An ostrich can lay 40 – 200 eggs per year, one every second day from the middle of March until the middle of August.
Remarkably, the female ostriches use a communal pit to lay their eggs and are still able to identify exactly which eggs are their own. The dominant female lays her eggs first and the rest follow suit. This dominant female also has the authority to throw weaker members’ eggs out to keep the roost strong.
The eggs are guarded and incubated by the brown-grey coloured female ostriches during the day – offering a good camouflage against the pale countryside background. The black-and-white coloured male ostriches guard them in the evening against the black night sky.
The normal incubation time for a hatchling is 35-45 days. The average weight of an ostrich egg is around 1.4 kg and although it is the size of 24 chicken eggs, an ostrich egg is actually one of the smallest in ratio to the bird.
The colour of the eggs ranges from a pearl white to a dark cream. Apart from its nutritional benefits, we utilise the egg shells for beautiful beads, buttons, brooches and jewellery. The shell can be carved, hand painted, engraved and can have a decoupage design – making for strong, timeless artefacts.