After a somewhat harsh and unforgiving winter in Torbay this year. Paignton Zoo are celebrating the dawn of Spring.
Spring means new beginnings
Spring at Paignton Zoo’s means births and new beginnings as bird keepers are busy overseeing a clutch of hatchlings.
Staff, at the zoo, have a host of new hatchlings to care for including, Crested Pigeon, Speckled Pigeon, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Golden Pheasant Chicks and Red-Crested Pochard Ducklings.
Feeding up to 5 times a day
With all these new births, feeding time can be a little manic with some species of bird needing to feed up to 5 times a day.
The chicks are looked after and weighed every day to ensure food is consumed and records are up to date.
A meticulous and dedicated part of the important work that is carried out by the zoo.
High in protein formulated food
The pochard ducklings are fed on a diet of chick crumbs (a high in protein formulated food) and lettuce.
Pigeon chicks are fed on crop milk, usually regurgitated by the parent, lovely.
At Paignton Zoo, however, keepers improvise and use a syringe with a small catheter.
Crop Milk is slowly dropped from the Pigeon Chicks diet and is replace by gains, seeds and minerals.
Daily feeds start early, at 8am and are scheduled throughout the day up until 5pm.
With some of the chicks having that all too cute factor it can be hard to not come attach to these beautiful birds.
common in Australia and Sub-Saharan Africa
That said, there are some species of who are appealing out of their sheer ugliness.
Crested pigeon, also known as the Ocyphaps Lophotes is a bird often found in mainland Australia .
Whilst the speckled Pigeon, or Columbia Guinea, is found much across the sub-Saharan Africa.
All of the birds need addition care and this adds to the regular duties of the staff at the zoo.
At Paignton Zoo, every year, bird keeps hand-rear species that need a helping hand or to boost numbers to keep the zoo popular at the right level.
Paignton Zoo staff have chosen to hand rear various pigeon species to develop husbandry protocols.