After a busy couple of months, the 50th egg of the 2021/22 season has hatched at the Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow.

Meet Mn.Irr7 (affectionately known as ‘Rum’ because it rolls off the tongue a bit easier). This wee chick arrived at the Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow as an egg on October 16th, and on November 15th at 1:45am he* hatched happy, healthy, and completely unassisted – just how we like ‘em.

‘Rum’ hails from Mananui (near Raetihi). When the egg was collected from the wild and delivered to the Burrow, it was aged 51 days in gestation. After being tucked up all nice and cosy in an incubator for just over a month, ‘Rum’ hatched at a healthy 345.5g. That might sound small but it’s actually a pretty healthy weight for a freshly hatched chick.

When ‘Rum’ hatched, he had a full set of feathers (they were pretty eggy though), unlike other species of bird which hatch featherless and naked. After a couple of days in a ‘fluffer’ to dry him out and fluff up his feathers, he was moved to the brooder room where he’s flatting with Tk.Sum8 (also known as ‘Cheeseman’ for simplicity’s sake).

In about three weeks’ time, after he’s put on weight and is eating well, ‘Rum’ will be released to Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari where he’ll become part of the founder kiwi population there and live the rest of his days safe from predators, making kiwi friends, and breeding the next generation of chicks.

Well done to the team at the Crombie Lockwood Kiwi Burrow for looking after ‘Rum’ and all of his mates so well. As always, special thanks must go to Crombie Lockwood and the team at Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary for making this mahi possible.

*Or she … we won’t know until DNA testing has been completed.