|Ostriches belong to the the Ratite
family, which means flightless bird.
The Ostrich is the largest living bird in the world.
The Ostrich is native to Africa, yet thrives in countries
all over the world. They are desert animals and withstand
high temperatures and drought conditions.
Adult males are called Roosters and are black and white and
are eight to nine feet in height and weigh 350-400 pounds.
During breeding season the males will get red coloring on
their becks and shins. Females, or hens are grey and brown
in color and will weigh up to 300-350 pounds.
Unlike other birds, ostriches do not fly. They also only
have two toes, all other birds have three or four toes.
The Ostrich can run at speeds of up to 40 MPH for sustained
Ostrich will live to be 50 - 75 years old.
Ostrich do not have teeth so they eat rocks to help grind
their food in a strong muscle called the gizzard.
About Ostrich Eggs
Although an ostrich egg is the largest of all eggs, it is
the smallest egg in relation to the size of the bird. The
Ostrich egg will weigh about 3.5 to 5 pounds and is equivalent
in volume to 2 dozen chicken eggs.
An Ostrich Hen can lay 40 - 100 eggs per year, averaging
about 60 eggs per year.
Ostrich eggs hatch in 42 days compared to chicken eggs whick
take about 21 days.
An Ostrich chick grows one foot taller each month until it
is 7-8 months old.
In the wild, males scratch out a nest in the sand for the
eggs to be laid in. Ostriches share incubating duties with
the females sitting on eggs by day; males sit on eggs by night.
Other Ostrich Answers
Ostrich eggs taste very similar to chicken eggs. They are
fluffier and are great for baking and pastries. To soft boil
a fresh ostrich egg would take one hour. To hard boil would
take 1 1/2 hours.
Ostrich have been raised commercially in South Africa for
well over 150 years. There are three main products: Meat,
Feathers, and Hide
Ostrich meat is a red meat that looks and taste much like
beef and it is very heart healthy! It is lower in fat and
cholesterol than turkey or chicken.
Ostriches are very feed efficient and take minimal land to
DO OSTRICHES BURY THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND?
NO. This tale originates from the fact that the male ostrich
will dig a large hole (up to 6-8 feet wide and 2-3 feet deep)
in the sand for the nest / eggs. Predators cannot see the
eggs across the countryside which gives the nest a bit of
protection. The hen as well as the rooster takes turns setting
on the eggs and because of the indention in the ground, usually
just blend into the horizon. All birds turn their eggs (with
their beak) several times a day during the incubation period.
From a distance it appears as though the bird has his/her
head in the sand.
ARE OSTRICHES MEAN?
Ostriches, especially the males during breeding season, are
territorial and sometimes unpredictable like any other animal.
An ostrich is a large, powerful animal that commands the respect
that you would give any large animal, particularly one who
is bigger than you, taller than you and faster than you. As
a warning sign, an ostrich may hiss, stamp his feet, flare
his wings, charge the fence, kick, etc. He is guarding his
territory, and in his mind you and anyone you have with you,
especially a dog, is an intruder.
One thing that is rather exclusive to ratites is their investigative
pecking. Gloves, hats, rings, watches anything shiny is fair
game. When a bird wants to investigate your earring and accidentally
pecks your ear instead, this is a big OUCH! They are not being
mean, just curious.
WHAT IS THE MOST DANGEROUS, A KICK
OR A BITE?
Ostriches kick forward, not back like horses. This is the
way that their legs bend. Their kick can do serious damage
with as much as 500 PSI of force with their kick. With the
large toenail, it is a double threat. Their bite however is
more frightening than dangerous. Ostrich do not have teeth
so it is more of a pinch than a bite.
ARE OSTRICHES STUPID?
An ostrich brain is the size of his eye ball so they do have
a very small brain and are very simple birds. However, natural
instincts make the ostrich adapt well to their situation.
ARE OSTRICHES RELATED TO DINOSAURS?
Ostrich tissue is very similar to that found in a T-Rex (Dinosaur).
Paleontologist Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State
University stunned the world by announcing she'd found soft
tissue inside the thigh bone of "T. rex," a 68-million-year-old
tyrannosaurus skeleton unearthed in eastern Montana in 2003.
Under a microscope, the vessels inside the thigh looked identical
to those of an ostrich, which puts both ostriches and T. rex
in a whole new light.