Ostrich Eggs – Facts
Ostrich eggs are the largest of all eggs, the yolk is the largest single cell that exists today on our planet, though they are actually the smallest eggs relative to the size of the bird.
Laying season generally begins in the middle of March and ends in the middle of August, during which time the female will lay one egg every two days. The female ostrich will typically lay 10 eggs, but some productive females will lay more.
The nest may contain 15 to 60 eggs, which are on average 15 cm (6 in) long, 13 cm (5 in) wide and weigh 1.4 kg (3 lb). The eggs are incubated by the females by day and the males by night. This uses the colouration of the two sexes to escape detection of the nest, as the drab female blends in with the sand, while the black male is almost undetectable at night. The incubation period is 35 – 45 days.
Modern ostrich farms use incubators to hatch eggs.
For comparison, the smallest bird egg is the humming bird, which would fit 4700 eggs into one ostrich egg.
One Ostrich Egg:
- is equivalent to about 2 dozen chicken eggs.
- contains about 2,000 calories and is packed with protein.
- would take you about 40 minutes to hard boil.
Interested in doing a farm tour when staying at Mooiplaas Country Guesthouse? Visit our working ostrich farm tours page.