Marwell Wildlife’s male Ostrich, Boomer, is the proud dad of eight little Ostrich chicks. Ostriches are the word’s largest flightless birds but these little chicks stand only 10 inches tall (25cm) at the moment. From here the adorable chicks will grow at an incredible rate, eventually reaching the lofty heights of their dad, around 10 feet tall (3 meters)!
Marwell’s two female ostrich, which live in the paddock with the Grevy’s zebra and Scimitar horned oryx, laid their eggs from mid March through to May. As ostriches are devoted parents and share the raising duties without preference to their own chicks, some of these eggs were given to the females in the African Valley, another area in the park containing ostrich, for them to raise.
Ian Goodwin, Senior Section Manager for the ostriches said: “Boomer has a reputation for being very protective of his ladies and young, and he has now successfully raised in excess of 20 chicks. After an incubation period of around 6 weeks all the eggs hatched earlier this month, and visitors can now see 6 chicks in the paddock and 2 in the African Valley.”
Ostriches lay the world’s largest egg. At around 30 times the volume of a chicken’s egg, they are sometimes used by Africans living in the Kalahari region as water containers. The shell is an eighth of an inch think and extremely strong, it can even withstand a human standing on it without even cracking.