Hand Rearing____________________________________________________________

Our current breeding pair were both captive bred in 1995. They were paired together in 1996, and in 1998 they were given an outdoor aviary 28 feet x 10 feet x 14 feet high and offered a palmetto palm nest log as previously illustrated. On April 26th 1998, 3 eggs hatched. Eight days later on May 3rd, the Bird Department arrived at work to find the female in the keeper service hallway behind the exhibit. The female was caught and returned to the aviary. The male started to chase her very aggressively causing her to cower in the corner of the aviary on the floor. Meanwhile, the chicks were unattended, and there was no indication that the male had been in the log at all since the previous afternoon. The male was caught and restricted to an 8 x 10 foot anti-room that very fortunately adjoins the toco aviary. The 3 chicks were removed from the log for hand rearing, and the female was given free-roam of the aviary. Here follows a description of the Hand Rearing of those chicks.

Incidentally, the female was given a "broad-spectrum" antibiotic (Baytril) for 5 days after being mildly beaten by the male. Having completed her antibiotic treatment, the male was released back into the main aviary. The nest log was re-packed with moss, wood shaving and a little mud. The pair then started to re-nest: they excavated the nest log, they copulated, and 2 weeks after their introduction, eggs were laid. It is perhaps worth noting that egg / chick information described here is deduced from observing the adults. We prefer not to investigate birds’ nests for academic information gathering unless there is cause for concern.