Pigeon breeding is a rewarding activity, but it consumes a lot of time, and eggs require a lot of care and protection for successful hatching.
How Long Does It Take For Pigeons Eggs To Hatch? Pigeon eggs take almost 16 to 19 days to hatch when they get ideal incubation temperature, humidity, and protection from parents. It varies according to the parent’s age, diet, genetics, and external stress. They can hatch after an interval of 1 or 2 days due to the difference in laying time, as females produce a second egg after 24 to 48 hours.
It is exciting to watch the hatching process of eggs and see them growing from a baby to an adult pigeon, as many physical changes occur during growth, but you have to be patient as it takes time.
How long does it take for a pigeon egg to hatch?
The pigeons mate in the summer season, and the female pigeon lays eggs after a few days of mating. They pass through several changes as the embryo feeds on the yolk sac.
The eggs need some time for embryo development and transformation into a baby because a small bird emerges from the shell by breaking it during hatching.
Moreover, they take around 16 to 19 days to hatch, but this time can increase to 21 days if the conditions are not favorable for quick development.
The embryo breathes through allantois and consumes minerals from shells for development. The female sits on them to provide an incubation temperature or warmth for growth.
In addition, the male partner keeps circling around the nest to protect the female and eggs from predators. The male bird also sits on these eggs in the morning, while the female sits at night.
The hatching process also takes almost a few hours to days because the babies drill a small hole in the shell by scratching it in a circular motion.
Furthermore, the shells crack after continuous efforts of many hours, and babies emerge that are naked and yellowish or white in color.
What factors affect the hatching time of pigeon eggs?
Several external and internal factors affect the incubation period of pigeon eggs because the environment greatly impacts the growth of sensitive embryos inside the shells.
The humidity level in the environment directly impacts the duration of embryonic development because it determines the evaporation rate.
The water evaporates quickly if the humidity is lower than 50% and makes eggs dry, while they can get moist if it is more than 65%.
Dry shells create problems for the babies as they cannot efficiently scratch a hard surface and the hatching time delays. In the same way, moist eggs also pose difficulties for them to come out.
Excessive moisture leads to bacterial and mold growth and compromises their survival. They need almost 50% to 60% humidity to develop properly and hatch successfully.
A correct incubation temperature favors quick development and hatching of pigeon eggs as they need around 98 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit to develop within the ideal time.
In addition, low temperature slows down embryonic development as they need warmth to grow into a baby. High temperature accelerates the process and leads to early hatching.
The survival rates of babies reduce when they hatch earlier than the ideal time duration and face many health-related problems during their lifespan.
Furthermore, maintenance of ideal incubation temperature is essential for the well-being of the babies, as unhealthy babies are not desirable.
Parent protection is essential for successfully hatching eggs because they can easily break by falling on the ground during strong winds. The predators can also attack small eggs for nutrition.
Accordingly, the parents protect themselves from the natural changes in the environment and threats from predators, as external stresses can reduce the rate of hatching eggs.
Lack of care and attention from parents make them prone to attack by other hungry birds, which leads to an early death at the embryonic stage.
However, they can successfully develop into babies quickly if they receive adequate care and protection from their adult parents.
The age of adult parents at the time of fertilization matters in determining the rate of embryonic development and hatching time for the babies.
Moreover, the pigeons are in prime reproductive years when they are around 1 to 5 years old, which means the fertility rate is higher at this time.
The pigeons younger than 1-year-old birds cannot produce high-quality eggs that can hatch at the proper time because the fertility rate is low.
In the same way, the fertility rate decreases in older parents, and those produced by older parents usually take more time to develop than those of young parents.
Nutrition plays a crucial role in the determination of the hatching time, as healthy parents can only produce healthy eggs.
A balanced diet consisting of proteins, minerals, and vitamins helps maintain the health of adult birds and increases the clutch size or improves their quality.
Accordingly, healthy or high-quality eggs can successfully develop in a short time, while those suffering from starvation or malnutrition face problems in breaking the shell earlier.
An unbalanced diet of parents directly affects the quality of eggs and results in delayed hatching with a lower success rate in coming out of the hard shell.
Do both pigeon eggs hatch at the same time?
Pigeons can produce 1 to 3 eggs in each brood, depending on their age and health conditions. All of these eggs are produced after an interval of several hours. They usually lay eggs 4 to 6 times every year.
Female pigeons usually produce 2 eggs in one brood, and the second one comes after an interval of 24 to 48 hours.
Sometimes, they can produce three eggs when the adults are at the prime reproduction stage. The first one is supposed to hatch before the second one due to the difference in production time.
Moreover, it is also observed in a few cases that the first egg gets more nutrition than the second because it comes first and starts growing, so it hatches earlier than the second one.
Sometimes, the female waits for all to come out and starts incubating them collectively, which indicates that their embryonic development will be at the same rate.
However, external changes can delay overall time when both eggs do not receive the same parental care and protection.
Do pigeons sit on their eggs all the time?
The pigeons are responsible parents and take care of their babies continuously until they develop into babies and become able to fly or eat by themselves.
Moreover, adult birds do not leave eggs unattended and sit on them all the time because they cannot defend themselves against attacks.
Both male and female pigeons equally contribute to embryonic development, as the male sits on these eggs during the day when the females go out to look for food.
In the same way, the adult female provides an incubating temperature by sitting there at night. She sits there in mid-afternoon and leaves the nest in the mid-morning.
The male pigeon usually goes out of the nest in the nighttime to collect some food and comes back to the nest in the mid-morning to take his turn.
This mutual cooperation helps their babies develop properly because adult parents provide warmth by sitting and protecting them from predators.