It’s simple to say the you deserve to learn a lot from watching a penguin colony, native their searching behaviours to just how they raise your chicks. Plenty of of us have actually watched documentaries that penguins incubating and also hatching their chicks, yet one thing that has constantly baffled me and also many others, is exactly how do they keep food to feed their chicks? It transforms out, the answer isn’t as an easy as you may think – there room multiple means in which they care for their young together I explain below.

You are watching: How do penguins feed their babies

Penguins an initial must hunt for your food

All penguins hunt in the very same way; castle either catch their prey in the water or they can scrape krill off the underside that the ice. They perform not have actually teeth, but instead have actually a very sharp bill to do this. Your mouths and also tongues room lined with spines the point earlier towards their throat, do it easy for them to swallow prey such as squid, shrimp and also fish.

Swallowing their food to save it because that later 

If a penguin has actually chicks, it will catch and swallow its food, climate “store” the for later to feeding to its chicks. The course, part will additionally be retained for themselves to enable the parental to continue to survive and hunt because that prey. Chicks can not digest food like their parents, therefore, the parents need to convert it into a form that the chicks can eat. There room a couple of ways of doing this; the first way is regurgitation; the second method is the identical to “refrigerating” the food; and also finally, the third method is a secretion the is make from the digested food.


This is once a penguin will record its food and also partially digest it, which will certainly take a few hours. When the parent reaches that is chick, and the food has been digested enough, it will cough the mixture earlier up and permitting the chick come eat it straight from the parent’s bill. This feeding an approach is frequently seen ~ above documentaries so keep a lookout!



This is a genius evolutionary technique that permits penguins to keep food for number of days. The parent will swallow the prey whole and also store it inside your stomach. This food is retained at body temperature, and inside the stomach there space enzymes which avoid it from digesting.

Penguin “Milk”

When it concerns feeding your chicks, males and also females will certainly take turns. In part penguins, Emperor Penguins in particular, the male will treatment for the chick for several weeks when the woman is out hunting and also gorging ~ above prey. During this time, the masculine produces a secretion to sustain the chick and ensure the survival. Penguins, being birds, don’t have “milk” favor mammals do. Instead, they develop this secretion which is sometimes called chop milk. This is a fatty, high protein food that is developed in their chop (a pouch in your throat) and also given to chicks during key developmental stages. Although the is nothing like mammal milk, the services of this chop milk room very comparable to the advantage young mammals gain from milk. 



Chicks need consistent feeding transparent their development in stimulate to continue to be happy and healthy, and it can quickly be claimed that without your parents’ remarkable evolutionary techniques and also physiology, the chicks would certainly no doubt perish. 

Penguins have such a different method of feeding that so many other species. Permit us understand what girlfriend think. And please assist us to continue to carry out you v penguin news short articles by donating to Penguins International.

See more: Positive Nouns That Start With The Letter O Rds That Begin With O

Read much more about penguins in several of our other blogs:


E, Lee. 2019. How do penguins feed their chicks? Webpage:

Penguin Science. Diet and also Feeding answers. Webpage:

Ocean Syrup. 2019. Execute penguins do milk? Webpage:

Like this article?

Help us continue to carry out updated penguin news through your financial support.