How to Hatch a Dove Egg


Hatching dove eggs yourself requires patience, gentle care and adherence to a strict schedule of turning the eggs. You've only got to keep this schedule for 14 days to enjoy new baby birds. If your pet doves reject their eggs, you may take on the role of hatching them. If you need dove eggs, you've got options for finding them. Failure to provide the right care during the incubation period could lead to embryo death or deformed doves, so don't deviate from the care.

Things You'll Need

  • Egg incubator
  • Egg carton (optional)
  • Hatching basket or cloth
  • Obtain fertile dove eggs. If a friend has a dove, he may be willing to give you eggs. If your birds lay eggs but don't want to care for them, you could get eggs naturally. Check with other bird owners near you, or create a small ad asking for dove eggs and leave it at your bird's vet, pet supply shops and other places.

  • Inspect the eggs for health. Eggs that are dirty, misshapen, too big or too small or soiled generally don't hatch, according to A. Lee Cartwright. Discard cracked eggs, which also won't hatch. Once you've got only good-looking eggs, it's time to prepare for hatching.

  • Store the eggs before incubating only if you must; for example, if you did not have your incubator ready or are waiting for it to arrive. If you need to store them, place them under a dry bulb at 55 to 65 degrees F. Lay the eggs in an egg carton for protection, with the pointed end facing up.

  • Set your incubator to 101 degrees F with humidity of 51 percent. Nestle the dove eggs in the incubator.

  • Turn the eggs every four hours to promote proper development of the baby doves. If you don't turn, the doves could fuse limbs together or develop other health problems. If you are using an incubator that automatically turns the eggs for you, you can skip this step.

  • Monitor the eggs for 10 days. During this time, turn the eggs regularly and ensure the incubator's water bottle is full to maintain the humidity.

  • Stop turning the eggs at day 11, in preparation for hatching. At this time, place the eggs in a hatching basket or lay them on a cloth.

  • Allow the baby doves to hatch unassisted. Once started, the hatching process generally takes 24 hours. If you try to help, you risk harming the dove.

  • Remove the hatched doves from the incubator. Give them water and dove food.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images
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