Penguins have bad hair days too

We’ve all been there.

Important meeting, first date, meeting the boyfriend’s parents…and your hair just won’t play ball.

Well for our penguins it couldn’t get much worse. All they wanted was to be be beach ready for the Summer holidays, in fine feather to meet all their adoring fans at Penguin Coast.

But…the moult season arrived! And instead of being bikini-ready it was bad hair days across the colony.

moulting penguin at folly farm

Humboldt penguin rocking the shabby chic look

Why do penguins lose their feathers?

Whilst they might look awful, it’s perfectly natural for penguins to lose their feathers. It happens every year and it’s called moulting. Penguins feathers have a natural waterproof coating but they lose this quality over time. Each year the penguins need to lose their feathers and grow shiny new ones to keep them dry and warm.

Another unfortunate side effect of the moult is weight gain. Our penguins need to save their energy for a few weeks before they try and grow their new feathers. So, they eat tons and tons of fish so they don’t have to bother feeding during the moult. This means as well as their bad hair days, they’re carrying a bit more more weight than usual. Double drat!

Moulting penguin at Folly Farm

This penguin’s been feeding up ahead of the moult.

Thankfully, the moult only lasts a few weeks and is over for this year. So, you can now see our penguins looking fabulous with their shiny new feathers.

Penguins in moult at Folly Farm

“Look at her with her shiny new feathers! She wasn’t looking that smug last week.”

You can read more about this story on WalesOnline here.