Sunday, 21 June 2009

A Feathered Father's Day

Here at Dartmoor Zoo we have 9 rhea and recently one of our female's has started laying eggs. The eggs are quite big and weigh around 500-700g each and are a creamy colour with a thick shell.

The reproduction behaviour of these birds are quite strange as the female's lay the eggs and then the male's incubate and look after the chicks once they have hatched.

Our male's have made nests by scraping the ground and lining them with some leaves. Female's can lay up to 60 eggs per year and once they start laying during spring/summer time they often lay an egg every other day.

We are pleased to say that 3 of our male rhea are sitting on eggs at the moment and hopefully in a few weeks time we will have rhea chicks running around the paddock. The male's are been very protective about the eggs and won't even move for food. We have to go up to them (while they are hissing at us) and throw some food by them so they get something to eat.

The eggs take around 35-40 days to hatch so we will let you know if any do!

No comments:

Post a Comment