How Many Eggs Does an Ostrich Lay?

How Many Eggs Does an Ostrich Lay

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Most people are unfamiliar with ostrich eggs and they have rarely seen them. This flightless bird is known for its strange habits and characteristics, therefore, it is understandable to wonder how often they lay eggs and how many.

These ostrich eggs are not eaten regularly or as commonly used as chicken eggs. Since this is not a domesticated bird, not many people have seen these eggs in reality.

Also, many bird admirers are in the dark about their egg-laying capability.

How Many Eggs Does An Ostrich Lay?

Ostrich hens do not lay as many eggs as chickens. The breeding season of ostriches starts in March and lasts till September, however, they usually lay eggs in June/July.

In the wild, an ostrich hen lays between 12 to 18 eggs yearly, on average.

Farmed female ostriches lay about 10 to 20 eggs in their first year. However, the egg production increases in the subsequent years reaching 90 to 130 eggs.

Mostly, the number of eggs usually remains within 40 to 60 eggs.

Ostriches produce larger eggs than any living bird, therefore, more expensive than chicken eggs. The omelet of an ostrich egg is as large as a 24-chicken egg omelet.

These eggs are not available in grocery stores as nobody wants a breakfast that large regularly.

Ostrich Eggs Color

Ostrich eggs have a range of varying colors from tan to bone-white. Their eggs have shiny, thick shells marked by small pits. Though the egg color varies, mostly, it is glossy creamy white.

How Big Are Ostrich Eggs?

Ostriches belong to a group of birds called ratites that includes kiwi, rhea, and emu. Ostriches lay the largest of all eggs, however, given their size, the egg size is relatively smaller.

Ostrich eggs are approximately 15 cm or 6 inches long and 13 cm or 5 inches wide. The egg weighs about 3 pounds, 20 times more than the chicken egg. Their eggs have about 2 pounds of egg protein.

The weight of an ostrich egg equals 2 dozen chicken eggs and is as expensive as buying a live chick.

How Do Ostriches Lay Eggs?

The ostrich then lays fertilized eggs in a single communal nest. It is a simple pit approximately 30 to 60 cm deep and 3m wide. The dominant female ostrich lays the egg first, followed by weaker ones.

At the time of incubation, extra eggs from the weaker ostrich hens are rejected and discarded by the dominant female. Interestingly enough, each female ostrich can identify its egg from the others.

Once enough eggs are laid, male and female ostriches take turns to incubate them. The incubation period lasts 35 to 45 days, once the hatchlings are out, the male ostrich protects them and teaches them to feed.

How Often do Ostriches Lay Egg?

Female ostriches do not lay eggs nearly all year round but only during the specific breeding season.

Ostrich does not lay eggs daily but every one or two days. Sometimes, they only lay 2 or 3 eggs in a week.

Though it is impractical to cook and eat an ostrich egg, it is edible containing about 2000 calories and more magnesium and iron, and less vitamin A and E than a chicken egg.

Cooking an ostrich is a struggle on its own as it takes about 90 minutes to hard boil the egg. If you opt to fry the egg, it requires a large skillet or utensil to manage the size and cook it perfectly.

Unlike chicken eggs, the eggshell is quite hard to crack. The thick shell requires a hand saw or a hammer to break it. Learn Why Do Ostriches Dance?

Given all the difficulty of cooking an ostrich egg, it is edible and full of flavor. Many people encourage eating ostrich, however, it would be impossible to finish off an entire ostrich egg in one meal.

Uses of Ostrich Eggs

Besides eating ostrich eggs, these can come in handy during an art project or for decorative purposes.

Ostrich eggshells are important in many religions and cultures. For instance, it is often used as a display ornament in many religious places. Learn Does an Ostrich Have Wings?


Ostriches lay fewer eggs during the breeding season, not as many as chickens or other poultry. These eggs are not readily available and are often considered as a special luxury food.

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