Food Scoop or "Zhem Ayak"

Date Created: 04 July 2008

Author: Alan Gates

Source: Alan Gates

Owner: Alan Gates

Location: Central Asia

Click link to download the file: Food scoop.jpg (1 MB)

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Food Scoop or "Zhem Ayak" The Kazakhs, and so far it is only the Kazakh falconers that I have found who use a 'Zhem Ayak' which is a wooden food scoop to feed their eagles. This is not at every meal, but all eagles are feed on the arm and I could see that the 'Zhem Ayak' was quite a useful item. Meat is skinned and boned and then chopped into about one inch cubes, often the meat is well moistened with water. The 'Zhem Ayak' is held just under the eagles beak where she readily eats the diced meat quickly until the bowl is empty. First advantage is the ability to get vital moisture into the eagle in the very dry environment. Secondly, and this is important as most, if not all Kazakh eagles are taken as eaglets. Using a 'Zhem Ayak' helps to avoid aggressive food tendencies from developing, as it is not advisable to feed a large lump of meat in the gloved hand. The 'Zhem Ayak' filled with chopped meat and held at head level removes that feeling of threat the eaglet feels with the falconer looming over her as she pulls at meat in the glove. For more information on Mongolian Berkutchi visit

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