What to do with a hen sitting on infertile eggs? - Pigeon-Talk
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Petalpoos Petalpoos is offline
Posted 14th June 2011, 06:22 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7

What to do with a hen sitting on infertile eggs?

Hi, I am a newbie - both to this forum and to keeping doves, so here's my first question for you all! I have 6 white doves, just the regular logan (I believe) and logan x fantails all kept in a dovecote and, currently, still in in a wire mesh cage (2.5m x 2.5m x 2.5m) as I have only had them 7 weeks and was waiting for the young to wean before seeing if the adults will stay. I have one pair with 2-3 week old babies and another nest on the go, so all fine with them.

One of the other pairs (regular male + fantail x hen) laid their eggs about the same time as the other pair, but do not want to give up on them, although they must be infertile / dead. Should I remove the eggs and nest or should I wait until they are ready to admit defeat? There are no more free nest boxes until the 2 young ones fledge.

All advice welcome, thank you.
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John_D John_D is offline
Posted 14th June 2011, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Country: United Kingdom
Location: South East
Posts: 9,389
Since they are way past the normal 18 - 21 days or so, I'd be inclined to remove them (or replace them with dummy eggs). It is probably worth checking them in case they were fertile and there may be a chick dead in the shell. That could indicate a health problem in the parents that would need to be addressed. Maybe they're just novice parents who aren't quite with it yet?

"Pigeons know more than we think - and think more than we know" ~ John D.
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BrownBirds BrownBirds is offline
Posted 14th June 2011, 09:21 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: United Kingdom, Worcestershire
Posts: 21
We remove unhatched eggs though I've never checked the eggs themselves. Weve got a really inexperienced "pair" (actually two hens) that nest up on the floor and usually end up stamping on the eggs and breaking them. Depending on how far gone the eggs are.. I normally leave it about three days over the normal hatching time, on about day 24 I remove them if they havnt hatched

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Petalpoos Petalpoos is offline
Posted 14th June 2011, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Thanks both of you. I will take the eggs out and see if they lay again. I believe they are both young, so may not yet have the hang of it!
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Petalpoos Petalpoos is offline
Posted 15th June 2011, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 7
Update: Now I feel mean I found 3 eggs in the nest, one small bluish one and two normal sized ones. I broke the small one and it was rotten - then broke the white ones and they had little embryos in them. Looks like she maybe laid the first duff one, sat on it for 3 weeks or so, then laid the 2 good ones. Oh well, live and learn even if it is at the expense of the doves. Hopefully they will lay again soon.
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