Pigeons are wild birds. Some keep them as pets and for some it is their hobby. There are many reasons why you should care for pigeon eggs. Sometimes they leave it in the balcony and sometimes hunters can scare them.
The death of a parent can also lead to egg abandonment. At that time you have to take responsibility and take care of it.
There are seven ways you can take care of pigeon eggs at home.
- Provide warm temperature
- Keep it in stable humidity
- Do not place pigeon eggs in an open area
- Incubate in an incubator for stable development
- Do not freeze it
- Check the egg if it can fertilize
- Call the wildlife rehabilitator if you find an abandoned egg
One thing you should always in consideration if it is your pet you should help it for hatching. But if you find it on the roof or the ground, you should look for the law. If your country permits you, you should care it.
Provide warm temperature
Like all the other bird eggs, pigeon eggs also need optimum temperature for the fertilization process to start. If you failed to provide it a stable temperature, the egg will not hatch.
The optimum temperature for the pigeon egg to hatch is 100 F (37.8 C). At this temperature, the egg remains healthy. It should be stable. A low or high environment can spoil the egg.
For this, some people place the egg closer to the fireplace. Don’t expose it to direct and intense heat. Instead of fertilization, it will start boiling. Also, avoid placing it in direct sunlight.
Too much temperature can kill the embryo. It should be stable and constant. Rise and fall can be hazardous for an egg’s health.
Keep it in stable humidity
Humidity is necessary for the development of the embryo. According to experts, it should not be less than 25% and not more than 60%. When the egg is closer to hatch it should be maintained between 70-80%.
Why humidity is necessary? It is the source of oxygen for the developing chick. Oxygen enters the cell through small pores and carbon dioxide leaves the cell. Moreover, the eggs lose weight while developing. It is necessary that humidity should be optimum for the growth so that he loses the ideal weight.
For pigeon eggs to hatch, the optimum humidity should be about 55-60%. More stable it will be more chances of the egg to be hatched.
Do not keep it in the freezer
Pigeon egg can be stored in the refrigerator (not the freezer). If you place it in the freezer there are chances that the embryo loses its ability to grow.
Pigeon eggs can survive up to 5-7 days without incubation. It depends upon the temperature. If you refrigerate it, this will slow down cell growth. The intense heat will spoil the pigeon’s egg within 1-3 days.
As soon as the bird lays an egg, she starts sitting on it and the incubation starts. There are chances she may abandon the egg. Why did she do that? Read Reasons here.
Check the egg if it has the ability to hatch
After 7 days you can start incubating the egg with complete safety. To ensure if the egg can survive, you should follow the below steps
Take the egg in the dark area. Use light and pass through it. The mobile flashlight can serve the function
Look for the veins. If there are veins then an egg can develop into an embryo and then into a chick.
Remember there will be no veins if the egg is new. It may take up to 7-9 days. Before you should incubate it and provide heat and moisture.
How do you know if a pigeon egg is alive?
The eggshell will be smooth and have no marks if it is alive. Veins are floating in the cell when you pass the bright light through it. You will see blood pumping if the embryo is dead.
Incubate in an incubator for stable development
For the proper development and growth of the embryo, it is recommended to use an incubator. A good high-quality incubator maintains the temperature and humidity inside the box. You don’t need to supervise it.
If you incubate an egg without an incubator, you have to care for it like a mom who looks after her newly born baby. You can’t go to the office. There is must be someone around who manages the temperature, who can stabilize the humidity and change the position of the egg,
The higher or lower temperature can disturb the growth process. If you don’t rotate the egg, one side may get more temperature and it may stick to one side. Without proper care, if the egg hatched, the young pigeon would be weak and the survival rate may be less.
You can incubate the pigeon’s egg properly with or without an incubator. One is automatic and the other is manual. All you have to do is to supervise and care of it more.
How to use an incubator to hatch a pigeon’s egg
Follow this simple plan and get the chick out of the cage successfully.
- Clean the egg
- Place in the incubator
- Adjust the temperature
- Place the water inside in a bowl
- Place incubator in a stable environment
Clean the egg
Now you have egg and incubator both. Before starting clean the egg. You can wash it with water and let it dry itself. It is done to avoid pooping or any bacteria growing.
Place egg in the incubator
Now place the egg in the incubator by opening it. Remember at this time do not attach it with the electricity.
Adjust the temperature
Adjust the temperature to about 98.5-99.5 F. This is the optimum temperature. Incubators provide the constant temperature. You don’t need to look after it.
Place the water
If you have a cheap incubator you can place water in a bowl or if a good quality there would be a passage for water. Water is placed to maintain the humidity level.
Place incubator in a suitable location
The location of this egg hatching machine is necessary. Do not place it in direct sunlight or close to a window or any airy location where the temperature fluctuates a lot.
Place it in a room or anywhere where it gets a stable environment.
Caring of pigeon egg without an incubator
There are many cases when you find the abandoned pigeon egg on the balcony of your house or the roof. Commonly, you don’t have an incubator and you don’t want to waste money on it. I think it is a good decision not to buy this machine for just one egg.
The first thing you should do is to call the wildlife local authorities. If they are not interested you can hatch it yourself. How to incubate a pigeon egg without an incubator?
- Take a card or wooden box
- Place the water in the bowl
- Use a heating pad or light to provide heat
- Tilt the egg regularly 3 times a day
- Don’t touch it when it is closed to hatch
Take a card box
Every home must have some close boxes. The oven you bought is covered in a box. Every electronic comes with a box. If you don’t have any, you can use the shoe box.
You just have to ensure it is covered from all the sides and only one side is open so you can tilt the egg easily. When you place the egg, close it. You can cut small holes from 1-2 sides for ventilation purposes.
Place the water bowl
Incubators have an auto system of water. To provide the humidity you can use the bowl. To check the humidity, use a humidity checker. For pigeon eggs, it should be between 55-60%.
Maintain the temperature
Take a heating lamp or place a heating pad inside the box. This will provide your egg the heat it needed to start the development. It will keep the egg warm. Moreover, it is a source of light that will optimize the process.
Tilt the egg
You need to tilt the egg regularly a minimum of 3 times a day. Mark One side with X and one with O, so you know where to turn it.
If you don’t change the position there are chances that the embryo may stick to the internal lining of the shell. It will cause the death of the developing zygote. All your hard work will loosen. You should tilt it 3,5,7,9,11 times a day.
Don’t touch the egg when it is near to hatch
When the egg is close to the hatch, you should avoid touching it. There is no need to tilt it. The embryo is mature now.
Do not place the egg in an open area
If you left it anywhere in your home. There are chances that your pet like a cat or dog destroy it. Maybe kids in the house grab it and start playing with it. That is just an exceptional case. But prevention is important. In open areas, there are always hazards waiting for the egg.
Call the wild life authorities
If you don’t want to take any risk and you think that you can’t handle it, call a wildlife rehabilitator. He will take the egg from you.
In some countries, it is illegal to take wild birds’ eggs. You should look for the law in your country and take steps accordingly. Caring for the egg is easy if you have an incubator. After the egg is hatched, you are his mom/dad. You have to take care of him a lot. Have to feed him 4 times a day.
Pigeons are easy to tame. They make good pets. There are pros and cons you should look at before having a pigeon. According to me, having a pet pigeon has a pleasant experience.
How long does it take for a pigeon egg to hatch?
It takes about 18 days to hatch a pigeon egg. If it doesn’t hatch after 21 days then there are chances the embryo is dead. You can use the candlelight method to know the egg development condition.
After the young squab is out. You have to take care of it in order to save his life. Initial days especially the first 2 weeks are very important. They need crop milk. If they don’t get it they will die. There is a detailed guide and food timetable which can help you to save your squabs life. You can read here
How do you keep pigeon eggs warm without an incubator? You can keep them warm by using a heat lamp or heating pad. Don’t place it near fire or direct sunlight to prevent the death of the embryo.
If you saw a baby pigeon. Click here