Female pigeons lay eggs at around 5 to 6 months of age. They can lay infertile eggs without a male. Those eggs cannot produce young ones. The best way to check if those eggs are fertile or not is 5 days after laying.
A female pigeon will lay eggs when it is sexually mature after mating with a male. However, females can still lay eggs without mating, but those eggs will not hatch. Male pigeons do not lay eggs. They mate with the female for egg fertilization.
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Pigeon egg facts
A pigeon egg is measured to be an inch long and less than half the size of a chicken egg. A pigeon’s eggshell is very thin and fragile and can easily break down when you hit it.
Usually, pigeons build their nest and cover them for safety purposes. Most nests are located on the house balconies, where they find it safe to build them. They consider looking for areas quiet and peaceful to settle down there. After all, the noisy background and disturbances always turn them away.
Like many birds, pigeons do lay eggs when they mature. However, how they do might differ from what we know from other birds. Below is a breakdown of everything to do with pigeons laying eggs:
1. When do pigeons lay eggs?
Pigeons will lay their first egg at the age of 5-6 months from the day they were hatched; although some species may take longer than others, they start to lay within 5-6 months. They are sexually mature, ready for breeding, and begin laying eggs at this age.
It’s advisable to ensure that they feed on proper nutrition and drink water to hasten their maturity to start laying eggs; otherwise, they will take longer to mature. Even if they start mating at four months, they can’t lay eggs at this periodic stage, mainly because they aren’t mature enough to produce eggs.
2. How many eggs do pigeons lay?
Typically, pigeons lay two eggs at a time, with a time interval of around one day between the lay of the first and the second egg, but in such rare cases, you find they can lay three eggs, this is an unusual case, and you may find the egg being smaller and infertile.
If you see four eggs in the nest, you must understand that the two pigeons are female, and adding two male pigeons is necessary to help them pair with the female.
3. How often do pigeons lay eggs?
A pigeon can lay eggs twelve times a year, and remember, they lay two eggs at a time, so that means you get 24 eggs per year from a pigeon. Although getting two eggs per month is possible, getting 24 pigeons from the 24 eggs becomes unrealistic because some eggs won’t hatch, and some may be infertile.
It’s advisable to keep your pigeons in a cage because they are more likely to lay eggs, unlike the pigeons kept open. After all, the ones in a cage concentrate on laying eggs, unlike those in the open.
When they lay eggs constantly, they increase the possibility of laying infertile eggs; hence it’s better to keep them separate for some time to give them a break to rest if you want to get fertile eggs and for the health of the baby pigeons.
4. How long does it take for pigeon eggs to hatch?
For an ordinary pigeon, the period of incubation after the eggs are hatched is 17-19 days. Interestingly, they take shifts sitting on the egg until they hatch.
The female will sit on the egg from the afternoon all night until around 10 AM, and the male does the day shift to sit on the egg. The two care for the young ones once they are hatched.
5. How to check the fertility of pigeon’s egg
It’s possible to get unfertilized eggs even with mated pigeons and still possible when the female pigeon lays eggs without mating with the male. There are possible ways to check if the egg is fertile or not to confirm whether your pigeon’s eggs are viable for hatching.
Handle your egg with care and be keen to observe inside; for a fertile egg, you will monitor the development of blood vessels visible. You will see an embryo at the egg’s larger end and experience some movements within. An infertile egg will have no blood vessels.
Consequently, observe if your eggs float. When they float, it’s evident that the eggs are infertile, and the volume inside is not heavy enough for it to sink in water, unlike when the embryo starts forming and the eggs become heavier and possibly sink. You should check when your eggs are a few days old and the embryos have begun developing.
Crack and open your egg to check if the blastodisc has become a blastoderm. The blastoderm will seem like a white bullseye for a fertile egg, while an infertile egg will have a blastodisc irregular shape, a faint white color, and always foggy. Note that all eggs will have a white spot, whether fertile or infertile.
Pigeons have become a popular breed in recent years. They do not need a lot of time and are inexpensive to raise. They are kept for different reasons, I.e., breeding and exhibition.
A moderated feeding diet for your pigeons, especially in calcium, will help increase their egg-laying abilities. This will enable regular laying of eggs, improve the shell thickness, and enhance the effectiveness of broody pigeons. The best performance in production will be enhanced by a dietary calcium level of 1.20%.
Some facts will never change on how pigeons lay eggs and the maximum number of eggs that pigeons lay in a year. They have an exciting history anyone would want to hear.
That’s everything you need to know about pigeons and their way of laying eggs. Get yourself a pigeon, and you might benefit from their eggs financially.