Here at PROMIS Hay Farm we’re celebrating the arrival of 4 moorhen chicks. The chicks are, tiny black bundles of fluff no bigger than golf balls, they’re very quick to tumble into the water, where they swim around behind their parents at an incredible speed for their size, like little torpedoes. We have been witnessing many firsts with them, including their first, very careful steps into the pond. Mum and dad are looking after them well, along with helping hands from our patients who are ensuring they get plenty to eat and nothing tries to eat them, like the resident cat!
Moorhens are known for being very territorial especially when they have young, I’ve even heard of Moorhens seeing off hedgehogs, one in particular marched an intruding hedgehog off the premises as if he was some gamekeeper. During breeding season Moorhens can be heard literally screaming at their uninvited quests, but our Moorhens are happy for us to look out for them.
Moorhens are medium-sized, ground dwelling birds usually found near water, our resident hens live in the Hay Farm pond and spend the night nestled on the central island safe from any prey.
Dedicated moorhen parents will raise two or three broods of offspring every season. Their families are unusual, in the bird kingdom; in that young ‘teenagers’ from earlier broods will stick around to help their parents feed and guard their subsequent hatchlings. They truly are the epitome of teamwork!
For more pictures, please check our Facebook page.