How Do Pigeons Lay Eggs?

After breeding, both male and female pigeons build a nest together. The male attracts the female with sounds, and she stays in the nest except for food and water. The male brings nesting materials and the female decorates the nest. Both protect the nest from other pigeons. Proper nutrition is important for the pigeons. The female lays the first egg and barely leaves the nest. The male protects the nest and family.

The second egg is laid the day after the first, or sometimes later. If there is no egg after two days, it is unusual. The female sits on the eggs, and the male protects it when she is away. When the second egg is laid, the fake egg must be replaced with the real one. This ensures that both eggs hatch at the same time so the babies can grow at the same rate and receive the same amount of food.

How Do Pigeons Lay Eggs

Pigeon Egg Incubation Process

After the female pigeon lays two eggs, both the male and female take turns incubating the eggs. The male pigeon incubates the eggs from morning to afternoon, while the female takes over at night. This cycle continues for a few days until the eggs hatch successfully.

During the incubation period, both pigeons are highly attentive and protective of their surroundings, with one pigeon incubating the egg and the other guarding the nest. This cooperative effort ensures the eggs are kept under constant protection until they hatch.

How Does A Pigeon Turn The Egg So That It Doesn’t Roll Off The Ledge

Pigeons have a lot to do to take care of their eggs, including turning them so they don’t roll off the ledge. Most of their day is spent perched on buildings, keeping an eye out for predators and looking for food. But they also spend time incubating their eggs, making sure they stay warm until they hatch.

To turn the egg, the pigeon uses its beak and body to slowly rotate the egg until it is in the desired position. It starts by gently picking up the egg in its beak and then uses its body to rotate the egg. Once it’s in the right position, the pigeon carefully lowers the egg back onto the ledge. This process is repeated as necessary throughout the day to ensure the egg stays safe and warm.

By carefully turning the eggs several times a day, pigeons can ensure that they stay safe and warm until they hatch. It’s amazing to think about all the things that pigeons do to care for their eggs.

When Do Pigeons Start Laying Eggs

Pigeons usually lay their first egg at 5 to 6 months of age. Some species may take longer, but the general case is to lay eggs within five to six months. This is due to their maturity level, as they need at least 5 months to get matured. It is necessary to ensure that pigeons are receiving regular nutritious food and pure drinking water to aid in their development.

At the age of 3 or 4 months, pigeons may start mating with other pigeons, but they are not mature enough to produce eggs at that point. This mating behavior is normal for their age, and they will become ready to breed and lay eggs once they reach maturity.

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How Often Do Pigeons Lay Eggs

Pigeons generally lay eggs approximately twelve times a year, meaning it is possible to get around 24 eggs annually, or at least two eggs per month. However, it is not reasonable to expect 24 baby pigeons from those 24 eggs due to potential infertile eggs and other factors. Pigeons that are kept in cages tend to focus more on laying eggs, with a break of about a month between each laying period.

After the hatching process, the mother pigeon begins preparing for laying eggs again within two weeks. While this is the typical behavior for most pigeon species, it is important to give male and female pigeons separate rest periods to prevent increased rates of infertile eggs and negative effects on the pigeon’s health. Taking these precautions ensures fertile eggs and healthy baby pigeons.

How Many Eggs Do Pigeons Lay

When a pigeon lays eggs, it typically lays two at a time. The second egg will usually come within 24 to 48 hours after the first. However, if you happen to see three eggs being laid by one pigeon, it would be quite unusual. In this case, the third egg may end up being smaller than the others and may also be infertile.

If you come across four eggs in the nest, it’s highly likely that both pigeons are female. In such a scenario, it’s recommended to change the pair by bringing in two male pigeons.

Do Pigeons Lay Eggs Without Mating

Yes, pigeons can lay eggs without mating with other pigeons, which is quite common. At the age of 5 to 6 months, pigeons become mature and ready to breed. If the female pigeon doesn’t find a mature male to pair with, she will lay eggs without mating. The female pigeon tries to attract a male by making a beautiful noise and finds a place for nesting and laying eggs.

However, without mating, the eggs will not hatch. For successful hatching, the female pigeon must mate with a male. Nonetheless, in some cases, a female pigeon may manage to mate with a male and lay fertile eggs. The female pigeon can incubate the eggs alone and successfully hatch and raise the baby pigeons. This demonstrates the incredible ability of female pigeons to incubate and care for their babies without a male partner.

Pigeon Egg Size

The size of a common pigeon egg ranges from 3 cm to 4 cm, varying with different pigeon species. Larger pigeon species, such as the King Pigeon, lay bigger eggs due to their relatively larger size. As a result, their eggs are also larger than those of other common pigeons.

In comparison to chicken eggs, pigeon eggs are slightly less than half the size, with a not very strong shell that can be easily broken with a small hit. It is advisable to handle pigeon eggs with care and avoid applying too much pressure while holding them.


How Many Days Does A Pigeon Sit On Her Eggs?

Pigeons typically sit on their eggs for about 17 to 19 days. This is the incubation period, during which the female pigeon will keep the eggs warm and rotate them to ensure even heating. After this time, the eggs will hatch and the parents will continue to care for the young pigeons.

What Does A Pigeon Do If It Lays An Egg That Is Too Big For The Nest?

If a pigeon lays an egg that is too big for the nest, it will try to push the egg out of the nest using its beak. However, if the egg is too big to be pushed out, the pigeon will likely abandon the egg and the nest.

How Does A Pigeon Know When An Egg Is Ready To Hatch?

A pigeon knows when an egg is ready to hatch because the egg will start to crack and the pigeon will feel the egg move. This is a natural instinct that helps the pigeon know when it’s time to care for the hatching chick.

Do Female Pigeons Lay Eggs Without A Male?

Yes, female pigeons can lay eggs without mating with a male pigeon. They are able to produce eggs through a process called parthenogenesis. However, the eggs produced through parthenogenesis are not fertile and will not hatch into baby pigeons.

Can You Eat Pigeon Eggs?

Yes, you can eat pigeon eggs. They are edible and some people find them to be tasty. The taste is subjective, with some people comparing it to chicken eggs. Pigeon eggs are smaller than chicken eggs, so you may need to use multiple pigeon eggs to equal the size of a chicken egg. When boiled, the white part of the pigeon egg is transparent and the yolk is proportionally larger than a chicken egg.

Can Pigeon Eggs Hatch Without Mother?

No, pigeon eggs cannot hatch without the mother. Consistent incubation is necessary for the eggs to hatch and produce healthy chicks. If the mother pigeon leaves the eggs unattended for an extended period of time, the eggs will not hatch.

Do Pigeons Always Lay 2 Eggs?

Pigeons typically lay 1 to 3 eggs, but the most common number is 2. The eggs are white and hatch after about 18 days. The pigeons build their nests on window ledges or other sheltered areas using straw and sticks.

Can I Touch Pigeon Eggs?

You can touch pigeon eggs without worrying about the parents rejecting them. The myth that birds will reject eggs or chicks due to human scent has been proven false. So go ahead and touch the eggs if you need to!

How to Check Pigeon Eggs Fertility?

To check egg fertility, remove the eggs from the nest and shine a light through them. A mobile flashlight can be convenient for this. The light passing through the eggs will reveal their color – either purely yellow or with red veins. Completely yellow eggs are not fertile, while fertile eggs will show some red veins. Place the fertile eggs back in the nest for proper incubation. If both eggs are infertile, remove them to prompt the parents to re-plan for more eggs.

Why Pigeon Eggs Are Not Hatching?
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Pigeon eggs should be checked after five to seven days of incubation to ensure they are fertile. Usually, it is expected that two eggs will hatch, but there is no guarantee that all the eggs will hatch. Sometimes, after the incubation period, one or both eggs may not hatch. If the eggs do not hatch after 25 days, it is unlikely they will hatch at all. Moreover, there is a risk of the baby pigeons dying while being hatched or shortly after due to immaturity or insufficient heat from their parents.

How Long Can Pigeon Eggs Survive Without Incubation?

Pigeon eggs can survive up to 5 days without incubation and potentially up to 7 days, depending on temperature. Unlike chicken eggs, pigeon eggs cannot be conserved for long periods and should not be stored in the refrigerator, as this can reduce their fertility. If the parents die and there are eggs in the nest, it is best to place them under the incubation of another pigeon. If that is not possible, an incubation machine can be used as a last resort to try and hatch the eggs.

Why Do Pigeons Abandon Their Eggs?

Pigeons may abandon their eggs when the incubation period ends, typically after 20 to 22 days. They are very sensitive about their nest placement and may abandon their eggs if the nest is moved. Additionally, if they become scared or sick, they may leave the eggs unhatched. The death of a mate or the presence of predators can also lead to egg abandonment. Some pigeon species are not good parents and may neglect their eggs and chicks.

Can Pigeons Carry Their Eggs?

No, pigeons cannot carry their eggs. They are not designed that way and do not have hands to hold the eggs. During incubation, the pigeons need to move the eggs, which they do using their beak. When the eggs hatch, the pigeons use their beak to remove the egg shell. However, due to the broken egg shell, pigeons are able to carry the shell but not the whole egg. Their wings support them in doing all these tasks. Therefore, pigeons are not capable of carrying their eggs in the traditional sense.

What’s Inside the Pigeon Egg? Male or Female?

It is not possible to determine the gender of a pigeon egg just by looking at it. There are no reliable methods or signs to accurately identify the gender before hatching. While it is common to find one male and one female pigeon egg out of a pair, it is also possible to have two males or two females. The gender distribution can vary in different cases.


In conclusion, the process of how pigeons lay eggs is fascinating and demonstrates the remarkable abilities of these birds. From the construction of a nest to the development and laying of the egg, pigeons exhibit innate behaviors and instincts that have allowed them to successfully reproduce and thrive in urban and rural environments alike.

Understanding the laying process of pigeon eggs is important for both bird enthusiasts and those interested in wildlife conservation. By gaining insight into their nesting and breeding behaviors, we can better appreciate and support the natural reproduction and survival of these birds.

Kathy Gonzales

I'm an author of I have kept pigeons as pets for over 20 years and have written several articles. Here in this blog, I cover topics such as how to care for pigeons, what to feed them, and how to keep them healthy.