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The pigeon's egg, like the chicks themselves, few people managed to see. To raise their chicks, pigeons choose places hidden from prying eyes. For a long time, parents feed their offspring with bird milk and until a certain moment they are not released from the nest.
What do pigeon eggs look like
A pigeon's egg is characterized by 5 main features: size, weight, shape, shell quality and color. Pigeon eggs can be seen in the photo.
Depending on the breed, a pigeon's egg weighs approximately 15 to 28 g. The shell is very fragile, oval in shape, on one side with a pointed end. In the wider part there is an air chamber. The color of the shell also depends on the breed of birds and on their main diet. Most often it is white or beige, with a light cream or pearlescent tint, without any inclusions.
Pigeon egg size
The average pigeon egg size in centimeters is about 4 - 4.5 - also depending on the breed. In pigeons of meat productivity, they are larger.
How an egg is formed
The formation of pigeon families begins in early spring in late February - early March. Immediately after the formation of a pair, the pigeons begin to arrange the nest. After mating, after 2 weeks, the female makes the first laying - the first egg appears in the nest, after 2 days she lays the second, the couple begins to incubate the chicks.
At 7-9 months, pigeons enter adulthood. In the ovary of the female, a cell in the follicle matures. After ripening, it comes out and is the yolk. The process of fertilization takes place in the cell, then, passing through the oviduct, a protein part is formed, which, passing through the tube, envelops the yolk. In the uterus, the shell hardens and a shell forms. The process takes about 15 hours. Next, the egg is hatched into the cloaca, and at the right time, the female pigeon pushes it out of herself into the nest.
The whole process takes about a day. On average, the masonry consists of 2-3 pieces. Then the hatching process begins, and the subsequent clutch appears in 18-23 days.
Both parents hatch chicks, keeping a certain temperature in the nest - 40.7 ° С on the upper surface of the egg, 36.1 ° С - the lower surface. In order for all the eggs to warm up evenly, the couple constantly turns them over with their paws, and with their wings they pick them up for themselves.
When it comes to breeding pigeons in captivity, then the breeder should always have an incubator at hand - in case, for some reason, the pigeons leave the clutch. In such cases, it is necessary to lay gaskets in the cells so that the masonry does not disintegrate, monitor the humidity and temperature in the incubator. They need to be turned over every 2 hours. Ventilate the incubator for 10 minutes daily.
At about 15-16 days, the chicks begin to hatch. During this period, they do not need to help, they usually cope on their own.
Is it possible to eat pigeon eggs
The answer to the question whether it is possible to eat pigeon eggs is unequivocal - yes, you can. Moreover, they are very beneficial for the human body. They have a very high nutritional value: 100 g contains 14 g of proteins and fats, 1.5 g of carbohydrates.
Gourmets appreciate this product for its delicate, refined taste. Their cost is quite high, since the female pigeon does not clutch so often, and if you take everything from the nest at once, she will stop rushing altogether. Therefore, those who wish to try the product should order it in advance in special farms. Such farms for raising eggs and pigeons for meat are especially popular in some Asian countries and the United States. The product is a delicacy and is used in cooking for the preparation of iconic dishes.
Pigeon eggs in cooking
It is believed that people first tasted pigeon eggs immediately after the domestication of birds, it happened in Persia thousands of years ago.
Important! Pigeon eggs are not only a rare delicacy, but also a product with useful properties.
Since they are much smaller in size than chicken, a large number will be required to use them in cooking. Pigeon egg dishes rarely appear in restaurants and on order. They are more often found in Chinese, French cuisine as one of the ingredients for soups, salads and other snacks. In English restaurants, they serve various cocktails, soufflés, jelly based on them.
Among the peoples of the Caucasus, the Baltic States and Russia, for a long time, they have used the product with hot dishes, fish, vegetables.
Traditional chinese dish
To prepare a Chinese roast, the product is pre-boiled, peeled and fried in oil. At this time, bamboo sprouts, xianggu mushrooms are boiled, then they are transferred to a frying pan, starch diluted in water is added, stewed with broth, soy sauce, rice vodka, as well as a mixture of star anise, onions, ginger and pepper. The dish is served hot.
How to get a delicacy
So, it is not so easy to buy a product, but those who are engaged in breeding pigeons can taste the delicacy. Although it should be taken into account that pigeons do not make more than 5 clutches per year and in one clutch usually there are on average about 2 pieces. Bird watchers also caution to remove all eggs from the nest, as the dove may stop breeding.
The product deteriorates quite quickly, so it is better to eat it immediately on the day of collection. You can store eggs in the refrigerator, but no more than a week. The door is not suitable for this, it is better to put them in a box and place them in the coldest place in the refrigerator. If you plan to store them for longer than a week, then you need to carefully wrap each egg in paper and turn them over once a day, preventing the yolk from sticking to the shell.
The benefits and harms of pigeon eggs
The benefits of pigeon eggs are beyond doubt. They are especially recommended for use by small children, the elderly, pregnant women and women after childbirth during lactation, as well as people with weakened immunity.
Due to the high content of vitamins and microelements in the composition, eating them allows you to increase the activity of skin cells, making it elastic, improves blood circulation, and affects the level of hemoglobin. Useful for people with anemia, women with menstrual irregularities. Protects kidneys, removes toxins from the body, cardiovascular system, prevents blood clots. It has a positive effect on the health of the eyes and mucous membranes, as well as on the skeletal system. Regulate metabolic processes in the body.
The product does not contain contraindications for eating, but individual intolerance to the body is possible.
Calorie content of pigeon eggs
The calorie content of pigeon eggs per 100 g of product is 115 kcal, which is several times less than in chicken eggs. The glycemic index is low (48).
The product contains vitamins A, E, D, B, as well as a huge amount of trace elements: iron, cobalt, sulfur, iodine, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, useful fatty acids.
How to grow a pigeon egg
Pigeon breeders know that sometimes there are situations when it is necessary to use an incubator. In this case, the eggs must be examined, placed in a box with cotton wool and kept at a temperature of 10-15 ° C for no more than 20 days. During this time, all collected eggs are placed in an incubator, in which 120 eggs can be warmed at the same time, the process continues for 18 days. After staying in the incubator, after a few days, you need to check all eggs for infertile eggs. Each pigeon's egg is shone through with a lamp. The embryo usually floats up and looks like a dark spot with capillaries.
Sometimes experienced breeders have to feed their chicks with a syringe on their own. The yolk with cow's milk is used as food. After 2 weeks, sugar is added to the mixture.
The pigeons themselves feed the chicks with goiter milk, which contains all the necessary nutrients for full-fledged offspring. During this period, for adult birds, pigeon breeders pour coal, crushed shells, shells, clay and salt next to the feeder.
The pigeon egg is a unique product in its characteristics, and raising pigeons is a rather laborious process. Novice breeders need to study all the rules of the content and prepare for some difficulties.