Ostrich eggs are the largest eggs of any bird in the world. They are roughly 24 times the size of a hen egg, weighing up to 1.5kg each, and they are edible, although some people consider them to have a richer flavor than chicken eggs. If you do intend to eat one, you should expect to wait up to an hour to soft boil a small to medium egg, and two hours or more for a large one: assuming you can find a pan large enough to adequately cover the egg in water. Read on for more information on these incredible bird eggs, their size, and how much they cost.
How Large Are Ostrich Eggs?
Ostrich eggs are huge when compared to chicken eggs and are the largest bird egg in the world. A female ostrich living in the wild can lay 16 eggs in a season, while those in captivity can lay as many as 60. While this is considerably fewer than chickens lay, an average ostrich egg weighs 1.5kg or 3.3 pounds, and that is roughly the same as 24 chicken eggs. In terms of weight, 16 ostrich eggs is equivalent to 384 chicken eggs and 60 ostrich eggs is equivalent to more than 1,400 chicken eggs, which is considerably more than even the most prolific egg laying chicken.
In terms of dimensions, an ostrich egg is around 6 inches in length and 5 inches in diameter. Ostrich eggs can vary according to the age of the ostrich, how many eggs she has laid, and other factors.
How Much Are Ostrich Eggs?
The size of an ostrich egg, as well as the relatively scarce availability, means that they can cost a lot of money. Expect to pay between $20 and $50 per egg, or $100 or more for a fertile egg during spring and summer, when the egg has a greater chance of hatching. Even the shell of an ostrich egg can cost as much as $20 and they are popular for art and craft projects.
Depending on where you buy the egg from, there may be extra costs to consider. For example, if you buy online you will need to pay shipping. Ostrich eggs are ten times thicker than chicken eggs, so they aren’t exactly as fragile, but the seller will still have to pay shipping costs for something that could weigh 2kg or more. This means that shipping and packaging costs tend to equal another $20.
Even greater than the cost of an ostrich egg is the lack of availability. Chickens are commonplace throughout the world but far fewer people breed ostriches. Their eggs are also in high demand and this means that it can be difficult to get your hands on one of these incredible eggs. Find a local, or reasonably local, ostrich farm and ask about egg availability. Check specialist stores, or shop online, to have the best chance of finding one.
Cooking The Eggs
Eggs aren’t just purchased for breeding, and some people do buy ostrich eggs to cook and eat, although it is unlikely that you will be able to tackle a whole one on your own. They are considered to have a richer taste, but some people eat them and are unable to tell the difference between these and other, more common eggs.
Assuming you want to boil one of these eggs, you will have to wait an hour to soft boil an average 3.3 pound egg or 1½ hours if you prefer hard boiled. A large egg weighing 5 pounds can take two hours before it is hard boiled.
Bear in mind that boiling water for this length of time means that a lot of it will evaporate so you will likely have to keep topping the water up throughout the process.
Perhaps the biggest challenge of preparing an ostrich egg is breaking its shell. The shell is ten times thicker than that of a chicken egg and you will need a saw or hammer to get through it, rather than a teaspoon.
Ostrich eggs are the largest of all bird eggs and are roughly equivalent to 24 chicken eggs. Their shells are ten times thicker, too, and they can measure up to 6 inches, requiring both hands to safely pick them up. Expect to pay anywhere up to $100 for one egg, depending on the time of year and the fertility of the egg you purchase, and expect to wait as long as 2 hours if you intend to cook one to eat.
Featured Image Credit: Dominique de La Croix, Shutterstock