Ostriches do not lay eggs throughout the year like chickens do. They have a specific breeding season that starts in June/July every year and the birds will lay one egg every second day. Once they have laid enough eggs to cover with their bodies and wings they will start incubating them.
The male ostrich has black feathers and the female has grey feathers. This is for camouflage. The female will sit on the eggs during the day and the male will sit on the eggs during the night. With her grey feathers and his black feathers predators can not see that it is ostriches sitting on eggs. The incubation period is 42 days before the chicks hatch out. Considering the size of their eggs which weigh about 1,5kg each, and also considering that a chicken egg takes 21 days to hatch, it is actually very quick.
We have our breeding birds in huge camps where they can mate and lay their eggs with as little disturbance as possible. We also want to make the surrounding area for them as natural as we can. We find that this makes them breed better and as farmers we want as many fertile eggs as possible.
Farmers want as much control as possible from a farming point of view and hence take the eggs away from the ostriches as they lay them. They do this to ensure that the eggs are safe and to increase the chance of successful hatching by firstly cleaning the eggs and then putting them in the big incubators.
We go every second day into the big breeding camps to take the new eggs out and place them in our incubators. We already have hundreds of eggs in the Hatchery and in the next month Safari Ostrich Farm will have many chicks for our visitors to see.