The Ostrich herd at Switzerland’s Zoo Basel has grown significantly with the hatching of ten chicks since December 20 to mother Manyara, age 21, and father Baringo, age 20. Manyara and Baringo shared the job of incubating their eggs, with the male taking the night shift and the female brooding during the day. Their efficient system has been perfected over years of practice: Manyara and Baringo have produced more than 110 chicks since 2000. All the chicks were brooded and hatched naturally, with no incubators or human assistance.
Obesity or overly rapid growth can have a negative impact on bone development in young Ostriches. Therefore, feed quantities for the baby Ostriches are tailored to the age and number of animals. Care is also taken to ensure that the feed has the ideal ingredients. For example, calcium – a mineral important for bone growth – is given to the animals via greens, shell limestone, and a special mixture of vitamins and minerals. The chicks are also weighed regularly to monitor their healthy growth and development.
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