Friday, January 25, 2013


Friday, 25 January 2013

A decision has been taken by the Keepers to hand rear our penguin chicks this season.  Some years we take a break as our numbers are sufficient in the penguin pool and there is not a demand for surplus stock.
Penguin chick in eggPenguin chick hatching April 10Penguin chick in hand DSC_0015
We have 10 breeding pairs of Humboldt Penguins at the Park.  On average they lay two eggs that take between 39 – 42 days to incubate and hatch.  Our penguins are not very good parents!  Instead of regurgitating fish for their young they tend to pick up leaves, twigs and small pebbles and feed the chicks which is very dangerous.  Sometimes they just leave the chick by itself and not sit correctly on the nests so the chick gets cold and dies.

Penguin chick being syringe fedPenguin chick with fat belly DSC_0215Marian_Baby Penguins @ 20%

Once the chicks hatch they are weighed daily and then fed 10% of their body weight three times a day until they are around three months of age.  A liquidised fish soup is prepared with calcium, vitamins and a saline solution added.  Syringes are used to feed with data and records kept daily on size, weight and growth and an important emphasis put on sterilization and keeping all areas as clean as possible to avoid any bacterial infections.

The incubators have all been checked and serviced, all equipment is being organised and then to sort out the penguin breeding caves with the necessary nesting material they need to make a nice comfortable bed for the breeding stock to lay their eggs.  Excitement all round will keep you all posted……
Barrow load of trouble P1020866

No comments: