The third white kiwi chick to hatch at Pukaha Mt Bruce, in the Wairarapa, may not be making international headlines, but was gathering its own fans at a public feeding this week.

The chick, born on Monday, was the third white kiwi known to hatch in captivity, all at Pukaha, and was not yet named.

Manukura - the first white kiwi - was born at the centre in May last year, and her brother Mauriora was born in December.

A small crowd watched the third chick being fed yesterday afternoon.


Department of Conservation captive breeding ranger Darren Page said the chick would start off with a diet of beef heart strips and would progress to mince mixed with other food such as vegetables, rolled oats and vitamins.

"The mince is a bit more mushier and they take a bit more time to pick it up."

He said it could take as little as eight days or up to a few months for the chick to start feeding itself.

Centre manager Kathy Houkamau was pleased with the progress the chick was making.

Although it had not attracted as much attention as Manukura, some extra visitors had been attracted to the centre.

"People are still really interested and love seeing this chick being fed."

She said a feather sample would be taken when it is about 4-months-old to determine the chick's gender.