How Many Eggs Does an Ostrich Lay a Year?


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

how many eggs does an-ostrich lay a year

Many countries, such as Brazil, the USA, and China, support thousands of ostrich farms. Knowing that they are the largest bird in the world, does it ever cross your mind how often they reproduce?

Or do you ever have a question in mind, like “how many eggs does an ostrich lay a year?”

While those in natural environments lay about 12-18 eggs, farm-grown chicks can produce up to 20 eggs in the first season and up to 130 eggs annually thereafter!

Factors Affecting Ostrich Egg Laying

1. Daylight Sustenance


Like chickens, flightless ostriches need to receive the proper length of daylight to lay eggs.

Ostriches need 16 hours of sunlight to induce and strengthen egg production. With the shorter day lengths in some countries, artificial light such as five foot-candles can serve as an effective substitute.

Male ostriches should receive this quantity of light up to four weeks every day before mating. And females should receive the same amount of light during the breeding season.

Otherwise, they won’t reach the average number of 40-130 eggs every year.

2. Temperature

Temperature is also a factor to consider when looking into egg production. Under normal conditions, ostriches produce 7-10 eggs at a time within a clutch, and every one or two days is how often they are laid.

The optimum temperature they need to induce fertility to produce eggs is between 20°C and 26°C. A 5°C alteration to the normal condition can lead to a minimum of 15% failure of egg production.

Once eggs have been produced, they should be stored at 65 to 70°F for up to four days before incubation to boost hatchability rates.

3. Proper Nutrition


Nutrients affect the number of eggs ostriches lay per year, and better nutrition improves hatchability.

Along with their commercial feed, give them nutrients-filled supplements like wheat, rye or Bermuda grass to sustain a proper diet. Foods high in protein can also benefit ostriches that mainly eat pasture, as they may boost egg production rates.

4. Ostrich’s Age

Like humans and all other animals, there will come a point where ostrich fertility declines. This bird variety lays eggs starting at the age of 2 and up to around age 32. Well-cared for ostriches may have up to 18 eggs laid per clutch.

While they are mostly active in their lifetime, as they age, fertility declines until they stop laying eggs.

Ostrich Egg Characteristics


One of the female ostrich laying habits is that it produces an egg every second day during its mating season. The egg ostriches produce has an average weight of 1600g, and it is more elongated than the shape of a regular chicken egg.

What makes ostrich eggs interesting to look at is their bright yellowish-white color. The egg shells can be as thick as 2.2mm, with 16-18 pores per square cm, which promote a long shelf life of up to three months in cool temperatures.


After all that has been said, pondering the different factors affecting the laying rate of ostriches is necessary to ensure that they get the proper daylight, temperature, and nutrition to produce up to 130 eggs a year.

Although it is natural that the more ostriches age, the fewer eggs they produce, giving them the proper care they need is essential to successful farming.

Hopefully, this blog has helped answer your question about “how many eggs does an ostrich lay a year,” so you can help them be healthy to enjoy successful egg production!

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