Pigeons are fascinating birds for breeders and researchers due to their prolific breeding behavior and quick increase in the population because the eggs quickly turn into adults.
How Often Do Pigeons Lay Eggs? Pigeons lay eggs almost 4 to 6 times a year on average, and each brood contains around 2 eggs, which means they can produce 8 to 12 eggs every year. The male and female pigeons mate several times during late winter or spring and build a safe nest. After that, the female produces eggs after 8 to 10 days and incubates them for hatching.
The egg-laying potential of pigeons varies according to their location and environmental conditions because they cannot reproduce well under stressful conditions.
Food unavailability, hot weather, the presence of predators, and lack of shelter are common stresses, and the birds have to deal with these before mating and laying eggs.
How many times do pigeons lay eggs in a year?
Pigeons can lay many eggs in a year as they can produce more than one egg at a time. The number can vary as it ranges between 1 to 3 eggs, depending on the external conditions.
On average, they can lay around 2 eggs in each batch because their nests are small to provide enough space for three babies.
Moreover, the rock doves can produce almost 6 broods in one year on average, and each brood contains 2 eggs. It means they can produce approximately 12 eggs in one year.
Every species has a different reproduction rate, as some produce only 2 to 4 broods and raise their population slowly. They can produce almost 4 to 8 eggs each year after mating with males.
However, some can reproduce fast and lay a brood once or twice every 2 months, which means they can produce 6 to 12 broods in a year.
It produces almost 12 to 24 eggs at the end of the year, but all of them do not turn into babies and become adults, as some unfertilized eggs do not hatch.
So, the frequency of laying eggs depends primarily on the species of the birds and the external environmental conditions, as a favorable environment supports mating and reproduction.
How fast do pigeons lay eggs?
Pigeons mate during breeding season when the males display their feathers and bow their heads to attract the females. Some puff their feathers or make a cooing sound to grab her attention.
A receptive female gives a chance to a competent partner for mating as she chooses healthy and bigger partners for mating. It is essential to choose a healthy partner as it provides protection later.
The male and female pigeons mate several times before producing babies, which depends on the bird’s age, as older birds have to make more effort due to a lower fertility rate.
However, the fertility rate is higher in young birds, so they have to mate twice or thrice only. Accordingly, the females lay eggs after a few days of mating, depending on the conditions.
Moreover, they build a flimsy platform on window ledges using straws and sticks to create a safe spot for placing eggs.
Commonly, they produce eggs within 8 to 10 days of mating, but some adult females take more time and lay eggs after 10 to 12 days of mating.
The small white and oval structures are eggs that take some time to hatch as the shell breaks when the embryo develops properly and scratches the hard shell to come out of it.
What factors affect egg laying in pigeons?
Many factors affect the egg-laying process in pigeons, as unfavorable conditions can delay their production, while they can quickly lay eggs in a suitable environment.
Age is considered the primary factor in determining the time adult females take to lay eggs because young females can produce them earlier.
Moreover, health conditions also matter as a sick or diseased female cannot produce a brood quickly, or even the brood can be unhealthy due to their mother’s sickness.
Food availability directly impacts the production process and their number because a well-fed female can lay 2 to 3 eggs when she gets a favorable environment and space to keep them.
The environmental conditions are harsh for wild species as they have to deal with changing climatic conditions, so they produce only 2 eggs at a maximum within 10 to 12 days.
In contrast, pigeons living in captivity can produce almost 2 or more eggs because they do not have to tolerate stressful conditions due to the risk of predator attacks.
What months do pigeons lay eggs?
The time for pigeon breeding and egg laying varies among different species that occupy different habitats and live in various geographical locations.
Generally, they reproduce in the summer and spring seasons, but some birds living in the tropical environment can also reproduce during late winter.
Pigeons usually mate in ideal conditions, having moderate temperature and humidity levels that seem suitable to plan for the arrival of the next generation.
Most commonly, they mate in March or April and lay eggs within a short time after mating, as 1 to 2 weeks are enough for the young pair to produce eggs.
Accordingly, it is estimated that March is the perfect season for raising the population when they breed at the end of the winter season.
Some species also breed in the summer season between the months of May to July.
However, a few feral birds reproduce all year and keep laying almost every month, producing 20 to 24 eggs at the end of the year.
Furthermore, food availability also directly impacts their breeding time because they prefer to mate when they have plenty of food to feed their babies.
Do pigeons lay eggs without mating?
It is interesting to know that pigeons can produce eggs even without mating with male partners, as this behavior is common in female birds.
This behavior is known as parthenogenesis, in which the females reproduce asexually without any participation of a male partner.
However, the eggs produced without mating are of no use to the birds because they do not develop into a baby due to lack of fertilization.
The females take care of these unfertilized or non-viable eggs as they care for fertilized ones until they come to know about their infertility.
She sits on them for 2 to 3 weeks and leaves them after realizing that no chicks will come out of it instead of incubation.
These unfertilized eggs do not contain the genetic material required for development into babies and adults, so they get spoiled within the nest or thrown out of the nest.
The pair makes space for the new babies by throwing the old and infertile eggs when they do not hatch after the completion of an incubation process.