Abandoned eggs, as well as the eggs of rare and endangered birds are brought here to improve their chances of hatching. Eggs are candled to check for fertilisation before they are incubated. Automatic egg turners in the incubators do what parent birds do, to warm the eggs evenly and prevent embryonic membrane from sticking to the shells. The temperature and humidity of the incubators are controlled and the lights are dimmed to simulate natural nest conditions.
Hatchings are brought here and housed in brooders, which provide a sound-proof and controlled environment to keep them safe and warm. Our bird ‘nannies’ have a hectic schedule, as the chicks have to fed every two or three hours. Their food must be served at a temperature of between 40 and 44 deg C. Anything hotter than that will hurt the chick’s crop, the expandable pouch used by birds to store food. Food that is too cold cannot be digested by the chick.