Many people keep pigeons as pets due to their docile nature and fast growth as they are easy to keep pets and build larger populations in a short time.
Why Do Pigeons Grow So Fast? Pigeons grow so fast due to parental feeding, protection by parents, smaller body size, availability of nutritious food, and migratory nature. They can fly within 26 to 29 days after hatching from eggs.
Pigeon fertilized egg undergoes development to become an adult organism with a bigger body having all the basic physical features.
What makes a pigeon grow so fast?
Pigeons can quickly complete their primary developmental stages and grow into adult birds that can fly and collect their own food for several reasons.
Pigeons are considered good parents as they do not leave their eggs and babies alone when they are passing through the initial developmental phases of their lives.
They provide care and attention to their young babies because these birds are social creatures that cannot live without their parents.
Moreover, these squabs depend entirely on their parents for growth until they can take flight in the air and reach the food sources.
They do not have to wait for warm weather to hatch, like praying mantis eggs, as their mother provides warmth by sitting on the eggs and providing a suitable temperature for hatching.
These eggs require 37 to 38 degrees Celsius temperature during incubation, and they cannot survive for more than 4 to 5 days if they do not get warmth.
Safety and protection
Baby pigeons usually grow so fast because they are protected by their parents, which can keep predators away from their babies.
Squabs are defenseless because they cannot move or fly due to the absence of wings, which means they cannot escape or fight for defense.
They do not feel any stress or fear until their parents are sitting close to them, which can help them develop quickly.
Moreover, their parents never keep eggs alone at night or even during the day when they go out to collect food. The females usually guard babies when the males are not in the nest.
It shows the collective efforts of the male and female because the male pigeons take care of the babies when the females leave the nests.
Furthermore, they do not abandon their eggs and help them grow into adults or make them able to fledge until they feel a significant threat to their lives.
These birds live in flocks comprising 15 to 20 birds at minimum, which means there are fewer chances of death after attack from predators.
Body size and weight
The body size and weight also determine the time duration for organisms to grow into adults, as bigger birds and animals usually take more time.
Pigeons weigh almost 245 to 360g and extend to 12 to 14 inches. In addition, they can gain height of nearly 10 to 12 inches, depending on the species and gender.
They have smaller bodies or are light in weight and do not take much time to gain height and body mass. Their skull is light, and these birds lack teeth or other non-essential bones.
Accordingly, the eggs take only a few days to hatch and develop into adults after passing through a series of morphological and biological changes.
Maximize the number of offspring
The number of offspring increases when the eggs grow faster because these eggs quickly develop into adults and produce more eggs after getting sexually mature.
In the same way, pigeons can grow fast because they can reproduce all year, particularly in summer and spring. These can produce six broods in a year, comprising 1 to 3 eggs.
It means they can produce almost 6 to 18 eggs in a year, and these eggs can get sexually mature within 6 months and begin to produce eggs.
Accordingly, it results in the addition of a large number of new pigeons in the flock within a year. So, they grow fast to produce new offspring and increase their population ultimately.
Availability of nutritious food
Baby pigeons get nutritious food from their parents that can help in quick growth as they feed on a curd-like substance produced by parents after hatching eggs.
The fat-filled cells in the parents produce this curd-like material, which male and female pigeons regurgitate to feed their young squabs.
In addition, this nutritious crop milk provides all essential micro and macronutrients to the squabs for their ideal growth and development.
Moreover, their eating habits change after 5 to 9 days of hatching as their parents stop feeding crop milk to the young ones and offer seeds to them.
Such nutritious food helps them grow exceptionally rapidly and become mature birds. The adult birds leave the nest and collect their food for survival.
Some researchers have found a potential reason for rapid growth in pigeons and other birds because of their migratory nature.
The migratory birds complete their basic developmental stages faster than others as they have to migrate to safe places before the winter season arrives.
In the same way, wood pigeons have to be prepared for their journey to different places, as this species is mainly known for migrations to far areas.
The external environment affects the development of pigeon eggs as comfort and nutrition play a vital role that can decrease the overall time duration.
In addition, the parents of squabs protect them from environmental stress as they are not disturbed by changing external conditions.
The mothers can provide an incubation temperature by sitting on the eggs if the external temperature is lower for the eggs to hatch.
In addition, they build a solid platform to reduce the chances of eggs breakdown by falling on the ground. They collect sticks and straws to make nests in safe places like window ledges.
How long does it take for a baby pigeon to grow into an adult?
Pigeons do not take a long time to grow into adults and rapidly grow bigger because they have to attain a smaller body size compared to larger birds.
The larger birds can take almost 15 to 24 weeks to grow, but pigeons only take 25 to 29 days to become adult birds.
The eggs incubate for almost 15 to 17 days but cannot fly right after hatching as their bodies undergo several physical and biological changes.
It can take flight after almost 25 to 29 days, approximately equal to one month when its wings get appropriately developed. This time can increase up to 5 to 6 weeks in some pigeons.
However, they can reach sexual maturity at different stages as the males can usually breed after 4 to 5 months, while the females can get sexually mature after 6 to 7 months.