December 1st, 2005

The fun of starting pure milli culture and YS further advanced touch target and crickets again


Note: Normal weight range of shama is 28 - 32 grams
from the information below .


It was with relief that YS was singing as usual this morning. He continued to sing when I joined him so he was not giving me his silent treatment this time despite no MM was in his cage.

YS weighed in at 33.1 gm.

I measured for him MM at 38.3 and placed that in his cage.

We then went through the various exercises of flying to me, stepping up and touching target. My stocks of millis in the holding box was low, and the same with the suri holding box with only a couple of small suris. So YS only got one milli for each click. Even so, the exercises were shortened.

I then decided that I would set up a batch of millis purely by themselves. From regarding them as unwanted inhabitants of the smb taking up food meant for the suris, the millis now assumed almost a key role.

The smb 2 had plenty of suris. But when I first set that up, I took great care not to have millis in them, until tired by having to select suris, and I wanted to introduced baby suris into smb 2, I added two or three scoops peatmoss, baby suris and whatever in that peatmoss from smb 1 into into smb 2.

That was why smb 2 contained millis. But not in the quantity like that of smb 1.

So I took smb 1 out of retirement so I could get a load of millis for their own culture, and since I was at it, extract more suris into the suri holding box.

YS was used to me scooping up peatmoss with the intermediate box to selct suris and occasionally holding up a milli for him. He did wait patiently but he sensed I was not going to do the usual stuff. He decided to participate and flew into the open smb 1 to help himself. YS had no more fear of me or my hand. He squawked at me when I tried to brush him away, giving my fingers a couple of pecks. From a bird that stayed far from me, he was getting very familiar with me. In his rush to get the goodies, he nearly made me upset the intermediate box. So I removed smb 1 and all requred boxes together with myself out of the flight room so I could get the millis and suris in peace.

You seen how small those millis were, and even with tweezers, it took time to get the few hundreds of millis together with their adults and pupaes to stake the milli culture. And suris for the holding box.

Oatmeal and bran was used as the substrate for the pure mill culture.

At 12 30 pm, I weighed the MM to be 38.0 or a drop of 0.3 gram.

YS was 32.8 gram. Obviously, he did not get this training exercises when I was gathering the millis and suris. Hence he did not have his treats other than the few immediately after his morning weighing. He sneaked off a couple of millis and suris that I described earlier.

I deliberately gave less MM as I wanted to take his weight down. But at 32.8 gm , that was too low for my liking. So I top up the MM to 38.3 gm.

I then left for lunch. And to get more crickets as the last cricket was eaten by YS about 3 weeks ago. Earlier, I felt crickets were too big for regular treats. But a cricket as a jackpot, and at end of exercises would not lead to a fat bloated YS. That can also be a good incentive for YS so he would enjoy the training at first and hopefully leading to a meaningful bonding and friendship with me.

And my wife Joy will get her 'jungle sounds' from the crickets again and she actually asked for that.

I came back not only with the crickets , I also had a bag of guppy fishes. With the usage of millis for the bulk of the c & t, I could be generous with YS with special jackpots and to add variety to his diet.

The bulk of the crickets were placed in smb 3. Smb 3 had peatmoss and suris, and with hindsight, millis added. The peatmoss should allow the crickets to lay their eggs and perhaps I could get smaller crickets eventually.

The fishes were placed into a small aquarium bought specially for them.

Shortly after that, at 4 15 pm, the MM was weighed to be 38.1 and YS at 32.9 gm

I top up the MM to 38.8 grams.

With the replenished millis, and suris, and crickets, it was time for our exercises again. YS at 32.9 gm was a bit lower than I wanted and time for him to profit from my morning work and the shopping I did for his behalf.

So I reverted to what I did yesterday. He got 1 or 2 or 3 milli for each click when he flew to me.

He was much sharper at the step up exercises. He step to my finger and step to the chair and step back to my finger and step to the table and back to me and on the perch next to me. I got him to step from right hand to left hand and to right hand. He got himself a nice cricket for that. It was so much nicer giving him cricket directly now rather than the firt 3 weeks when he would take cricket only when I place that in his cage cricket bowl.

I brought him to my shoulder but that was when it failed again and he flew to door perch.

But this is only the 2nd day.

He was also very sharp on the touch target. I hold it high, I hold it low, to the left and to the right. He never hesitated and got himself nice millis.

I then up the ante. I had always hold the target within pecking range of him.

I hold the target further this time. He waited, and I waited, and spoke softly to him to go touch target. He hopped to get within reach of the target and touch target. That made me happy. He got the super jackpot for that. First he got a suri, and then he got another cricket.

At 6 pm, the MM remained at 38.1 gm but I top up to 38.8 gm as YS was 33.4 gm.

Another short training session was done as an excuse to give him millis and suris to get his weight up.

I was gratified to see him 15 minutes later flying into his cage and eating his MM.

How much he ate I would only know the next day. I was too lazy to weigh the MM immediatly, or YS for that matter. But I guess he should be around 34 gms in the evening.

After he slept, I went in to remove the MM.

We will see what his morning weight will be tomorrow.


Note: Normal weight range of shama is 28 - 32 grams
from the information below .

If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.

Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

or to WWF or other conservation bodies of your choice

free webpage hit counter