Antimicrobial technology is playing a vital role in hatching and rearing endangered bird species at one of the UK’s top wildlife attractions.
Brinsea Products Ltd., the world's leading provider of egg incubators, brooders and intensive care units for use by breeders, vets, animal hospitals and rescue centres, has sponsored and donated incubation equipment to Bristol Zoo Gardens' Hatching Hut.
Bristol Zoo Gardens is a 183-year-old attraction in Clifton, Bristol.
The Brinsea-sponsored specialist Hatching Hut area is designed to help some of the more endangered bird species, including the Sumatran Laughingthrush (shown above.) These rare birds are native to Indonesia and were common in the late 1980s but the species has suffered a rapid population decline due to trapping and habitat loss and became almost extinct in the last 10 years.
Bird breeders at Bristol recently hand-reared a thrush chick after retrieving the egg and incubating it in the Hatching Hut. It is hoped the new Brinsea incubators and brooders will help hatch and rear many more endangered species in the months and years to come.
Ideally chicks are hatched naturally with minimum exposure to humans but there are instances where incubators are really necessary.
Brinsea incubators are used when eggs are taken from the nests and replaced with dummy eggs to control population, as the birds will ‘sit’ on the dummy eggs and not lay additional eggs in the nest. They are also needed when stressful conditions, such as extreme weather, causes birds to reject their eggs.
Bird eggs are porous, allowing moisture to pass through as the chicks grow. They are also vulnerable to bacteria which can also pass through into the egg. Some pathogens are detrimental to the chick's development and can even kill the chick before hatching. With endangered species, the failure of just one rare egg to hatch can be critical.
Brinsea incubators incorporate Biomaster antimicrobial protection into the cabinets during manufacture. The technology is embedded within the plastic itself which prevents the growth of harmful bacteria on surfaces, helping to provide the optimum environment for hatching.
Sally Kershaw, Brinsea Marketing Manager says: "Knowing that our incubators and brooders which are all made in Somerset are playing a vital part in helping endangered species such as the Sumatran Laughingthrush makes us very proud.
Our sponsorship of The Hatching Hut at Bristol Zoo is part of our on-going commitment to supporting groups working to protect endangered species around the world."
Find out more about Bristol Zoo.