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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,
I have recently been given a broken pigeon egg in hopes of it hatching, but I'm really unsure of the chances. I have history rehabilitating small birds, but mostly small wild birds and newborn precocial species (such as pheasants and quails). It's my first time dealing with an egg.

I don't have an incubator either, only a heat lamp, so I've been left to manually rotate the egg with a humidifier on for the past 11 days. I was given the egg estimated on the day it was laid, but a small hole had been pierced into the shell which is why I was given it in hopes of saving it, which as you can imagine is a bit of a tall order...

The egg was pierced against the air sac side only, so the embryo appears to be completely unharmed. I've heard of cracked eggs being saved with wax and glue, but nothing online suggests anything regarding eggs pierced the way this one is. I'm imagining the bacteria from the air along with dehydration is going to be the main killer for this egg. When I received it I quickly added a tiny spot of cotton to the hole and covered it with a plaster to seal it as best as I could.

To my uttermost surprise, the embryo has remained alive for several days. However, now I'm beginning to become unsure again.

We have presumably 6 days remaining for estimated hatching time, there is no looseness within the egg (I have been checking via candling), but the embryo side of the egg has suddenly turned a vicious blue. I've heard that pigeon eggs can tint blue before they hatch, but the photos I've seen look nothing like how this egg appears. I'm assuming by the hole it has the shell must be extremely thin, as you can see where the embryo is "resting" against the shell without any aid of candling. The blue has been spreading every day on the embryo side only for the past 4-5 days.

But I'm very uncertain because of how strange it looks; is this simply a miracle surviving embryo in a ridiculously thin egg shell, growing visibly against the side, or is it a sign of internal rotting occurring?

I've been really trying to find answers through research but to no avail - all examples of rotten egg images I can find looks nothing like how this egg is, but it looks rather different from "normal" pigeon eggs too. It truly does seem (at least through candling) that the embryo is alive, but I worry I might simply be an optimistic.

I can't provide images of candling because the strongest light I have for that is my phone's light itself, but I can show you the very bizzare colouring that is growing along the embryo side of the egg (please see images at the bottom of this post). I can also confirm that the blue discolouration is completely aligned solely with the embryo and no other part of the egg (the embryo only takes up one half of the egg - the air sac is very large).

I will still be incubating the egg in any case on the very slim chance that it might still be alive, and if it isn't, then I can live with the consequences of a smelly rotten egg and know I was fighting a rather impossible fight to begin with. I just thought I'd be able to get some more professional advice about this sort of thing. Many thanks for reading!

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