How Long Does Pigeon Eggs Take To Hatch

Key Takeaways:

  • Pigeon eggs have an incubation period, typically lasting around 17-19 days, before hatching into squabs.
  • Pigeon parents provide care to their squabs by feeding them pigeon milk, a special secretion produced in their crops.
  • The development of squabs involves various stages, from hatching to growing feathers and becoming independent.



Pigeon eggs need an exact amount of time to hatch. This varies between different species. Knowing the incubation period of pigeon eggs is critical for bird enthusiasts and researchers. The incubation period usually lasts 17-19 days for regular pigeon species. It’s important to bear in mind that this can be different for other types of pigeons. Consequently, it is crucial to think about the species when deciding how long pigeon eggs take to hatch.

The parents take turns sitting on the eggs during the incubation period. This is to keep the temperature consistent and ensure proper growth. This showcases the devoted care the pigeons give to their young. The eggs need a steady and suitable environment for successful hatching. Pigeons make nests using twigs, leaves, and other items, making a safe space for their eggs.

It’s essential to know that the incubation time can be impacted by external factors, like temperature and surroundings. Warmer temperatures can quicken the incubation period, while cooler temperatures may lengthen it. Also, disturbances or disruptions to the nesting area can also affect the hatching process. Thus, generating a tranquil and secure atmosphere is vital for the successful incubation of pigeon eggs.

General Information about Pigeon Eggs

Pigeon eggs, a fascinating subject! Let’s explore the general information about pigeon eggs, including their mating and nesting habits, as well as the incubation period. Get ready to discover intriguing facts and insights into the world of pigeon reproduction, from their unique mating rituals to the delicate process of egg incubation.

Pigeon Mating and Nesting Habits

Pigeons have fascinating mating and nesting habits that help them reproduce successfully. During mating season, they form pairs and build nests. They have a strong bond with their partner, and often mate for life. The nests are usually in sheltered areas like ledges, rooftops, and tree branches. Pigeons also tend to return to the same nest site year after year.

The female pigeon lays one or two eggs at a time. Both parents take turns to sit on the eggs and provide warmth. This incubation period lasts around 17 to 19 days. Meanwhile, they both search for food.

Humans have always been interested in these unique habits of pigeons. It helps us understand avian reproductive strategies and appreciate these remarkable creatures.

But how long do those pigeon eggs take to hatch? The waiting game begins…

Incubation Period of Pigeon Eggs

Pigeon eggs need to be incubated before hatching. This means they must be kept warm and undisturbed. Generally, they take 17-19 days to hatch. This depends on certain environmental conditions, such as: temperature, humidity, and nest location.

Temperature plays a big part in determining how long the incubation period will be. Optimal temperatures are between 98-100°F (36-38°C). Fluctuations in temperature can affect the incubation period.

Humidity also matters. High humidity prevents water loss and low humidity may affect embryo development.

The nest must be safe and stable. Nests exposed to bad weather or disturbances may lengthen the incubation period.

Note: Different sources may slightly vary in their reported ranges. However, most literature states that it takes 17-19 days.

Hatching Process and Parental Care

Hatching Process and Parental Care

Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Gregory Lewis

During the hatching process of pigeon eggs, parental care plays a crucial role. In this section, we will explore the fascinating aspects of pigeon milk and the feeding of squabs, along with the developmental stages of these young birds. Prepare to be amazed by the intricate and nurturing behaviors that the adult pigeons display as they raise their offspring.

Pigeon Milk and Feeding of Squabs

The growth of squabs is closely related to the special way they are fed, called “pigeon milk.” It is a secretion produced by the parent pigeons in their crop gland. They regurgitate this substance and feed it to the squabs. It is nutrient-rich and includes essential proteins, fats, and vitamins.

To get a better grasp on the feeding process, let’s look at the two columns in this table:


  1. Pigeon Milk
    • Produced by parent pigeons in their crop gland.
    • Regurgitated and fed to squabs.
    • Essential proteins, fats, and vitamins.
  2. Feeding of Squabs
    • Regurgitated pigeon milk into the mouth of the squabs.
    • Starts soon after hatching and goes on for weeks until they can eat solid food.
    • Necessary nutrients for growth and development.

At first, squabs get their nutrition mainly from pigeon milk. As they get older, they start eating solid food. This usually happens around four weeks of age when they start pecking at solid food sources. This change marks an important step in their journey to independence.

It’s important to remember that pigeon milk is essential for the health of squabs. Any disruption in the feeding process can be bad for their growth and overall wellbeing. Knowing how pigeon milk is produced, regurgitated, and consumed by squabs is key for successful breeding and raising healthy generations of pigeons.

Development of Squabs

Squab development is the growth and maturation of baby pigeons after hatching from their eggs. It involves physical and behavioural changes until they become independent birds.

You can view squab development in a table. This table has columns for Stage of Development, Description, and Duration. It gives a clear overview of the milestones in squab growth, from hatching to fledging.

Stage of Development Description Duration
Hatching Breaking out of the eggshell 17-20 days
Feathers Growth Growth and development of wing feathers 14-21 days
Feather Color Change Transition from downy to adult plumage 7-14 days
Fledging First attempts at flying and leaving nest 30-35 days (average)

As squabs develop, they go through stages of feather growth and colour change. They also become more independent, exploring and trying to fly outside the nest.

People have studied squab development for centuries. This understanding has helped pigeon breeders to perfect breeding practices. This knowledge has been handed down, so others can have success with breeding.

Factors Affecting Hatching Time and Troubleshooting

Factors Affecting Hatching Time and Troubleshooting: Discover the key elements that influence the hatching time of pigeon eggs. Uncover common issues that may cause eggs to remain unhatched and explore alternative methods that can be employed to successfully hatch pigeon eggs. Get ready to dive into the fascinating world of pigeon egg hatching and learn how to navigate any challenges that may arise along the way.

Factors Influencing Hatching Time

Pigeon eggs have hatching times influenced by environment, genetics, and temperature. Variations in these can affect duration. Genetics determine incubation, with certain breeds taking longer or shorter. Additionally, environmental factors like humidity and nesting location may also play a role.

A table can be made of these factors, with columns for environment, genetics, and temperature. Each column lists details such as humidity levels, breed characteristics, and optimal temperature range. This provides an overview of elements that can affect incubation duration.

Unique details may also contribute. Parental behavior during incubation, or environmental disruptions like high stress or disturbances, can prolong the period. Understanding these extra factors can help with troubleshooting unhatched eggs or implementing alternative methods for successful hatching.

When it comes to unhatched pigeon eggs, there’s no punchline – time to troubleshoot!

Troubleshooting Unhatched Eggs

  1. Troubleshooting unhatched pigeon eggs needs certain steps. Firstly, check the incubation conditions. Temperature should be between 99-100°F and humidity level should be 55-65%.
  2. Secondly, assess egg viability. Use candling to observe the contents of the egg.
  3. Thirdly, monitor egg rotation. Make sure eggs are turned regularly.
  4. Genetic factors can also lead to unhatched eggs. Consult an avian vet to determine any underlying genetic issues.
  5. Also, prevent contamination. Clean incubator, nest boxes and surrounding area.
  6. Seek professional help if a significant number of eggs fail to hatch.
  7. Finally, troubleshooting needs timely intervention for higher hatch success rates.

Desperate times call for desperate measures; pigeons have a range of alternative methods for hatching their eggs.

Alternative Methods for Hatching Pigeon Eggs

Humans have found various alternative methods for hatching pigeon eggs when natural means are not possible. These alternatives include:

  1. Artificial incubation mimics the natural environment with controlled temperatures and humidity. It provides the necessary care for successful hatching.
  2. Hand-rearing is necessary when parents cannot care for their offspring. It requires constant nourishment until the squabs can survive without help.
  3. Surrogate parents from other bird species can accept and nurture pigeon eggs. This increases the chances of a successful hatch.
  4. Assisted hatching intervenes in cases where an egg has difficulties hatching. Gently breaking the shell ensures a successful hatch.
  5. Egg swapping helps when a pair of pigeons cannot hatch their own eggs due to infertility or abandonment. Replacing unhatched eggs with fertile ones from another pair increases the chances of successful hatching.
  6. Cross-fostering transfers newly hatched squabs from one nest to another. This balances parental care and redistributes eggs or squabs for successful hatching when nests are scarce.

These alternative methods ensure the welfare and survival of pigeon populations. In ancient Egypt, humans even developed advanced incubators made of pottery filled with heated sand and water. This shows the human commitment to protecting these remarkable birds.



Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Sean Taylor

Pigeon eggs take 17-19 days to hatch, according to reference data. The incubation period varies. It depends on temperature and the time parents spend on the eggs. Pigeons lay two eggs at once. Both parents alternate incubating them. They rotate the eggs so the heat is evenly distributed. Once they hatch, parents keep caring for chicks until they can fend for themselves. The incubation period is influenced by various factors. Parents have an active role in offspring survival.

Some Facts About How Long Pigeon Eggs Take To Hatch:

  • ✅ Pigeon eggs take about 18-22 days to hatch, with an average of 20 days. (Source: PigeonPedia)
  • ✅ The incubation period can be affected by temperature and humidity. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ If pigeon eggs have not hatched after 21 days, it could be due to various factors such as incorrect fertilization or improper incubation conditions. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Pigeon eggs are typically incubated by both parents, who take turns sitting on the eggs to keep them warm. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Pigeon squabs stay in the nest for about a month before they are fully grown and ready to fly. (Source: Team Research)

FAQs about How Long Does Pigeon Eggs Take To Hatch

How long does it take for pigeon eggs to hatch?

Answer: Pigeon eggs typically take around 18 days to hatch, with some variation depending on the specific species and environmental conditions.

What is the incubation period for pigeon eggs?

Answer: The incubation period for pigeon eggs is usually around 18 days, during which both the male and female pigeons take turns sitting on the eggs to keep them warm.

Do pigeons abandon their eggs if they haven’t hatched after a certain period of time?

Answer: Pigeons usually abandon their eggs after about 18-20 days of incubation if they haven’t hatched. However, there is still a chance for the egg to hatch up until the 26th day.

How do you increase the chances of pigeon eggs hatching successfully?

Answer: To increase the chances of pigeon eggs hatching, you can check the eggs for cracks, gently move them around, increase the temperature and humidity in the incubation environment, and ensure proper fertilization and incubation conditions.

What is the role of crop milk in feeding pigeon squabs?

Answer: Pigeon squabs are initially fed with crop milk, a cheesy substance produced by the parents, for about a week. This nutrient-rich milk provides essential nourishment to the young squabs before they transition to a diet of partially digested grains regurgitated by the parents.

Can pigeons lay eggs without a mate?

Answer: Yes, female pigeons have the ability to lay eggs without a mate. However, for successful reproduction, both a male and female pigeon are required for fertilization and raising the young.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.