Ostrich eggs are the most significant and heaviest eggs in the world, produced by the ostrich, a flightless bird native to Africa. Humans have used ostrich eggs for various purposes, such as food, containers, and decorations. But where can you buy ostrich eggs, and how much do they cost? Here are some facts and tips about ostrich eggs.
The Size and Characteristics of Ostrich Eggs
An ostrich egg is about 6 inches long and 5 inches wide and weighs about 3 pounds. It contains almost 2 pounds of egg protein, equivalent to 24 chicken eggs. An ostrich egg has more magnesium and iron than a chicken egg but less vitamins E and A.
The shell of an ostrich egg is tough and thick, with small pits on the surface. It is glossy and ranges in color from tan to bone-white. The shell can withstand a lot of pressure and can be used as a container or a decorative item. The shell can be carved, painted, or drilled to make beads or other crafts.
The Production and Incubation of Ostrich Eggs
An ostrich hen can lay one or two eggs a week during the breeding season, which lasts from April to September. She lays her eggs in a communal nest, a simple pit scraped by the male ostrich in the ground. The dominant female lays her eggs first and then discards the extra eggs from the weaker females, leaving about 20 eggs in the nest.
The female ostrich can distinguish her eggs from the others in the nest. She incubates the eggs daily while the male ostrich takes over at night. This way, they use their different coloration to camouflage the nest from predators. The incubation period lasts 35 to 45 days, which is relatively short compared to other ratites.
The Consumption and Cooking of Ostrich Eggs
Ostrich eggs are edible and can be eaten like chicken eggs. However, they could be more practical and economical to cook or eat. An ostrich egg contains about 2,000 calories, which is more than most people need in a day. It also takes a long time to cook an ostrich egg, as it would take almost 90 minutes to boil it hard. Frying an ostrich egg is also tricky, as it requires a large skillet and utensil to handle the size of the egg. Moreover, cracking an ostrich egg is difficult, as it takes a hand saw or a hammer to break the shell.
Therefore, most people do not buy ostrich eggs for eating purposes. Instead, they buy empty ostrich eggshells that have been sterilized and cleaned. These shells can be used for arts and crafts projects, such as making lamps, vases, bowls, or ornaments. Some people also collect ostrich eggshells as souvenirs or gifts.
Where to Buy Ostrich Eggs
Ostrich eggs are not commonly sold in grocery stores or markets, as they are expensive and impractical. The average price of an ostrich egg is around $30, which is about the same as a live chick. Most consumers would only be willing to pay a little for their breakfast.
However, there are some places where you can buy ostrich eggs online or at reputable ostrich farms. You can find them on websites specializing in exotic foods or animals, such as American Ostrich Farms or Exotic Meat Market. You can also visit an ostrich farm near you and buy fresh or empty eggs directly from the farmers.
Before buying an ostrich egg, ensure it is fertile and healthy. A fertile ostrich egg will have a red dot on the yolk when candled (held up to a light source). A healthy ostrich egg will have a smooth, shiny shell with no cracks or holes.
How Much Do Ostrich Eggs Cost
The cost of an ostrich egg depends on several factors, such as the size of the egg, the time of the year, the egg’s fertility, and the egg’s source.
The egg size affects the price because more giant eggs contain more protein and are more challenging to handle. A small to medium-sized ostrich egg can cost around $20 to $30, while a large one can cost up to $50 or more.
The time of the year affects the price because there is more demand for fertile eggs that can hatch into chicks during the spring and summer months. A fertile ostrich egg can cost more than $100 during this period.
The egg’s fertility affects the price because fertile eggs have more value for breeders who want to raise their ostriches. Fertile eggs are also more likely to be damaged or spoiled during shipping or storage.
The source of the egg affects the price because different sellers may have different availability, quality, and variety of ostrich products. Some online retailers may charge more for shipping and handling, while some local farms may offer discounts or deals for bulk purchases.
Ostrich eggs are fascinating natural products that humans have used for various purposes throughout history. They are the world’s most significant and heaviest eggs, with hard shells and rich protein content. They are produced by ostriches, flightless birds native to Africa that belong to the ratite group.
Ostrich eggs could be more practical and economical to cook or eat, as they are expensive and difficult to handle. However, they can be used for arts and crafts projects, such as making containers or decorations. You can buy ostrich eggs online or at reputable farms to try them out.