Despite the seemingly never ending rain, the last few days have been brightened by some births and hatchings.
Early in the week the Swainson’s lorikeets hatched one of their eggs. As you can see the chick emerges bald apart from a small amount of down, so it is kept warm by one of the adults during the day and at night both parents will sleep in the nest. These birds grow slowly and it will be eight weeks before the chick leaves the box.
Thursday saw the arrival of four baby guinea pigs. Unlike, most rodents guinea pigs are born covered in fur, with their eyes open and are able to run around. Although, they will suckle for several weeks they will also begin to eat solid food almost straight away.
Also giving birth yesterday was Priscilla the meerkat. Her triplets created great excitement amongst the rest of the group, who have all been keen to take their turns babysitting the pups.
Finally, our first lamb was born this morning. The Southdown was quickly up on his feet and suckling. It is important that the lamb suckles soon after being born as the ewe’s first milk, known as colostrum, contains antibodies which give a boost to the lamb’s immune sytem.