This week we have been thrilled to announce the arrival of a second King Penguin chick and I thought I would take the chance this week to blog about him/her
Chick number hatched on the 29th of September. This was egg number 5 and the second from Frank & Lily, the parents of the first chick. What made this hatch more special is that this is the egg the Frank dropped and cracked. A bit of false skin and the egg was repaired but this was the first egg to hatch in my time after suffering damage.
The hatch was not as clean as with the first chick. It was quite mucky within the egg and the chicks head was trapped under its wing, held tight by some dried membrane. Once the wing was freed the chick hatched pretty quickly and weighed in at 204 grams, one gram heavier than its older sibling (the egg was 1 gram lighter than the first)
We had to keep a very close eye on the chick as it had a small protrusion from where it was attached to the yolk. This was treated with anti-septic spray which is why you may see some purple on the chick from early photos. The protrusion has since slothed off with now problems
After 24 hours in the hatcher the chick was moved into the brooder and feeding began. From the very first feed chick number two has been a pig, taking maximum amounts at every feed. With the previous 3 that I have hand reared I have never known this. Needless to say that as a result this chick is heavier by some way than the first at the same stage. As of 4pm this afternoon, at 18 days of age the chick weighed 640 grams, some 60 grams heavier when compared to number one. It is definitely Franks daughter!
In 3 days time, we will reduce the number of feeds that the chick receives but increase the amount, from 10% of its weight to 15%. Diet is now pretty much 50:50 formula to solid and increase now will be in solids only. The brooder temperature is being reduced every day as the chick is now developing a thin layer of down, which will keep it warm enough. Pretty soon it will be out of the brooder altogether, like its larger sibling
You can see a video of both chicks through the Gloucester News Centre, link attached
The larger chick continues to thrive. Today it weighed in at 2 and a half kilo. It is down to 2 feeds a day and today was significant as it spent time in the enclosure for the first time. We have made a small pen for the chick so it cannot be attacked or stood on by 12 adults and also so it cannot fall in the pool. We will slowly increase the amount of time outside as the chick gets bigger.
As soon as chick 1 was introduced, all 12 adults came to check him/her out. There was lots of calling from both the chick and the adults. Lily (mum), Seth, Norman & Bill (granny) were particularly interested and were seen going through the options of regurgitating in response to the chicks calls. All the action was captured by the BBC, with Victoria Cook from BBC South recording all the action, which will have been on tonights news and hopefully on Points West and Newsround in the next few days
In other news
The new Humboldt Penguins are now starting the second course of meds so should be out next week
The Sacred Ibis have a late and unexpected chick
Wildlife has included several late Hornets
Thanks for reading