A very special New Year baby

The chick was born at the National Kiwi Hatchery, at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua. Photo: Supplied.

A wee kiwi chick was determined to see in the start of the New Year, and after five long days working to get out of its shell, made its way into the world at 9am on January 1.

The chick was born at the National Kiwi Hatchery, at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua.

The kiwi weighed 328.2 grams when it hatched and its sex won’t be known for a while yet, as the feathers need to be sent away for testing.

Staff at the National Kiwi Hatchery have been working around the clock over the festive time as the kiwi hatching season reaches the halfway point.

Kiwi Husbandry Manager Emma Bean says the festive season doesn’t slow anything down at the National Kiwi Hatchery.

“We’ve had over 80 chicks hatch from the first clutch of eggs, which have been arriving since October.

“The second clutch has now started to arrive, and the hatching season will run through until April.

“We often have birds hatching over the holidays, so it has been work as usual for the team. We were here on Christmas day and New Year ’s Day celebrating with the chicks, they even got a few extra bugs for their Christmas lunch.

“Unlike the rest of us who might be trying to lose some weight after over indulging throughout the holidays, this little chick will now be trying to bulk up, so it can reach its stoat-proof weight of 1kg.”

Emma says on average it takes 78 days of incubation before the egg hatches and the new kiwi chick joins the world.

“The kiwi chick then lives at the Hatchery for four weeks before heading to a sanctuary or to an outside habitat here at Rainbow Springs to grow up to 1kg before being released back into the forest.”

For more information about the National Kiwi Hatchery, or sponsoring a kiwi visit https://www.nationalkiwihatchery.org.nz


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