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Amy shares the egg hatching process

Since the exciting arrival of the crane eggs, I have been extremely busy. As Roland and Damon headed back to Germany to pick up the last few eggs, Nigel and I stayed back to so we could incubate, hatch and care for the chicks. It has been really exciting to watch the eggs moving, pipping and then finally seeing the chicks break out of the shell!

When the chicks first hatch they need to be kept warm and dry and left to recover from the exhausting process of hatching. Then we need to teach them to drink, eat and encourage them to walk around to strengthen their muscles to stop them from being so wobbly! This is done using brood calls and a model of a cranes head and neck, which simulates the parents feeding them and also stops them from imprinting on humans. We have to hatch and rear each chick individually as they are extremely aggressive towards one another in the first few weeks of their lives. This makes feeding, cleaning and monitoring progress a very time consuming process! However, we are pleased all are doing very well so far and we are enjoying our work, even if we are a little tired!

Here is a video of one of the chicks as it hatches, followed with a picture once it has dried out and recovered from its hard work!

 

dried out chick just after hatching

- Amy King

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