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After yesterday’s egg laying drama (please read: Valentine present) Georgie is happy sitting on the egg in her own nest. I guess we’ll get a second one tomorrow, although last time Georgie only layed one egg.

I do end up missing Georgie’s company and attention when she’s incubating but I know that it’s probably better for her psychologically to go through the motions than to interrupt her broodiness. She’s such a sweetheart (and sometimes a real pain!) and every day I’m in awe of my pigeons. They are amazing creatures and although their continuous pooping can be a real pain in the backside sometimes, their love and affection towards us is so inspiring.

So far we have captured on video Georgie laying an egg three times. Last year she had layed one in Elmo’s nest, but that time he was on the floor so he didn’t know it. :)

Here are the videos:

Georgie gave us a Valentine’s present: an egg! :)

We knew one was imminent from her behaviour (nesting and mating displays), dropping consistency (very loose) and body posture (arched lower body and tail feathers), however, her decision on where she wanted to lay the egg took us by surprise.

At around 8pm Georgie raced across the sofa from her end, climbed over Richard, and jumped onto Elmo’s nest with him still in it!! We quickly removed her before Elmo attacked her and placed her in her nest, however, she had made up her mind and wasn’t going to change it! Georgie raced across again to Elmo’s nest, so this time Richard covered Elmo so he couldn’t see her, and Georgie settled down next to Elmo and laid her egg.


Georgie (right) with Elmo (left) in his nest.


Georgie lays her egg! Elmo has a look to see what's happening.

After Georgie had laid her egg (which is infertile, by the way) we placed her and her egg in her nest but unfortunately Georgie doesn’t recognise it as her own and is trying to get back to Elmo’s nest. Oh dear. Elmo is keeping her at bay with threatening pecks but I think I will have to take the egg away to stop Georgie from being too broody and to stop her harassing Elmo.

We caught the egg laying on video. The egg appears towards the end (2:27).

One of the minor problems with keeping female pigeons is that they can lay eggs every month for the majority of their life. Since egg laying uses lot of energy and calcium it can cause a strain on the female’s body. It isn’t easy to stop a female pigeon from laying eggs every month. As far as I know, there is no hard and fast way to do so. Providing the pigeon with extra vitamin D and calcium, as well as proper housing and good quality food, will help with the stress of egg laying and incubating.

In 2009 my semi-blind pet pigeon, Georgie, laid a pair of eggs nearly every month. Then she decided to have a long break (she must have realised that her eggs are infertile and since I, her “mate”, was no help in incubating she decided it wasn’t worth the stress) and only laid eggs for a few months in a row before having another break. After another 6 month break, Georgie laid an egg on the 31st Dec 2011 and the second one on the 3rd Jan 2012.

She’s been working double shifts since I’m no help. Poor girl, she must get cramped sitting all day and night on her infertile eggs. I let her out of her cage for a stretch and a poo, since she holds it in when nesting, but otherwise Georgie spends all her time being the mummy she thinks she’ll be. It is sad, however, I haven’t been successful with finding her a male pigeon that likes her and even when I do, I wouldn’t let them incubate fertile eggs since there are enough pigeons in the world without me adding to the population. (We don’t have an aviary either so we wouldn’t be able to keep any babies.)


Georgie on her eggs

Georgie feels very safe in the new nest we got her (see Bedtime and new nest), however, I have to leave the whole thing in her cage when I leave for work otherwise she’d freak out since she doesn’t like her eggs and nest being moved about. It’s a bit cramped once the cage top goes on, but since she sits for most of the day it isn’t a problem (and it’s a temporary thing).


Cramped quarters

I have been going through the previous posts about Georgie’s egg laying, and it’s interesting to read about her nesting behaviour (and how my views change every time).

Here’s Georgie a week before she laid her eggs, preening my arm in her loving way (it tickles!!!):

A few days ago I spent a bit of time in Dora’s aviary at work – to check up on the resident pigeons there (a mixture of fancy, tame, and disabled pigeons), as well as to spend some time with Dora who used to live with us at home.

One thing I noticed immediately was that all the nesting pigeons (on fake eggs) were male pigeons, except for Dora! She was the only female to be incubating eggs. I don’t know why her mate, Pidge, wasn’t on duty – maybe Dora is a pushy girl and didn’t trust his commitment? Maybe Pidge isn’t as broody as he should be? Whatever the reason, it was quite funny to see the girl in her nest bowl, cooing away to Pidge while he pranced about on the perch to me (Pidge likes people as well as pigeons).

And as soon as I put my hand over to stroke her, Dora gave me the usual greeting:

Here’s Horatio (paired with Speckles) on incubating duty:


Horatio in his nest

And the new pigeon, Burko, (paired with Tux) is a very good mate – protecting his fake egg from my intruding fingers:


Burko in his nest

Rudderford has been through a moult and his new tail feathers aren’t as tatty as the previous ones, although I suspect they will soon fray at the ends again since he has trouble standing up properly (due to an injury).



Last night Georgie snuck onto Elmo’s nest on the sofa and laid an egg. Yes, you heard me: She laid an egg on Elmo’s nest!! What a sneaky girl!! :D

Here’s the girl caught in the act:


Luckily, Elmo was on the floor at the time so he didn’t know what was happening (otherwise he would have attacked her since he doesn’t like other pigeons). We removed the egg and Georgie walked away after taking a moment to recover. We’re happy that she isn’t moody about her eggs and she’s now sitting happily on my lap, cooing away.


However, we did have a very moody pigeon today. Richard put the fake eggs under Elmo to see what would happen (big mistake!) and Elmo was a little git, running about attacking us both in his moodiness. So we removed the eggs and after Elmo had his fill attacking Templeton, the soft toy rat, he’s returned to his normal sweet self.

Georgie laid an egg (no surprise there, I guess… ha ha). What do you think of it?


Ok, so that’s obviously not her egg. :)

We put the chicken egg there to see if she’d try to sit on it, but Georgie just looked perplexed. :)

Georgie is ignoring me now that she’s incubating. She’ll get up to eat and then go back to incubating. Then 20 minutes later she’ll get up again to eat. She does this all evening. I cannot believe how well she eats when she’s broody. Normally, Georgie doesn’t eat that often – which is why I keep track of her weight to ensure she’s eating enough. However, when broody, Georgie has a full crop of beans so to speak. I call her crop her “bean bag”. It’s lovely to feel how heavy she is and I’m hoping she doesn’t lose her post-incubation weight, which was what happened the last time.

In other news, Elmo likes to “hide and seek”, however, he’s not very good at it. He’ll hide behind the bedroom door and then he’ll coo and coo and coo until we find him. Here’s what happened on one such occasion:

Georgie didn’t lay a second egg so obviously I didn’t get a video of her laying the egg. Oh well, maybe next time.

Georgie looks lovely (she’s feeling really chunky) and her health is good. I give her some vitamin D and calcium supplements in her water a few times a week, however, recently she’s decided she doesn’t like the taste of it. When there aren’t any supplements in the water Georgie will guzzle the water down. When there are Georgie will take little dainty sips. This is very annoying because no matter how many times I explain to her the benefits of vitamin D and calcium, Georgie still doesn’t want to drink the water and will only sip a little when she’s thirsty.

Elmo, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to mind the taste and he’ll dunk his head in the water, take big slurps and emerge with a (sticky) wet forehead. He cracks me up! :D

I’ve known for a while now that Georgie had eggs on the mind. All the usual symptoms were there: looking for a nest as well as excessive courting and mating behaviour. Anything could set her off. Usually just hearing my voice would get Georgie in the mood, but when she’s decided she’s going to lay eggs, well, even Richard’s voice would do! LOL!

I foolishly thought that if I didn’t give Georgie a nest then she wouldn’t lay any eggs. How naive of me!

Last night George jumped down from her usual spot on the sofa onto Elmo’s nest. She knows that he has a nest there and usually doesn’t try to go there because Elmo would of course attack her, but last night she was obviously desperate. I didn’t read her behaviour correctly and thought she was trying to get to the peanut jar so I popped her into her cage so that she could eat. After a minute or so I looked back to see what Georgie was doing and saw that she was about to lay an egg while standing on edge of her cage! OMG!

I quickly picked Georgie up and placed her on the pink fleece (that she loves so much) and watched her lay her egg. It’s actually quite painful to watch because of the size of the egg compaired to the cloaca (vent). I do feel for Georgie. Poor girl. At one point she got the egg out half way but then stopped for a second to regroup her energy and then she gave one last push and the egg came out. Phew!

Once the egg was laid though, Georgie ran away as if not interested. Fair enough. I hadn’t given her a chance to really bond to a nesting place so she disconnected her thoughts from the egg pretty quickly. Her eggs are of course infertile so there’s no problem with her not incubating them.


Georgie walks away from her freshly laid egg

I do feel a bit guilty for not having given her a nest but I just didn’t want her health to be compromised as it did the last time she laid an egg.

Today Georgie is no different than the last few days. She’s quite chunky in weight (hooray!) and she’s sitting comfortably on my lap. We’re expecting her to lay the second egg tomorrow and we’ll try to capture the moment on video. In the meantime, here’s a video of Georgie laying an egg a year ago:

This is a wonderful story about a little woodpigeon hatched on a flower box on a window sill in Paris:

In late June 2008, a Wood Pigeon couple began to trash the geraniums in the flower box of my office window. I chased the pigeons away several times, but they persisted. Then I noticed a nest. I decided to let them stay and see what would happen…

An egg appeared.

Please click on the link to read the rest of the story! Well worth it! :) http://www.hopeinparis.com/hope

And a beautiful slide-show about Hope:

Today both Georgie and I had had enough (read yesterdays post to catch up). I removed the nest and infertile egg after Georgie had quickly become restless and fed up from the 16 days of non-stop incubating, and now she’s settled and calm. By tomorrow she’ll be sitting on my lap, cooing contently once again. I cannot wait.

Yes, the past two weeks have been quiet and easy going without Georgie’s constant attention-seeking behaviour, so I was happy for the break, however, soon after a week of being pigeon free I really started to miss her affections and company. … And Elmo wasn’t being obliging in filling the void. … No matter how hard I tried to bribe him to love me instead of my husband.

I had forgotten how hard it is to deal with Georgie during her broodiness. You can forgive me since it has been 8 months since the last time she had laid an egg. But now that we are once again egg-free things should hopefully go back to normal. I must simply remember not to encourage her broodiness. I don’t want more eggs anytime soon.

Here’s the darling girl sitting down in a calm manner. How cute is she?! (Thankfully she didn’t climb onto the pink and white fleece!)


George has in fact filled out very nicely in the past month. She feels really chunky and solid, which I’m very happy about since she has always been a bit too slight and thin. I hope she doesn’t loose her “pregnancy” weight! :)

And I mustn’t forget dear Elmo. I know I haven’t been writing much about him lately, which I will try to rectify soon. Do you know that pigeons seem to synchronize their behaviours? Well, Georgie and Elmo certainly do. Today, Elmo had a bath right after Georgie had one, then they both sat on the sofa to dry off. Then a little while later, at the same time, they began to preen. And then it was time for a nap. Here’s the boy zonked out. This is why we love him so much! :)