It's amazing how fast they grow when they're young. In the beginning, even just coming back to work after a weekend, they would look huge to me. Thinking about birth in the Antarctic, you understand why they grow so quickly, because they have to be ready to go into the water and hunt as soon as that brief polar summer ends.
Five meals a day. About 75 grams each. And that's not the size of the meal I'm talking about—it's the size of the chicks, right after they hatch. Every day, we feed our growing baby birds 10% of their body weight, a combo of formula "fish shakes" and filleted herring. Where do you think it all goes?
If you told me a year ago I'd be raising eight penguin chicks, I absolutely wouldn't believe it. This summer we had four gentoos and four chinstraps hatch at the Central Park Zoo's Polar Circle. It's been an amazing experience watching them grow.