Ostrich Eggs for Breakfast
Ostrich Eggs for Breakfast
Ostrich eggs for breakfast? No way!

Ostrich Eggs for Breakfast

by Kathleen J. McDonald of Waterford, PA

“Ostrich eggs for breakfast? No way!” says twelve-year-old Angelica Cowley. And both her younger sisters agree.

“We don’t like ostrich eggs,” Angelica explains. “You can eat ostrich eggs. Grandpa has ostrich egg breakfasts for his friends. We do like ostrich hot dogs. They’re good – and ostrich sticks – like ostrich jerky. We don’t like ostrich burgers.”

Angelica and her sisters Deserae, nine, and Deanna, six, help their grandpa Chuck Cowley on the Hillview Ostrich Ranch in Waterford, Pennsylvania.

Ostrich Eggs for Breakfast
A just hatched chick with sticky wet feathers.

“We gather the ostrich eggs which weigh about 3 and ½ pounds each,” says Angelica. “We also help get the ostrich chicks in their pens. I help Grandpa by collecting the money from the fair customers when we take our stand wagon to the local fairs. We sell ostrich burgers, ostrich hot dogs, ostrich jerky, ostrich steak, and ostrich sticks.”

“Would you like to see the chicks?” asked Deserae. “Follow us.”

Ostrich Eggs for Breakfast
Holding 2-day old chicks.

We walked through the barn into the chick pen. The chicks’ feathers looked like white porcupine quills sticking out all over their backs.

Angelica picked up an ostrich chick for me to touch.

Ostrich Eggs for Breakfast
It feels like plastic on their backs.

“It feels like plastic on their back,” Angelica said. “These chicks are two days old.”

“There are 33 chicks in the pen,” said Grandpa.

“The females will grow to weigh 275 to 300 pounds. The males will grow to weigh 350 to 400 pounds. They are the largest and strongest of all living birds, growing to be 8 feet tall.”

Next stop was the older chick pen.

Ostrich Eggs for Breakfast
Walk quietly up to the chicks and they may not run away.

“Walk quietly up to the chicks, girls, and they may not run away,” said Grandma. “You know, girls, ostriches don’t fly but they run very fast. Grown ostriches run up to 40 miles per hour.”

“We are not going into the incubation room,” said Angelica.

“Too hot!” exclaimed Deanna, and all three girls laughed.

“The male ostrich sits on the eggs to hatch them but we incubate all our eggs,” said Grandpa. The temperature in the incubation room was 95 degrees. There were two small ostrich chicks lying down with sticky wet feathers.

Ostrich Eggs for Breakfast
Five older chicks (5 weeks old).

“The chicks use their strong necks to hatch. They push out of the hard yellowish white enamel-like eggs,” said Grandpa. “We got 135 eggs out of six birds this year.”

“The purpose of our ostrich ranch is to provide healthy meat. Ostrich meat is a red meat that looks like beef and is 97 percent fat free. You don’t have to eat ostrich eggs for breakfast, but please try our ostrich meats,” said Grandpa.