Thursday, October 22, 2009

Captive Bred vs Wild Caught

Now, this is an old topic that was hotly debated many times before. My thoughts are that it is an unfair comparison especially when proponents of wild caught Shamas points out to the many good wild stocks that is in the competition arena. I have kept many wild caught Shamas and I can say that not all of them are equal. As is always the way life is - its never fair ;) Some are just more gifted than others just like us humans.

The reasons why there are a lot of good wild Shamas around are just a game of probability. See, most Shamas kept in this region are caught from the wild and for every good Shama found in the arena, many more has been rejects. Serious breeders of the Shama can be counted. There are not many of them around. What the proponent of wild caught Shamas need to do is point to a lesser captive bred specimen and loudly proclaims that "I told you so", "cannot play one". He fails to realise that captive bred birds are not yet well represented. Given time and as the numbers of captive bred Shamas become available, I am more than certain excellent specimens will emerge on the competition scene.

After decades of harvesting good birds from the wild, could it be possible that the gene pool of excellent Shamas from the wild has been depleted? Many old timers who has been around long enough to see birds of yesteryears and what is available now would testify to that. It seems that it is becoming more and more difficult to find Shamas that are truly excellent.

I believe Shama connoiseurs has no choice but depend on captive breeding to maintain the quality of birds. Breeding from fine specimens and selecting traits that are desirable appears to be the best way forward.

Of course not all will agree with me. But that is the beauty of us humans. We can agree to disagree and only time will tell. :)

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