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Tiny new arrival at Rainbow Springs

Tiny new arrival at Rainbow Springs

Rotorua, 21 February, 2012 – A tiny new 238g kiwi chick has hatched at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua.

The chick, which arrived a week ago, is part of the park's captive breeding programme and the smallest to ever arrive at the park's Kiwi Encounter hatchery.

Kiwi Encounter Kiwi Husbandry Manager Claire Travers says, "Chicks usually average at least 340g so this one is quite small. The chick needed help to break out of its shell, which is quite an exhausting and long task, but apart from that it's fit and healthy."

Claire adds that the chick's weight has dropped to only 187g since it hatched, but this isn't of concern.

"It's quite normal for the weight of newborn chicks to decrease; this is due to the chick getting its nourishment from the yolk which it internalises in the egg during development. The chick has just begun eating on its own and will soon start piling on weight.

"The chick is doing really well and is a favourite with everyone."

And it was a real family affair incubating the egg. It's dad Tika's first egg and after mum Ahi laid it, he refused to sit on it so granddad incubated the egg until it hatched.

The new chick is part of the captive breeding programme at Rainbow Springs and will remain at the park for public viewing.

Kiwi Encounter would like to acknowledge, as always, the ongoing support of BNZ Save the Kiwi trust. All Kiwi Chicks big and small need a “kick start” in life and thanks to the BNZ and Kiwi Encounter chicks are able to get that.

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