Are you curious about how long it takes for a pigeon egg to hatch? The answer may surprise you. The average duration for a pigeon egg to hatch is about 17 to 19 days. During this time, there are several factors that can impact the hatching time.

In this section, we will explore the various factors that can influence the duration it takes for a pigeon egg to hatch, including the incubation period and environmental conditions. We will also discuss the signs that indicate a pigeon egg is close to hatching and provide guidance on how to assist the process if necessary.

Key Takeaways:

  • The average hatching time for pigeon eggs is about 17 to 19 days.
  • Environmental factors such as temperature and humidity can impact the incubation period.
  • There are signs that indicate when a pigeon egg is about to hatch.
  • If necessary, it is possible to assist the hatching process, but precautions should be taken.

Pigeon Egg Incubation Period

The average incubation period for pigeon eggs is between 17 and 19 days.

During this time, the eggs undergo significant changes as they develop into chicks. Initially, the yolk serves as a source of nutrients for the embryo. As the egg develops, the yolk is absorbed, and the embryo grows to fill the entire egg.

The incubation period can be affected by several factors, including temperature, humidity, and egg fertility. Lower temperatures can prolong the incubation period, while higher temperatures can shorten it. Humidity is also critical, as it helps to prevent the egg from drying out and ensures the development of the chick.

Factors that affect the Incubation Period

The following factors may influence the incubation period:

Factors Description
Temperature The optimal temperature for incubation is between 99.5°F and 100.5°F (37.5°C-38°C).
Humidity The recommended humidity level is between 45% and 55%. Low humidity can cause the egg to dry out, while high humidity can lead to bacteria growth.
Fertility Fertile eggs have a higher chance of successful hatching compared to infertile eggs. Infertile eggs will not hatch and will eventually rot.

By understanding the factors that influence incubation, you can create optimal conditions to ensure successful hatching.

Environmental Factors Affecting Pigeon Egg Hatching

While the incubation period for pigeon eggs is typically consistent, there are several environmental factors that can influence the hatching time. One of the most significant factors is temperature. A steady temperature of around 37.5 degrees Celsius is necessary for successful egg development, and any significant fluctuations can disrupt the process.

Humidity is also crucial, with a humidity level of around 50% required for optimal hatching conditions. Any significant changes in humidity levels can also impact the moisture content of the egg and affect hatching time.

Other environmental factors that can impact hatching time include lighting conditions, ventilation, and the presence of predators or disturbances that can cause stress to parent birds. It’s essential to provide a quiet and undisturbed environment for parent pigeons during the incubation period.

It’s worth noting that some of these factors may be beyond human control, particularly in a natural outdoor environment. In such cases, it’s best to leave the eggs in place and let nature take its course, as parent pigeons are typically well-equipped to adapt to their surroundings and care for their eggs accordingly.

Signs of Pigeon Egg Hatching

As the incubation period nears its end, several signs may indicate that the pigeon egg is about to hatch. If you are observing the egg in a nest or incubator, be on the lookout for the following:

  • Chirping: You may be able to hear the chick inside the egg communicating with its parents and siblings.
  • Rocking: The egg may start to move slightly as the chick inside begins to shift around in preparation for hatching.
  • Cracking: As the chick continues to move and peck at the shell, small cracks may start to appear on the surface of the egg.
  • Pipping: This term refers to the moment when the chick first breaks through the shell with its beak, creating a small hole known as a “pip.”

Once the egg has pipped, the chick will typically take between 12 and 24 hours to fully emerge from the shell. During this time, it will continue to work at the shell, gradually breaking away smaller pieces until it is able to free itself completely.

Assisting the Hatching Process

While it is best to let nature take its course with pigeon egg hatching, there are situations where intervention is necessary. If an egg has not hatched after the average hatching time, which is 17 to 19 days, or if it appears that the hatchling is struggling, you may need to lend a helping hand.

Before intervening, ensure that the egg is truly overdue. It is not uncommon for eggs to hatch a few days later than expected, so patience is key. If you do need to intervene, you can start by creating a small hole in the shell using a pair of sterilized scissors.

When creating the hole, be sure to make it small and only on the upper side of the egg. This will prevent excess fluid from draining out and potentially harming the hatchling. Once you have made the hole, carefully peel away the shell to expose the membrane underneath.

Using a pair of tweezers, gently remove any bits of eggshell that may have become stuck to the membrane. You can also moisten the membrane with a damp cotton swab to make the process easier.

Important Note:

It is crucial that you do not attempt to remove the hatchling from the egg. Doing so can cause severe harm and is likely to result in the death of the hatchling.

Once you have removed any debris from the membrane, you can leave the egg to finish the hatching process naturally. If you notice that the hatchling is stuck and struggling, you can use a pair of tweezers to gently assist it out of the shell.

Remember to handle the egg and hatchling with care to avoid causing any injuries. If you are unsure about how to proceed or are concerned that the hatchling is in distress, seek advice from an experienced avian vet or wildlife rehabilitator.

Caring for Newly Hatched Pigeons

Congratulations on the successful hatching of your pigeon eggs! Now that your new feathered friends are out of their shells, it’s important to provide them with proper care to ensure they grow up healthy and strong.

Note: If you have intervened in the hatching process, it’s crucial to let the hatchling fully dry and rest in the incubator before moving it to a brooder.

Feeding Temperature

It’s important to start feeding your hatchlings as soon as possible. The first feeding should be within 6-8 hours of hatching. A commercial pigeon feed can be used or a mixture of 1 part grit, 2 parts wheat bran, and 2 parts cornmeal. Feed the hatchlings using a syringe or an eyedropper, being careful not to push food into their windpipe. Feed them every 2-3 hours during the first few days and then every 4 hours. Gradually increase the amount of feed as they grow.

The ideal temperature for hatchlings is around 95°F (35°C) during the first week. You can use a heat lamp or a brooder to maintain the temperature. Keep in mind that the temperature should be gradually reduced by 5°F (3°C) every week until the hatchlings are fully feathered.

Note: Always ensure that the hatchlings have access to clean water.

Aside from feeding and maintaining temperature, there are other important factors to consider in caring for your hatchlings:

  • Cleanliness: Keep the brooder clean and free from droppings to prevent the spread of disease. Change the bedding frequently.
  • Lighting: Provide enough light for the hatchlings during the day and allow for natural darkness at night.
  • Handling: Handle the hatchlings with care and avoid over-handling them, especially during the first few days.

Note: If you observe any abnormal behavior or signs of illness, consult a veterinarian immediately.

By following these basic care practices, you can ensure that your newly hatched pigeons have a healthy start to life.


As we have seen in this article, the average incubation period for pigeon eggs is around 17-19 days, with environmental factors such as temperature and humidity playing a significant role in determining the hatching time. Pigeon eggs require specific conditions for successful hatching, and it is important to ensure that these conditions are met.

If you are observing a pigeon egg, it is important to be aware of the signs that indicate hatching is nearing, such as the physical changes in the egg and the behaviors of the parent pigeons.

Assisting the hatching process should be considered only if absolutely necessary, and it is vital to take the necessary precautions and risks involved in doing so. Once the eggs hatch, it is crucial to provide appropriate care and attention to the newborn pigeons, including feeding, warmth, and general care practices.

In conclusion, understanding the hatching process of pigeon eggs is essential for anyone interested in raising these birds. By following the guidelines provided in this article, you can ensure successful hatching and proper care of the newborn pigeons.


Q: How long does it take for a pigeon egg to hatch?

A: The average incubation period for pigeon eggs is around 17 to 19 days.

Q: What factors can affect the hatching time of pigeon eggs?

A: Environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity can influence the hatching time of pigeon eggs. Additionally, the health and age of the parent pigeons and the quality of the eggs themselves can also play a role.

Q: Are there any signs that indicate a pigeon egg is close to hatching?

A: Yes, there are several signs to look out for. The parent pigeons may become more attentive to the nest, spending more time on the eggs. You may also notice slight movements or rocking of the eggs, which indicates the chick inside is active and preparing to hatch.

Q: Can I assist the hatching process if necessary?

A: Generally, it is best to let nature take its course. However, if you notice a chick struggling to hatch and it has been more than 24 to 36 hours since it started pipping, you may consider offering assistance. It is important to be cautious and seek guidance from an experienced avian professional to minimize any risks.

Q: How should I care for newly hatched pigeons?

A: Newly hatched pigeons, also known as squabs, require warmth and proper feeding. Keep them in a temperature-controlled environment and provide a suitable diet of pigeon milk or a commercially available hand-feeding formula. It is also important to monitor their health and seek veterinary care if needed.

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