Keepers at Chester Zoo now have their hands full with the hatching of two Fischer’s Turacos. For their mother these were her first chicks and this inexperience led her to abandon the chicks.
Their foster father, Andrew Owens said, “It’s not unusual for a first-time mum to feel a little unsure as to what’s she’s to do with her new charges so I’m more than happy to step up and play parent.”
Andrew is the curator of birds for Chester. He provides the chicks round the clock care and takes them home each night so he can feed them every few hours.
Apparently the chicks are perfect house guests as Andrew explained, “Encouraging them to eat does require some patience and a little encouragement but once they’ve got full tummies then they’re usually happy to nod off to sleep. As youngsters go, other than meal times, they’ve been pretty un-demanding and I’m relieved to say they’ve not been keeping me up at night.”
They are fed small pieces of fruit using tweezers. On which they are growing fast so Andrew said that, “In no time at all though they’ll be ready to fledge and off to join the rest of the birds in the zoo.”
Fischer’s turacos are black birds with a black, red and white crest from Kenya, north-east Tanzania and Southern Somalia. They always lay two eggs which take 22-23 days to hatch.
Photo Credits: Chester Zoo