For novice bird owners, breeding can be a tough task at first, especially taking care of the baby pigeon and it may be more like a jigsaw puzzle, where at first the pieces may not fit in the right place in the first attempt. It is also suggested to keep the birds separate before breeding.
Breeders are often known to manipulate planned and forced mating between domesticated pigeons to produce and accentuate the required traits.
Some pigeons are bred for flying capabilities or reaching high altitudes at great speeds. Some are polished in order to enhance homing instincts, fancy feathers, coloring, or beak structure.
Pigeons are known to breed at all times. The moment they see their female counterpart, they would want to breed.
The domestic pigeon reaches sexual maturity and breeding age at about the age of five to six months. Also depending on the climate, temperatures and environment, they may breed all year round.
To make certain a safe breeding session, one must be aware of their characteristics, and be able to provide the ideal environment for them.
The male and female pigeons should be housed separately until it is time for them to breed.
Keeping the Birds Comfortable During their Mating Session
Once the cock is settled in the nest box, each hen should be introduced to their nest boxes slowly and steadily. Such observation is necessary as female pigeons are not over attentive like their male partners.
It is seen in most cases, that cocks sometimes attack the female hens, so it is best to keep them housed with a small wooden block in between.
When the pigeons finish mating, it is observed that males usually tend to take a place in the nest box and females follow their call. The male often hunts for a place to make the nest and nurture the baby pigeon.
It is essential to make every attempt, to keep the water clean and away from contamination as such things can cause high risk for the pregnant birds.
The nest where they are housed should not be damp at all, because such a condition can cause diseases. The nest of the pigeons should be kept totally dry. Following a routine to clean up the shavings inside the nest box is suggestive, to avoid any mishaps of broken eggs or lost eggs, as birds often tend to do that.
Incubation of hens goes on around 10 days or so, and the hen starts laying her second egg within hours of the first one. Both male and female pigeons have known to take part in incubation and rearing of the young. Hatching normally starts 18 days from the start of incubation. When the pigeons are incubating, they are normally very quiet, so it is not advisable to disturb them unnecessarily.
The breeding session of pigeons is said to be a little less than other birds and many things should be taken into account when birds are paired to mate. Supplying them with proper nutrition and diet is also very crucial and much needed for their proper breeding session. The continual breeding which have an over sizing tendency should also be avoided, as that of extra smaller ones. It is best advice to place the male pigeons first in the nest box well before breeding so that they become accustomed to their place.
On average, female Pigeon lays 2 eggs in single clutch with a difference of 2 days. When the eggs are laid, mostly around after 10 days of mating and pairing, the birds begin their incubation period. Hatching time is 15 to 18 days and during that time male Pigeons help females by sitting on eggs. And late both look after the baby pigeon once hatched.