Ostriches are large birds with long necks (that protrude from around the body) and long legs. The male ostriches use their bold black and white coloring to attract female ostriches. These flightless birds are bigger in the world compared to other birds. As per the African Wildlife Foundation, the ostriches can weigh up to 320 pounds and grow up to 2.7 meters (9 feet) tall.
Moreover, ostriches eyes are five centimeters (two inches) in diameter, and it is the largest of any land animal. Another thing that makes ostriches unique is that they have two toes on each foot; no other bird has them.
Unlike chickens, the ostriches do not lay eggs throughout the year, and they have particular breeding seasons. Every year, the breeding season starts in June or July. Ostriches will lay one egg every second day, and the process keeps on repeating until they have laid enough eggs to cover with their wings and bodies. After that, the ostriches start incubating their eggs.
The female ostriches have grey feathers, while the males have black feathers. Both male and female ostriches sit on the eggs on different parts of the day: males sit during the night, and females sit during the day. With the black feathers of male ostrich and grey of female, the predators cannot see them sitting on eggs.
Before the chicks hatch out, there is an incubation period of forty-two days. Moreover, considering that chicken eggs take twenty-one days to hatch and the size of ostrich eggs, it is quick. Reduced disturbance and the natural environment help them breed better and lay fertile eggs.
In the farms, as soon as the ostriches lay eggs, the farmers take them away. They do so to keep the eggs safe and enhance the chances of successful hatching. The farmers clean the eggs and then put them in the big incubators.
Ostrich Egg and Baby Ostriches
As compared to any living bird, the ostrich eggs are the largest. The egg can weigh up to 3 pounds and is 15 centimeters (six inches) in diameter. The ostriches lay their eggs in a communal nest, dump nest, which can hold up to sixty eggs at a time. Both male and female ostriches sit on the eggs until they hatch. And the hatching period takes 42 to 46 days.
The babies of ostriches are sizeable than all the other bird offspring. In size, the chick can be as big as a chicken at the time of its birth. According to the San Diego Zoo, the females and males share the responsibility of the young baby ostrich. During an attack, the chicks run to the female for the cover, and the male ostrich tries to entice predators away from them.
It takes about six months for a chick to reach its full-grown height. At three or four years, the chick reaches maturity. The lifecycle of an ostrich is 50 to 75 years.
In the Royal Cemetery at Ur from the third millennium and North Africa as early as the fourth millennium BC, the ostrich eggshells were used as containers. And there are several examples of ostrich eggs being used as bowls and cups. These have been found in Sardinia, the Iberian Peninsula, Carthage, Sicily, and Ibiza.
Moreover, ostrich eggs were exported through the port on the red sea. Ostrich eggs are an exceptional luxury food in the current time.
Some Facts about Ostriches
The feathers of ostriches are different from those of the rest of the birds. They do not hook together and hang loosely, which makes them look shaggy.
As per the American Ostrich Association, the ostriches kick forwards as it is the direction in which their legs bend, and that is how they fight with their feet. Their solid kick can even kill a lion. Although ostriches have thin legs, they are strong enough to keep their sizeable bodies upright. The thin legs of ostriches give them substantial maneuverability and speed. They can run up to 40 miles per hour for a sustained period.