NGO saves peahen | Pune-based NGO saves peahen hatchlings in a first-of-its-kind experiment in the world

by Team Deccan Express
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Pune : deccan expressIn a first such conservation efforts, peahen eggs have been successfully hatched in an incubator. Hatchlings have been successfully given birth after 16 days of the artificial hatching. The Ila Foundation, an NGO working for conservation of environment, is looking after the chicks. A peahen destroys her eggs, if they are sighted by humans. In this case, the hatchlings have got a new lease of life. (NGO saves peahen)

Senior ornithologist and Ila Foundation founder Dr Satish Pande, who has spearheaded this project, said, “A farmer, Suresh Shinde, at Pingori in Purandar taluka found these eggs in his field. He handed over the eggs to the foundation.”

“Peahen eggs require a particular temperature to hatch, failing which the hatchlings do not survive. If humans see these eggs, the peahen does not hatch them. She destroys them. To save the hatchlings, the foundation procured an incubator and hatched the eggs in it. The eggs need to be turned every 3-4 hours. The peahen does it with her beak. Hatchlings came out of them after 16 days. The chicks are healthy and started feeding immediately. It is their innate ability to start feeding immediately after the birth.”
Hatching period is 30-35 days

The chicks are being fed with ground wheat, bajra, rice. Their special food needs to be imported from Belgium. This keeps them healthy. Before the eggs came to the foundation, they were hatched for 15 days by the peahen. Later, they were kept for 16 days in the incubator. The hatchlings are usually born after 30-35 days.

No previous record of hatching of peahen eggs

Dr Pande said, “Once peahen eggs are sighted by humans or exposed out of the thicket, they are destroyed by her. Hence, it was thought improper to leave them in the field as they had hatchlings inside. Some people mix these eggs with chicken eggs kept for hatching. However, eggs of these two birds are different. Peahen eggs are bigger than chicken eggs. However, Ila Foundation has successfully hatched these eggs in an incubator. There was no known record of such experiment anywhere in the world. This has happened for the first time in the world at Pingori,” said Dr Pande.

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