Nov 14

The Chicks Have Arrived!

Our Penguin Encounter is celebrating the first hatching of the season with the arrival of three macaroni chicks, ranging from four to six days old. One bird is with the parents in the exhibit and the other two are being hand-raised in the nursery and fed five times a day a special formula of ground herring fillets, krill, minerals, vitamins and water. At about four weeks, the hand-raised birds are weaned off formula and will begin a diet of mostly fish. They will go into the Encounter when they have their waterproof feathers or juvenile plumage at about six to 10 weeks.

We are also keeping a watchful eye on other future hatchings inside the Encounter. Other eggs recently laid represent three different species of penguins: macaroni, Adelie and gentoo, which are due to hatch within the next three to four weeks. SeaWorld San Diego is world renowned for its successful penguin breeding program. Since 1980, more than 500 penguin chicks have been hatched and raised at the marine-life park, including the first-ever chinstrap and emperor penguins. Our aviculturists have had a worldwide impact in pioneering techniques for hand-raising penguin chicks.