Can pigeon eggs hatch without a mother on them?

Pigeon eggs need a lot of care and attention for them to hatch, the incubation process of a pigeon egg takes from 17 to 19 days and this involves the mother pigeon sitting on the egg to create the correct environment for the egg to incubate in, and then hatch. But what happens when a pigeon mother does not sit on the egg and incubate it? Can pigeon eggs hatch without a mother on them?

Pigeons can hatch without the mother on them if they are placed in an incubator. Incubators create environments of specific temperatures and humidity levels which allow the pigeon eggs to incubate and thus hatch without the mother. If the mother is incubating the eggs and she leaves for a long period of time the eggs won’t hatch.

Can pigeon eggs hatch without a mother on them?

Bird eggs need to be kept in an environment with a specific temperate and a specific level of humidity for them to hatch. When the mother is around to insulate them her fluffy feathers trap her body heat and this is what keeps eggs warm while mama bird sits on them.

That being said, there are times when nature calls and mama bird must step away from her eggs. She could also leave because she needs to fend off a predator or to fetch food.

When this happens the eggs won’t necessarily die and not hatch in future, them dying and not hatching depends on how long she’s gone for.  It will take some time before the egg gets cold enough to die. The pigeon eggs can survive for 5 days without incubation, after this they will die

Pigeon eggs can also hatch without a mother sitting on them if they are placed in an incubator. An incubator creates humidity and can be set to a temperature that allows eggs to hatch. If the eggs are placed in an incubator there is no need for the mother pigeon to sit on them.

How long can eggs survive without their mother on them?

Eggs won’t last for too long without warmth either from the mother or an incubator. Eggs left without the warmth they need will start to get too cold, the eggs can survive for 5 days if there is nothing available to warm them up. The warmth of the mother or an incubator is vital to them hatching.

Do pigeon’s abandon their eggs?

Many species of birds abandon their eggs in the nests of other birds, but pigeons are not like that. Pigeons generally do not abandon their eggs. They may leave their eggs to run a quick errand for food or water, but they usually come right back to their egg sitting post.

Eggs will more likely become abandoned because the parent pigeons have either been killed or scared away by predators. If one parent dies, the other parent pigeon will take on the role of warming the eggs until they hatch. Even if none of the parents dies both the male and the female pigeon will take turns incubating the eggs until they hatch.

Will cold eggs still hatch?

Eggs that have become cold for an extended period of time (more than 5 days), will not hatch, after 5 days the pigeon would have died in the egg. It is very important for eggs to maintain a continuous level of warmth for them to hatch. Very long or frequent temperature changes can cause a deformity of the chick and even death of the animal in the egg.

Why do pigeons break their eggs?

One reason for this is that some pigeons accidentally knock eggs from crowded nests. Also, there are some birds that are nest parasites, these birds will damage existing pigeon eggs to make sure that their own eggs, hidden in the nest, have a better chance of survival.

In addition, occasionally a pigeon will knowingly kick a rotting egg out of the nest to save the lives of its healthy hatchlings, rotting eggs breed disease and stench.


In conclusion, pigeon eggs can hatch without a mother as long as they are kept at the correct temperature and humidity levels in an incubator. If the mother leaves her eggs for more than 5 days it will die as eggs without warmth become too cold to live. Pigeons may abandon their eggs to protect themselves. Pigeons may break their eggs if it turns rotten which can affect the other eggs.

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other bird related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: Why do baby birds die in the nest?, Releasing baby birds back into the wild, a good or bad idea?, Do birds sleep in the same place every night?, Do all birds make nests?

Can pigeon eggs hatch without a mother on them?
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