....

Most hobbyists around this region uses the square "Penang cages" with some branches arranged like a miniature tree inside the cage. I have opted to use the "Thai cages" for my purpose with attached "bathroom facilities". This will drastically cut down the time needed to be spent on bathing them.

Penang Jambul:

Thai Jambul:

Can't recall this - he was kept for some time already by a friend:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Of White Crow and RJF chicks

Found this oddity of nature for sale in a bird shop. An albino crow. Now, what would be the occurence rate of an albino crow? One in a million? And one that survives to show itself? Anyway, I was made to understand that certain people view it as a lucky omen to have one.

Then on Vesak eve and on Vesak day itself, some RJF chicks hatched. All in 5 chicks hatched from 5 eggs I placed in my crude incubator. 1 eventually died due to some disorder that made the chick eats very little. The 4 surviving chicks appear to be quite healthy and active. Since they are born on an auspicious time, I have decided to release them in Asahan (near a place known as Mount Ophir or Gunung Ledang)when they grow bigger. This is a place full of mystery and legend. I have yet to scale this mountain, maybe one of these days ;)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Pest Control

It is inevitable that there will come a time when a bird keeper must turn to become a pest control specialist hahaha! Ample verbal and mental warnings (projecting a horrifying end to the predators should they dare come near) have been given but to no avail. Well, its a dirty job, but someone has to do it ;)
Especially after 3 birds has been eaten by them......

This is the first victim. Released 11km away from my place.

Forgot to take a photo of the 2nd victim...... aiyah! must remember, just in case it returns, the next punishment should be more severe.

The 3rd victim. Released near my daughter's school:

Now, if the stories of cats travelling hundreds of miles to reach home is anything to believe in, then the 10 over km is chicken feed for the felines. Hoping instead that since they are stary cats, their number one priority is food and shelter, releasing them in places with ample of these amenities may take their mind away from finding their way back to my neighbourhood.

Decisions are divided with as many people saying that poisoning them is the best method and I won't be transferring my problems to another neighbourhood. And as many who thinks that trapping and releasing is a more humane approach. Then again, seeing how humans are ruining the world, I actually do not care much for "humane" standards. So, I set my own standard - Plan A (chase and abusive words), Plan B (trap and release), Plan C (muahahaha! - evil laugh that trails off into the darkest night like in the movies), Plan D (you don't want to know)......

Wild Blue-crowned Hanging Parrot

Now, this is a rare sight of a Blue-crowned hanging parrot that actually flew down to my garden. It appears to be a female and shows no fear of humans walking up and down. She stopped for a while only and flew off after that.

It confirms a few things, one of which is that these little parrots can be found in the vicinity where I lives (which I suspected all along). Obviouly, she is attracted to the male hanging parrot I am keeping...... which means that the male probably could be made into a "pikat" :D

Anyway, I got no interest in keeping more than one of these noisy parrots ;)

Update (22nd May '09) - there are more than 1. Heard and saw a male flying and singing atop a tree.

Pikat (Red Jungle Fowl)

Continuing the story of the Red Jngle Fowl that was recently purchased. The below is the crow of the chicken:

Considered that it has caught 4 wild chickens so far despite its young age, its considered not bad a "pikat".

The "taji" that is just a bud like a pimple :D Shows the young age of the chicken.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Buying a Pikat (Red Jungle Fowl)

Buying a bird or a pet for oneself is already hard enough. Buying for a friend is even more difficult. Trust aside, there is the difference in judgement, preference and "gut feeling" factors. Especially so when choosing a bird to be trained as a lure (or locally know as a "pikat" or "denak"). Not only must it be beautiful, but there are many criteria to be met - its vocal sound, braveness, play etc. etc. which actually I am not too well versed with.

So, after dumping him under a tree beside the bird shop to see his reaction, I took him home base on gut feeling (and trusting the shop keeper) :D Its on the pricey side if you were to ask me (for a chicken, that is ;) )

Anyway, hope this chicken turns out well.

On another note, since I am writing on this RJF, a friend did mention to me his interest in organising a competition - "Pertandingan Kokok Ayam Denak" which basically translate to Chicken Crowing Competition :D
I think it has merits. Not only would it bring together a large crowd of enthusiasts who has been keeping these chickens quietly (Grey Area with the law), it would encourage breeding back the RJF to get the original crow.

Now, I wonder whether anybody has documented what a real RJF should sound like (I hope someone did), but the criteria set by trappers generally tallies and I do believe it has some basis. I do hope this friend of mine pulls it off (organising the competition) and may he receive all the help and assistance he needs from hobbyists and the relevant authorities. I know for sure there won't be a lack of candidates for such competitions.

Red Jungle Fowl with female feathers

A friend helped me acquire this chicken. The feathers are probably due to some spontaneous mutation as this colouring appears occassionally. I am sure there must be a term out there for it. For now, I must plead ignorance. Will be keeping him for fun and probably look into pairing him with a hen once he is ready ;)

Death of a Peaceful Dove

A couple of weeks ago, a dove that was in my care suddenly died. The saddest part about taking care of animals, especially birds is to have unexplained deaths. It could have been anything, a virus, an infectioned, scared by something, unseen congenital defects etc etc.

Anyway, luckily no other birds was affected and so, the mysterious death remains a speculation. It is a young "A" bird probably 7 to 8 months old given to me by a friend. Sigh! now I will not know how he will sound like :(

He is buried right at this spot, underneath a palm tree. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Change of dry food

Today I decided to go back to the drawing board and experiment on food a little bit. I wouldn't call it re-inventing the wheel though as it is all tried and tested stuff by some of the brilliant bird keepers out there. I think I will split the birds into 2 groups. One will be on this new dog food I found and another group will be put on my tried and tested dry food I have been using. Change would be made gradually by adding a teaspoon of this grounded god food to the existing food daily.

Now, this food is interesting because this is the first dog food that I have come across that was made into pellets that look like chicken feed. Not to mention having a higher protein contents than other brands. The below shows a picture of the pellets ready to be grounded to smaller bits.

Nutritional breakdown:

Crude protein 28%
Crude fat 18%
Crude fiber 4%
Moisture 10%

Chicken, Chicken By-Products (Organs only, Including Chicken Liver), Corn, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Brewers Dried Yeast, Cane Molasses, Egg Product, Salt, Sodium Propionate (a preservative), DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Folic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganous Oxide, Inositol, BHA (a preservative), Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Cobalt Carbonate, Potassium Iodine, Sodium Selenite.

Lets see how it goes.

Zeus (5)

Zeus went into a molt some months back. On record, his 2 primary tail feathers dropped on 9th March 2009. So, it has been 2 months already. His form is slowly rising. But still do not know whether he will reach his top form in time for a competition in June.

Found a place to "chai" Shamas and Jambuls in Muar. Will definitely check the place out one of these Sundays ;)

A friend's Jambul

Decided to upload a video of a friend's Red-whiskered Bulbul. I used to have a few some time back and have gradually given them away and finally sold the last one. Then, me being me, started to accumulate them back :D

Currently the number stands at four and I do not think that there will be any further increase. These birds, so far according to my short experince with them are quite challenging to bring up to their top form. Anyway, the process should be fun....

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Golden-fronted Leafbird

Received this Golden-fronted Leafbird as a gift from a friend. Went into a molt shortly afterwards and was most of the time quite peaceful and quiet. Now still yet to fully finish his molt but already getting a bit noisy. The advantage of having nearly all my birds molting is the anticipation of how all will turn out. Disadvantage is, it got pretty quiet and currently looks like going to be pretty noisy soon. What with the Shamas also coming up in their form. Plus the fact that all needed special care which I may not be able to meet fully vs if just a few birds were molting ;)

Seriously need to negotiate with the birds regarding their timing the next round hahahaha!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Serindit Mid-tone

I was told before that some Serindits (Blue-crowned hanging parrot) have a good repertoire of song. So far with my Serindit, his song is ok. Nothing to shout about, but nice enough for me. Then one day, I heard him doing his mid-tone. Quite impressive for a tiny parrot hahaha! The below is a video I made of him doing his mid-tone. Noise quality not too good as his mid-tone is quite soft but every tone he gives out is followed by a small flick of his tail.

Now, to test his loud song to the limit needs an arrangement to "chai" (challenge) him with similar adult birds. Hope I can document tyhe performance one of these days ;)