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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone --

I have been reading here for a couple of months and must thank you for all the education and entertainment you've already provided me. I'm now in need of more personalized help. . .

Last fall, my husband and I adopted two pigeons from a local wildlife rehab center. They are both white; one a fantail, one looks like a chicken. :D Anyway, we just keep them as pets, getting plenty of pleasure just keeping them and knowing they are safe and looked after.

Now . . .

This morning, there is an egg. Now what?? :confused:

We knew we were taking a chance when we brought these two home. The people at the rehab center couldn't sex them. Is there still hope that these are two females and this is an infertile egg? If the egg is, in fact, an infertile egg produced by one hen (i.e., not a "collaborative effort") will only the laying hen care for it? Or will they still act as a couple and take turns sitting, etc?

I really, really do not want this to be a fertile egg because, to me, this means we will have to split up this couple or continuously take their eggs in order to control the population. Is that correct? I would love to be wrong about this, so please enlighten me. They make such a cute pair and I would hate to have to separate them. What, if any, other options do we have?

If we let this egg (or eggs if another appears) hatch, will we eventually have to separate the offspring from this couple to stop him/her from also breeding with the parent? Am I, all of a sudden, looking at 3+ pigeon coops rather than 1? :(

Also, if anyone knows of additional resources for this information, please let me know. I have spent much of the morning reading around, but I find almost all info out there is geared toward racing/show pigeons and, therefore, is not focused on the pet-keeping concerns I have.

Thank you so much.

Jill
 

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The hen always lays 2 eggs. After she lays the second one just replace both with wooden or plastic eggs, which can be purchased from any of the Pigeons supply places or a craft store.
it's very important to let them complete the incubation process even if the eggs are pretend.
If you have 2 females, the other will likely lay 2 eggs as well and they will both take turns incubating the eggs.
Please provide oyster shell to ensure they have enough calcium. it should be offered daily in a separate dish form their seed. Also, do the same with red grit. Pigeons also love leafy greens and a little bit of whole grain bread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Charis -- If I remember correctly from my reading, you have chickens, too, don't you?

We are preparing to get 3 chick hens next month and begin out "pet chicken adventure." Could I put the baby pigeon (if, in fact, it does indeed come to pass) in with the chicken chicks? I'm thinking if they grew up together, they would accept each other and live happily ever after. What do you think?
 

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Charis -- If I remember correctly from my reading, you have chickens, too, don't you?

We are preparing to get 3 chick hens next month and begin out "pet chicken adventure." Could I put the baby pigeon (if, in fact, it does indeed come to pass) in with the chicken chicks? I'm thinking if they grew up together, they would accept each other and live happily ever after. What do you think?
That wouldn't be a good idea. Baby Pigeons are very dependent on their parents for 30 days or so and chicks hatch eating on their own. Chickens can be very agressive and they can share some illnesses. All around, it wouldn't be good. I had to learn this from experience.
 
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switching out eggs for dummies isnt all that hard to do especially when you only have one pair ...oh how I miss those days, when I only had a around 20 pairs to switch out for wooden ones :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Will I sound hopelessly naive if I say I feel bad swapping out the eggs? The more I read, the more I am coming to understand this may be a necessity, but it bothers me a bit. (I'm working on getting over it.) It seems to me, the only other alternative is to split them all up, and what kind of life would that be for them? Right?

Why are we first having eggs now? Do they lay eggs all year? I think they do, so why is this the first time in the 6 months we've had them? Anyone know?

So this morning the second egg appeared. If we take both eggs & replace with fake, there is no way, at this point, to know if these are fertile eggs, correct? They could still be two hens, right? It seems to me, if we take both eggs, we'll be taking eggs forever and perhaps for no reason. If we leave one to see if it is fertile, and it is, it will be too late to do anything more than let them hatch it; then we have a 3rd pigeon to accomodate. Is my thinking correct?

If we take one egg and leave the other, do we need to replace the taken egg? Or will the one egg suffice for them?

And, assuming now that first egg was laid Saturday, it's not too late to take it, is it?

Thanks for any and all advice and thoughts. I know you all know each other much better than you know a newbie like me, but I could really use your help. Thanks.

Jill
 

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Hi Jill,

I certaily understand your dilemna. I don't mind swapping eggs myself, and that is not an issue, but my hens need a rest from egg laying, as they will lay all year, as long as they are coupled.

Your birds may have been younger then six months-though they are fully grown, but at six months is when they physically mature and can begin to lay eggs, but they mature emotionally around a year of age.

You can replace the eggs now or allow them to incubate them, but there is a chance that you still may have fertile eggs. The best time to check fertility is at 5 days of incubation.

It is up to you what to do, but I would replace the eggs with dummies and see if you get two more eggs, then you will know if you have two hens or a couple. If you have a couple you can always decide at a later date when the birds are more mature, if you want them to have babies. You can seperate them, but with only two birds, they will be lonely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Treesa -- So replace both of these eggs with dummy eggs. If they lay another two eggs . . . how does that indicate whether we have 2 hens or not? I guess I need a map drawn. I'm sorry to be so thick about this. I just haven't had to deal with this before and feel I need to make up my mind pretty quickly here.

I absolutely don't want to split them up. I know they need companionship, and I want them to have a happy life. If I can determine that they are two hens, though, and save myself years of fretting over eggs, I would like that.

Thanks.

Jill
 

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If they lay another two eggs . . . how does that indicate whether we have 2 hens or not?

One hen will lay two eggs (the second always arrives two days later), and the second hen may lay another two eggs, or one depending on if this is the first time ever that they are laying, not trying to be confusing here :) But if you have only have two eggs laid, you will know you have a couple.

If they are both hens and you want them to remain together, then make sure they have their eggs replaced with dummy eggs so they can incubate them as long as they want to. This gives them time to refresh their calcium reserves and avoid any egg laying problems that may become an issue down the road. Just make sure they always have access to calcium grit and or oyster shell gritand daily sunshine too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ahh, okay, I see. (Thanks for the map!)

So it sounds like where there are eggs, there will be fake eggs, regardless. If they are both hens and, therefore, their eggs are infertile, I can't just let them have their natural eggs? Because they will spoil and go icky, I assume. So, either way, I'll be taking eggs. The only difference would be it just wouldn't be as crucial to take them asap if they are infertile.

Gosh, the pull of a wee little baby pigeon is a strong one, though, isn't it. Just don't know what I would do with it besides put it in with the chickens (once everyone is weaned and on someone equal footing), and that doesn't appear to be the best idea, either.

It's looking like we'll take both eggs. I think. Yeah, probably. Mmm-hmmm. Yep. Probably will . . .

Anyone interested in a baby white pigeon?? Probably not. Darn.

Any other thoughts? Anything else I should know?

I surely appreciate all your help . . .
 

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Ahh, okay, I see. (Thanks for the map!)

So it sounds like where there are eggs, there will be fake eggs, regardless. If they are both hens and, therefore, their eggs are infertile, I can't just let them have their natural eggs? Because they will spoil and go icky, I assume. So, either way, I'll be taking eggs. The only difference would be it just wouldn't be as crucial to take them asap if they are infertile.

Gosh, the pull of a wee little baby pigeon is a strong one, though, isn't it. Just don't know what I would do with it besides put it in with the chickens (once everyone is weaned and on someone equal footing), and that doesn't appear to be the best idea, either.

It's looking like we'll take both eggs. I think. Yeah, probably. Mmm-hmmm. Yep. Probably will . . .


Anyone interested in a baby white pigeon?? Probably not. Darn.

Any other thoughts? Anything else I should know?

I surely appreciate all your help . . .
putting a weaned baby pigeon in with chickens is a death sentence,,,Don't do it. The embryo in an egg does not start forming untill it gets heat, and even with 7 days of heat it still is just a dot and veining in the egg, so don't feel bad, there is not a whole squab in the egg.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
putting a weaned baby pigeon in with chickens is a death sentence,,,Don't do it.
Even if the chickens are babies as well? We'll be getting day-old chicks in mid-April. I was hoping that once the baby pigeon is weaned (early May)and the chicks are old enough to go in their outdoor coop (mid June), they could live in peace and harmony . . . and teach the world to sing. :D

No?
 

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NO! They don't mix well. When I had my chickens sleeping in my garage with they Pigeons, the chickens were always getting sick because they would eat the Pigeons poop. Since I have given the chickens their own house, they are much healthier.
 

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Even if the chickens are babies as well? We'll be getting day-old chicks in mid-April. I was hoping that once the baby pigeon is weaned (early May)and the chicks are old enough to go in their outdoor coop (mid June), they could leave in peace and harmony . . . and teach the world to sing. :D

No?
no as in NO!, chickens like to eat bugs and even will go after frogs and mice or things that move, they would or could peck a smaller bird to death, not to mention cross contamination issues with bacteria and viruses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay, gotcha. But, darn it, it seemed like a lovely idea. :mad:

I am feeling better about replacing the eggs, though. So thanks for the "therapy."

Suddenly, this bird keeping got so much more complicated overnight!
 

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Any other thoughts? Anything else I should know?
When a fertile egg is laid there is no life...not yet, only when incubation starts is when cell division begins, it's not like the conception of human life.

You can allow them to lay on their own eggs, but you take the chance of the egg cracking or breaking and having egg yolk around, and you can boil the egg first too, and then return it when it is cold, but it will eventually start smelling. It's just much easier using plastic or wooden eggs.
 

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well it does'nt have to be complicated, we as humans only make it that way by putting the cart before the horse. but it's not the end of the world.:)
Well Said.:)
 
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