October 20th, 2005

Shamaism on the six day

This morning Ivan got to wake me up rubbing his cold cold nose on my face.

I thought I give a final test of the frozen crickets. Thawed 3 of them and took that to YS with his dry food and my breakfast.

To my relief, YS appeared normal and frisky when I got there. The events of yesterday was forgiven. I checked his dropping and saw a greenish tinge to the white, an indication of stress as in David's guide to shama shit. So even though YS appeared to forgive me, I found it difficult to forgive myself for that fiasco.

I put the dry food in and the empty cricket bowl and had my breakfast.

I was thinking that with the distinct sound of the cricket zapper, perhaps YS used that to determine if I gave thawed or zapped cricket. Using my body to hide my actions, I went through the motions, including using the zapper , to disguise that I was using a thawed cricket.

That did not work. He took the thaw cricket from the bowl, dropped it down and ignored it. I tried a couple more times. He responded only to the live zapped cricket. I decided to junk all those frozen crickets and threw them away.

The silicone cement had set. I rigged up the perches in the flight room. In addition to the cut pieces of wood I used, I also included thicker ropes as perches. I could not find sisal rope or cotton rope that I wanted and had to use the plastic ropes instead.

I returned David's call and told him that this is a blog which gets updated regularly, or at least I try to. He then went and brought himself to date with the entries and gave very useful suggestions such as dining table for YS to bang his cricket on and the way he tame shamas gradually.

That was one reason why there is an armchair in the flight room and a table as well. I like to be comfortable whenever I can. Training YS on the table will be easier for me.

Since I like to be able to take YS out into the open, and in safety, there are some very clear stages before that can happen. YS is in the flight room.

1 YS must come onto my hand and shoulder when called. Obviously this will make it easier to get him back into the cage rather than to wait for him to go into the cage. The worse, and never again to be repeated by me, is to catch him to put him back into the cage.

2 Only when YS come onto my hand/shoulder when called will I let him into the apartment and a much bigger volume and area to fly in. That is why it is so important to do that first in a smaller space such as the flight room.

3 In the apartment, YS must play at hide and seek with me. YS must come to me when called even if I am in another room. Part of the training with Tinkerbell was this hide and seek. Tinkerbell will look for me, and come to me in another room when called. Without this, it is not possible to take a flighted bird outside.

I will need to get into formal clicker training as that will be the only way to train and bond with a flighted bird and the only way to get all the above.

This phase is only in the 'get to know you' stage.

For some basics on clicker training, check out http://www.livejournal.com/users/shanlung/3419.html

If you buy the set "Clicker training for birds" by Melinda Johnson, you will find many of my photos of Tinkerbell inside the CD. Karen Pyror of "Do not shoot the dog" had said some nice things of me.

Barbara Heidenreich in http://www.parrotchronicles.com/2005/features/harness/harness.htm
nicely mentioned about me and my training of Tinkerbell.

But more important than all that, I drank with that Lin from Tsaoling as without him, I will not have dared to try with a shama.

But to start on clicker training, I need a good basic food for YS so I can proceed on clicker training knowing that his health and well being is already taken care of. YS MUST like that basic food too, and not starve himself for the crickets that he knew I feed him with.

I was tempted to let YS out but I need to get the dining table for YS as pointed out by David. I need also to get mealworms and I still searching for that Great Northern White beans that I need to complete the ingredients to start on making a basic shama mash for YS that perhaps YS will like to eat. Maybe YS might like the mash. Tinkerbell loved the mash and hardly touch the top quality parrot dry food formulated by big company and experts that I left around for her.

And if YS eat, I will be checking his shit to see if it conform to David shama shit test criteria.

I failed in the search for the GNW beans. That was an irony. I searched for that in Taiwan and failed, but my wife Joy came to Singapore and bought it in a nearby supermarket. Except the supermarket stop selling that.

But I got 3 nice pieces of flat stones good for YS dining table and meal worms.

It was too late in the day even though I was tempted to let YS try out the new perches in the room.

I will do that tomorrow morning. I will deliberately just give him the dry food. Put the bath out for him as suggested by YS. Then after an hour or so, I will use the cricket to entice him back into the cage.

We will see how it go.

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