Historically important chick hatches at National Kiwi Hatchery

Apr 20, 2021

Keepers at the National Kiwi Hatchery are thrilled to announce the arrival of a very special kiwi chick.

The newly hatched chick, arrived on 31 March, is the offspring of a male called Tahi, who was the first kiwi chick born at the hatchery in 1987. While in residence at the National Kiwi Hatchery, Tahi sired 20 chicks and fostered about 16 eggs. He was released into Ōtanewainuku Forest, Bay of Plenty in 2017. Upon his release the team hoped Tahi would establish a territory, find a mate and incubate more eggs in the wild.

National Kiwi Hatchery manager Emma Bean says: “The team at the Ōtanewainuku Kiwi Trust have kindly kept us up to date with Tahi’s progress and they’ve invited us to Tahi’s health checks and egg lifts, which has been wonderful.”

“Unfortunately, it took him a while to find a female and her first three eggs were not viable, so receiving two viable eggs from him earlier last month was incredibly exciting.”

“Everyone at the Hatchery knows Tahi and we are just so pleased he has started his own family and that we have the privilege to look after his next generation.”

The chick is doing well, eating and gaining weight. Each day their health check will coincide with one of the hatchery tours, so some lucky manuhiri (visitors) will be able to see this extra special chick. The second egg is due to hatch over the April school holidays.

Kids can visit the hatchery free during the April school holidays (Saturday 17 April to Sunday 2 May) when they bring in completed colouring competition, entries available from the National Kiwi Hatchery website.

The National Kiwi Hatchery is open 8.30am to 2.00pm seven days a week during the school holidays. Outside of the holidays, it is open the same hours from Thursdays to Sundays. Tours run every hour on the hour starting from 9.00am with the last tour of the day at 1.00pm.