Pigeons are the birds in which both parents sit on their eggs. They protect their eggs and even fight with other pigeons for their safety. At a particular time, one partner looks after the eggs and the other flew away and search for the food. Both co-operate with each other for the survival of their babies.
Why pigeons are not sitting on their eggs? Pigeons are not sitting on their eggs for below mentioned reasons:
- The egg might be not fertilized
- They are waiting for the second egg to be laid
- Changing the location of the nest
- Death of the mate
- The danger of the predators
Pigeons don’t do this usually. So how to deal with the situation and what to do?
7 things you need to know
7 reasons may lead pigeons to abandon their eggs.
Egg is not fertilized
Eggs start forming in the female pigeon when it reaches its maturity age. Mostly they touch the puberty age at 7 months. If she doesn’t find a mate she can lay an egg
This egg is infertile and can’t grow whenever you visit your lost and see an abandoned egg the first probability is that the egg is not fertile.
There is the possibility that she is sitting for early few days and after that when she came to know the egg can’t be hatched. She Will abandons it.
So, what you have to do?
Check the fertility of the egg. You can check it after 5 to 8 days when the nerves in the eggs start forming.
- Take the pigeon’s egg
- Use a flashlight (mobile light can do the work)
- Take the egg in the darkroom
- Throw the light into the egg to see what’s inside.
- If you see the nerves and signs of life in it then your egg is fertilized.
But what if the pigeon is not sitting then? You can put the egg under another pigeon or hatch it by yourself in a home incubator. You can hatch your egg at home by reading this article.
Changing location of nest
Changing the position of the nest or eggs will also lead the bird to abandon its egg. Pigeons may feel this unsecured. There are chances that they don’t recognize their eggs and location. They may consider it an egg of another bird.
It is just a myth that when eggs are touched by the hands of humans, pigeons stop sitting on them. Pigeons choose their location for laying eggs after they mate.
The male pigeon forces the female to sit there. If we change the position they may forget it or may consider it a sign of danger.
In short, I recommend staying their nest at their place to avoid any complexity.
Second egg to be laid
When birds Lay eggs it is an exciting moment for the owner. New keepers may not know that with one mating pigeon Lays two eggs.
The second egg is laid by the hen after 24-48 hours. Until then she doesn’t incubate the first egg. When both eggs are laid both parents look after the eggs. It is a natural phenomenon.
If you bought a new pair of pet pigeons and an egg with them. There are commonly two reasons they may not sit
- She is going to lay another egg
- The location is changed
But what if she doesn’t lay a second egg. The possibility here is that the egg you brought is already the second one. The first egg may be broken or thrown by the previous owners.
This is also a reason. If the nest is exposed to water and remained wet all the time. The pigeon may not sit there.
The nest should not be so hard. Make sure you add some soft stuff to it. If you are at home and you don’t have enough money for the pigeon’s loft then you can hatch eggs in a shoebox.
Try to keep the nest clean. It should be comfortable for the pigeon. Keep it dry. Do not place it where it is exposed to sunlight directly.
Although they breed throughout the year the perfect season for pigeons’ breeding is autumn and spring. If they lay eggs in summer possibly due to high temperature they may not sit on the egg.
As the egg to be hatched, the minimum temperature should between 37-38 C. If the temperature exceeds the chances the hat egg may be rotten or the baby may die within the egg.
Extremely low temperature is also dangerous. With very cold weather, the hatching process may not start. Although you can provide the optimum temperature to the bird by providing them heater or AC depending upon the season. It is not recommended to breed them in extreme weather.
Death of the mate
Pigeons are very loyal to these or partners. They are intelligent and kindhearted birds. Mostly they mate for life. But sometimes death approaches and one partner dies. In this condition, they grieve and remain sad for some days. But they learn to move on like humans. After that, they search for a new partner.
Both male and female parents take care of the eggs. One partner sits on eggs and the other go for a food search. One of them is present near eggs during this time.
If one of the partners dies then it becomes difficult for the one to hatch eggs. As she has to take rest and eat survival food. She may start searching for a new mate. This thing may cause her not to sit on the eggs also.
Danger of Predators
Pigeons have many predators. In forests, their survival is comparatively less than in cities. It is because of a higher number of predators that are life-threatening for them in forests. In cities, they have food which is easily available to them. Hawks are their main predators but they are too less than pigeons.
Cats, dogs in homes can harm your pigeons. If they sense any predator around, they may not sit on their egg.
Mostly they attack the predators as seen below in this video.The crows are attacking but the pigeon fights for his eggs.
Do pigeons abandon their eggs if you touch them?
Sometimes we have to touch the bird’s egg to check the fertility or for some other reason. It is a myth. Pigeons don’t have a great sense of smell. They will not abandon their eggs if you touch them. It is safe to touch a pigeon’s egg. Mother will not harm you nor the egg.
How long can a pigeon egg survive without heat?
Pigeons sit on their eggs to provide the optimum heat so they can hatch easily. The temperature required to hatch eggs is 98.9 to 100.4 Fahrenheit. pigeon eggs can survive up to 5-7 days at normal temperature.IF the temperature is too hot, the incubation may starts on its own. You can refrigerate the pigeon egg in the freezer for some days.
Remember pigeon’s eggs can not survive longer than chicken eggs. They lose fertility as time passes. Although it is not recommended to keep pigeon eggs in the refrigerator if you are looking for incubating the egg.
Do pigeons leave their eggs unattended?
Pigeons don’t leave their egg unattended until they are frightened by the predators. At a time, one parent is always there for hatching eggs and one goes for a food search. If the egg is infertile they may abandon it. They care for their family. If a foreign pigeon attacks their birds they may even fight for it.
How long does a pigeon sit on the egg?
The pigeon may sit on the eggs until the egg is hatched. The process may take up to 17-21 days depending upon the species Female may sit in the evening while male may shift his duty in the daytime.