Three very cute Purple Gallinule chicks
Three Purple Gallinule chicks are doing well after losing their mum.
Keeper Becky Waite explains “I am hand-rearing three Purple Gallinule chicks which were hatched in an incubator. We found their mum had an injury – she was in a large aviary with her mate, last years offspring and several other species and it might just have been an accident. Sadly she died but all three eggs hatched and the chicks are doing really well. They have been fed every four hours but now the oldest is one week old I’m pleased to say that they are starting to peck and eat for themselves. They are putting on good weight and once old enough they will be out in an aviary so visitors will be able to see them.”
This species have remarkably large feet. They are members of the rail family and their other name is the Purple Swamphen, which gives a clue to where their long toes prove useful.
They are able to walk on floating vegetation, and clamber across reeds and swamps. They also use their feet to grab young shoots and bring the food towards their beak. Their diet is mainly leaves and shoots, but they will also take snails and even eggs from the nests of other water birds.
More photographs and info on this species here