An ostrich egg measures approximately 6 inches in length an 15-18 inches in circumference. On an average, its weight is close to 3.1 lbs (1.4 kilograms). The color ranges from pearl white to cream. With a thickness of 0.06 inches, the ostrich egg is quite strong as well. Though it is the smallest when we go by the ratio of the weight of egg to the weight of the bird.
In terms of nutrition content, an ostrich egg can provide a whopping 2000 calories. Other than 47% of proteins and 44.3% of fats, these eggs also contain calcium, phosphorus and vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin E, riboflavin and thiamine. Trace elements such as magnesium, manganese, selenium, zinc copper and iron are also found in these eggs.
Ostrich egg shells are used to make artifacts. These shells, which are strong enough to bear the weight of an adult man, are carved, hand painted and engraved to make items which may fetch as high as $150. Apart from eggs, its meat, feathers and hide are also sought after in various industries. The feathers are colorful and are used to make feather dusters.
In Africa, ostriches have been raised for their eggs, meat, feathers and hide for at least 150 years. At present, there are more than 2 million ostriches in different parts of the world. While the IUCN has enlisted the ostrich as a species of Least Concern, one should make a note of the fact that a large part of this population is either found at the reserves or farms.
PS: If you thought ostrich eggs are ‘big’, you are likely to be surprised by the fact that the eggs laid by extinct species like the elephant birds of Madagascar and the giant moa of New Zealand were much bigger than that of the ostrich.