Last year, Professor Charlotte Ann Ducky, a researcher from the genetics department of Bath University in collaboration with the ornithological arm of the British Museum, got in touch with me for some advice on hatching large bird eggs. After some discussion we worked out that the Prof. doesn't have a laboratory suitably equipped, and that her previous attempts to incubate the eggs have all failed, most probably because her postdocs tried to incubate the eggs using Bunsen burners and oil baths on electric hotplates. I agreed to incubate some of Prof. Ducky's eggs and rear the chicks for her in exchange for my name on her research paper.
The first three eggs hatched a few months ago. Unfortunately one egg was a dud, but the other two chicks are eating ratite food and thriving. Of the next batch of three, one of the eggs did not hatch and another chick died during hatching, but the third chick survived, giving us three birds in total. It is not known yet what sexes the chicks are. I would have posted the picture of the first chicks when they first hatched, but Charlotte wanted to wait until the research paper had been accepted for publication.
I hope the readers of my blog will enjoy looking at the pictures of these interesting and unusual birds. Unfortunately I have to leave off here as Sir David Attenborough is coming for lunch and the house is a mess.