Bearded vulture captive breeding: hatching time at Vallcalent

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This chick hatched a few days ago in the Vallcalent specialized captive breeding center near Lleida (Catalonia, Spain). It is the third hatchling of a productive pair that laid three eggs this winter. In the last seven years this female has laid 14 eggs, from which 11 chicks hatched!

On hatching day, the female opened a 2€ size hole on the egg shell early in the morning, but the chick did not manage to get out. The process was regularly monitored throughout the day, and in the evening, noting that the egg membrane had dried and was stuck to the chick, we have decided to open the remains of the egg, and remove the chick. In the meantime the breeding pair was given a dummy egg so that they do not lose their breeding stimuli.

The chick was then cleaned, disinfected, and force-fed. This process will continue for one week (feeding the chick every four hours!), after which it will be returned to the parents. Its two siblings, hatched earlier, have already been adopted by foster parents and are doing well. Short nights and busy times for our staff at Vallcalent!

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