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rockerdove rockerdove is offline
Posted 29th May 2011, 04:34 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 4

Unfertilized Eggs/What do I do with them? PLEASE HELP!


Hi, my pigeon just laid an egg and I don't know what I am supposed to do. I am not a bird person, this bird came to us from a bad situation, and after preventing her from being eaten by a hawk, we took her in. We are apartment dwellers and she has been indoors since november--so there is no way that the egg can be fertile--I think she is supposed to lay another one in a day or two--is this correct? will this happen every spring? is it going to keep happening all summer? is there way to prevent it? Do I leave the eggs in her cage? does she need to have then in a nest? will they spoil and smell, or be diseased? Is there something I need to do for her? If another egg doesn't show up is that a problem?

I am nervous because she does not let us even touch her, I open the door to clean her cage but she stays in the back--she does not adapt well to change at all--we would not have even been able to get her to the vet after the attack if she wasn't stuck in the fence on our terrace. we haven't touched her since that time. she was afraid of other pigeons when she was outdoors, she was kept by someone who had hundreds of birds in a small coop, kept flightless for 2 years (the first two year so her life) I don't want to stress her out, but i don't know how to clean her cage or give her new food or water without upsetting her or having the eggs role around and crushed. I am sorry if i sound ignorant, but i didn't even know that birds could lay unfertilized eggs--i never intended to keep a pigeon as a "pet" and have been so sick with lupus this whole time that i have not been about to research this stuff. i am extremely sensitive to light so using the computer is dangerous for me. I thank you in advance for any advice that you can give me.


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Ross Howard's Avatar
Ross Howard Ross Howard is offline
Posted 29th May 2011, 04:39 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Country: Canada
Location: Canada SW Ont
Age: 65
Posts: 459
Throw them away she will forget quickly if u don't they'll go bad & explode if u touch.
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Rev&George Rev&George is offline
Posted 31st May 2011, 05:08 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Country: United Kingdom
Location: Kent, England
Age: 30
Posts: 21
Hi, let me see if I can answer all your questions and help you.

You have two options regarding the eggs:

1. Let her sit on them for the 17-18 incubation period

2. Take them away immediately after she lays them.

If you take them away then she may lay another set quite soon and the calcium in her body will be depleted so you'll need to get some calcium and vitamin D supplements.

I sometimes let my pigeon sit on her infertile eggs for the incubation period, other times I don't. My pigeon gets very moody when she's incubating so sometimes I remove the eggs before she gets in that state.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockerdove View Post
I think she is supposed to lay another one in a day or two--is this correct?
Yes, pigeons lay eggs about two days apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockerdove View Post
will this happen every spring?
It might happen every month!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockerdove View Post
is there way to prevent it?
Not really. Pigeons are prolific breeders and they have a very strong urge to keep laying eggs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockerdove View Post
Do I leave the eggs in her cage? does she need to have then in a nest?
It is best if they are in some sort of nest so that they don't roll about and she can sit on them without accidentally stepping on them and breaking them. Any type of bowl or low box will do as a nest. Put some tissue paper, an old towel, straw or twigs in it for her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockerdove View Post
will they spoil and smell, or be diseased?
The eggs won't be diseased and in my experience with letting my pigeon sit on infertile eggs, they won't spoil or smell - as long as they aren't in her cage for longer than 18 days! However, it's best to get fake eggs to replace them just in case she breaks them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockerdove View Post
If another egg doesn't show up is that a problem?
Not always. Younger or very old pigeons may only lay 1 egg. If the second egg is much smaller and she's had trouble laying it then it may be that she has some calcium deficiency. It's a good idea to get some calcium and Vitamin D supplements.

Is your pigeon a feral pigeon? Feral pigeons usually become a bit tame with time, however, it sounds as if your pigeon is very scared of people. Shame.

Would you be able to post a photo or video of her for us to see her?
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Libis Libis is offline
Posted 31st May 2011, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Country: United States
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 2,145
You said that you are having trouble when you feed and water? She may be fearful for some time, but after a while (it could be a long while, it just depends) she should calm down. When you put your hands in the cage be slow and gentle but deliberate in your actions. Do not show fear, this will make her more fearful as well. Make sure she sees you putting the seeds in her bowl.

Eventually, when she calms a bit about the bowls being moved around by you, you can wait until she is very hungry (like right away in the morning when she starts begging) and put the seed in your hand rather than in the bowl. Place your hand on the bottom of the cage and hold as still as you can. Sometimes this scares them at first, even when they really really want the food, so you might not be able to look at her directly until she gets used to eating from your hand. (If your illnesses make this hand-feeding difficult, it might be worth letting your significant other do it. I know sometimes my wrist cramps up when I do it.) Over time she should get used to your hands and come to eat from them. Once she gets pretty used to eating from your hand, you can start working on being able to handle her more. You might also try hand feeding unsalted raw Spanish peanuts (best if there are no additives at all). Apparently pigeons go crazy for those.

I found this article for 4-H kids helpful in handling my birds, and you might too. There's also a lot of other information with little diagrams. (You don't need to worry about the parts on banding, building a loft, or anything like that since you're not breeding birds.)
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/4h/4-h154.pdf
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/4h/4-h154.pdf
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spirit wings spirit wings is offline
Posted 31st May 2011, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Country: United States
Posts: 19,617
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockerdove View Post
Hi, my pigeon just laid an egg and I don't know what I am supposed to do. I am not a bird person, this bird came to us from a bad situation, and after preventing her from being eaten by a hawk, we took her in. We are apartment dwellers and she has been indoors since november--so there is no way that the egg can be fertile--I think she is supposed to lay another one in a day or two--is this correct? will this happen every spring? is it going to keep happening all summer? is there way to prevent it? Do I leave the eggs in her cage? does she need to have then in a nest? will they spoil and smell, or be diseased? Is there something I need to do for her? If another egg doesn't show up is that a problem?

I am nervous because she does not let us even touch her, I open the door to clean her cage but she stays in the back--she does not adapt well to change at all--we would not have even been able to get her to the vet after the attack if she wasn't stuck in the fence on our terrace. we haven't touched her since that time. she was afraid of other pigeons when she was outdoors, she was kept by someone who had hundreds of birds in a small coop, kept flightless for 2 years (the first two year so her life) I don't want to stress her out, but i don't know how to clean her cage or give her new food or water without upsetting her or having the eggs role around and crushed. I am sorry if i sound ignorant, but i didn't even know that birds could lay unfertilized eggs--i never intended to keep a pigeon as a "pet" and have been so sick with lupus this whole time that i have not been about to research this stuff. i am extremely sensitive to light so using the computer is dangerous for me. I thank you in advance for any advice that you can give me.
Are wanting to keep the pigeon?.. is this a wild or feral pigeon that can not be released or is this a domestic breed of pigeon?.. the egg laying is normal so you now know she is a hen..they will lay eggs pretty often so yes a nest or a box she can make a nest in would be nice for her so she can sit the eggs.. which is fine because they are not fertile.. what kind of set up do you have her in? is it big enough for a box or even a large shoe box for a nest?.. you said she was saved from a hawk..but also said she came from crowded conditions so Im not sure if she is domestic of wild.. if she is feral she may be a candidate for soft release if she is not happy with humans..but most pigeons are standoffish anyway.. she must feel a bit comfortable to lay eggs there so that is saying something. if you can be more specific about the size of her cage and if you think the bird will be too much for you to keep.. there may be someone close that may beable to help so your location may be of some help if you want to share it.
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