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Why Do Pigeons Break their Eggs? (Shocking Facts)

One of the most interesting questions that I found on forums was “Why do pigeons break their eggs?”

Pigeons break their eggs whenever they find a human touching them. Besides that, they also break their eggs whenever they presume the egg to be dead, damaged, or infertile.

Besides breaking their own eggs, pigeons abandon their eggs too. Now, this might be a bit confusing because they lay eggs in a nest, so why would they abandon them?

There’s a lot to learn when it comes to knowing the reasons behind abandoned eggs and the broken ones.

If you are interested in learning about all this, then be sure to keep reading till the end!

Why Do Pigeons Break their Eggs (2)

Why Do Pigeons Break their Eggs?

As already mentioned, pigeons break their eggs whenever they find a human touching them. The main reason for this is that they think that the egg has been damaged and is no longer viable.

Pigeons also abandon their eggs if they believe them to be dead, damaged or infertile. This usually happens if the mother pigeon has been disturbed while incubating the eggs.

When this happens, the mother will fly off and leave the unhatched eggs behind. She will then build a new nest and lay more eggs.

Pigeons have been known to break their own eggs too. This usually happens when the egg is cracked or not properly incubated.

Why do birds break their own eggs?

Not only pigeons but this behavior can be noticed in many other bird species. Most birds that are known to do this are precocial.

This means that they can leave the nest and fend for themselves soon after hatching. Some of the common examples include ducks, chickens, and quails.

The main reason behind this behavior is that these birds have a shorter incubation period. This means that there is less time for the mother to bond with her chicks.

As a result, she is more likely to reject any chicks that are not up to her standards.

Another reason why these birds break their own eggs is that they are trying to conserve energy. By breaking the eggs, they can save themselves the effort of incubating them.

This is especially important in times of food shortage.

Lastly, some birds break their own eggs because they are sick or infertile. In such cases, the mother bird knows that the egg is not going to hatch. Hence, she breaks it so that she can start fresh with a new batch of eggs.

Does pigeon eat their eggs?

You may have noticed an abandoned pigeon egg in the nest left by the female pigeons. However, the question is do they eat their own eggs?

The answer is no, pigeons do not eat their own eggs. In fact, they are known to be very protective of their eggs and will do anything to keep them safe.

If you find a broken egg in a pigeon’s nest, it is most likely because the mother bird thought it was damaged or infertile.

What happens when you touch a pigeon’s egg?

As we mentioned before, pigeons break their eggs whenever they find a human touching them. This is because they think that the egg has been damaged and is no longer viable.

However, there is no need to worry if you accidentally touch a pigeon’s egg. The chances of the egg being broken are very slim. You may have seen pigeons lay eggs in the pigeon coops. However, these are usually pet pigeons and are not wild ones.

Apart from that, wild pigeon eggs have much lesser survival chances because they are not as protected as the pet pigeons are. Most of them are usually destroyed by natural disasters and even predators.

A beautiful pigeon sitting on eggs

How do you know if a pigeon egg is fertile?

If you want to know whether a pigeon egg is fertile or not, then you will have to wait for around 18 days. This is the time it takes for a pigeon egg to hatch.

During this time, you will have to make sure that the egg is kept at a temperature of around 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can use an incubator for this purpose or you can even keep the egg in a warm room. Once the 18 days are over, you will be able to see a small chick inside the egg.

If there is no chick, then it means that the egg was not fertile.

Can you put a bird egg back in its nest?

Ok,  so you found a bird egg on the ground and you are not sure what to do with it. Should you put it back in the nest?

The answer is yes, you can put the egg back in the nest. Now you might be thinking how? because we just learned that parent pigeon abandons their eggs whenever they smell human scent on them.

Well, pigeons have a poorly developed sense of smell and unless they see you while you touch pigeon eggs they will not abandon them. However, the egg shell of pigeon eggs is very delicate. This means the eggs crack easily.

How many eggs do pigeons lay at a time?

Pigeons usually lay 2 eggs at a time. However, there are times when they may even lay 3 or 4 eggs.

The number of eggs that a pigeon lays depends on several factors such as the age of the bird, the weather, and even the availability of food.

Generally, younger pigeons tend to lay more eggs as compared to older ones. Besides that, there are some other factors that can affect the number of eggs laid by a pigeon.

For instance, if the weather is too hot or cold, then the pigeon may not lay any eggs at all. Similarly, if there is a shortage of food, then the bird may only lay one egg.

Can I move pigeon eggs?

No, you should not move pigeon eggs from one place to another. This is because when you do so, you are disturbing the delicate balance of the egg.

The best thing to do is to leave the egg where it is and let nature take its course. If you move the eggs somewhere even a few feet away then the parents will abandon the whole nest and will never come back to it.

A dove laying eggs in her nest

Why Do the Mother Pigeon Not Sit on Her Eggs?

Sometimes the mother pigeon does not sit on her eggs. This usually happens due to several reasons which I am going to tell you one by one.

The first thing which a mother pigeon does not sit on her eggs is the temperature inside the nest is too hot for the eggs.

If the eggs get too hot, they will start to develop defects. In order to prevent this from happening, the mother pigeon will leave the nest for short periods of time so that the eggs can cool down.

If the temperature is too high then there is a higher chance of the eggs getting rot.

The second reason why the mother pigeon does not sit on her eggs is that the male pigeon is not around.

The male pigeon usually takes over the duties of sitting on the eggs when the female has to leave for some time. However, if the male is not around then the female will have to do it all by herself.

The third reason is that the female pigeon is not feeling well. If the female is not well, she will not be able to take care of the eggs properly. In such a case, it is best for her to leave the eggs and rest.

The fourth reason why the mother pigeon does not sit on her egg is that she is not getting enough food.

If the female pigeon is not getting enough food, she will not have enough energy to sit on the eggs all day long. In such a case, it is best for her to leave the eggs and go in search of food.

Can a bird egg survive if cracked?

A cracked egg cannot survive. The reason behind this is that when an egg is cracked, the inner membrane gets damaged. This damage exposes the embryo to bacteria and other harmful microorganisms present in the environment.

These microorganisms can cause infections in the embryo which can lead to its death. In addition to that, a cracked egg also loses a lot of moisture.

This loss of moisture can cause the embryo to dehydrate and die. Thus, it is best to not try and incubate a cracked egg.

Why Do Bird Eggs Hatch at Different Times?

The reason behind this is that bird eggs are incubated at different temperatures. The temperature inside the nest determines the incubation period of the eggs.

If the temperature is too high, the eggs will hatch early. On the other hand, if the temperature is too low, the eggs will hatch late.

The ideal incubation temperature for most bird species is between 99 and 102 degrees Fahrenheit.

Final Words

So Why Do Pigeons Break their Eggs? well as you can see there can be many reasons behind it. Most of the time, the bird will break its own eggs if she suspects the egg to be damaged, or infertile.

However, she also breaks them whenever she feels a threat to her nest, or if the weather conditions are not suitable for the eggs.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below.


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