PENGUIN PASSION - FINAL INSTALLMENT

Here is an update for all you penguin fans. Breeding season went reasonably well this year. We had five pairs lay eggs.  Some of the eggs were infertile, never developing. However, from the fertile eggs we hatched three chicks. Currently we are hand rearing these birds off exhibit. Care for these birds is time consuming. We start out feeding the chicks seven times a day. They get a mixture of fish filets and formula. Animal care staff skins, de-bones, and then filets all the fish used. They also prep the formula used every morning. The chicks get weighed before and after each feeding to make sure they are gaining the correct amount. Currently, all the chicks have made it to 30 days of age. This is the critical time for penguin chick as many are lost in the first month, both in the wild and captivity. They are starting to eat whole fish and are usually ravenous. We have dropped them down to feeding three times a day. Soon they will be on the same feeding schedule as the adults. About a month from now they will have their waterproof plumage and will end up out on exhibit. So keep an eye out for them when you next visit the zoo. They will be the penguins that are all blackish grey. Right now you can still see last year’s chick on exhibit this same color. But he will soon molt into his adult plumage and look like the rest of the flock. See you soon!

About Cheryl Dykstra

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Animal Management Supervisor, Birds and Fish

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Comments

#1 Nick said:

Glad to see that we will have new penguins in the zoo this year!


#2 Heather Francis said:

The penguins are our favorites!


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