Pair is not laying

ilikepigeons

Chirping
Nov 11, 2021
33
69
76
I have a pair of pigeons, one male homer and one feral rescue female. Female is 2 yrs old and male is 3-4 yrs. I gave them a nest box a month ago, they immediately took to it and started building a nest. Then they started mating for about a week, and then they got broody. They are still broody, almost always one is on the nest. They have been like this for a week or so. There is not eggs. I need to check again incase I missed it but it is unlikely that I did that. I am not sure why they aren't laying.
They are free ranged, unlimited sunlight and flight, and have their 'area' in my shed with roosts and nestboxes that they always come home to. I am feeding them pigeon breeding pellets, a seed mix, chicken layer pellets and parrot pellets. They don't always eat the parrot pellets.
Could it be that my female is infertile?
Have I just not waited long enough?
Am I not giving them the right nutrition? Could it be because they are not getting grit?
Any advice appreciated, I'd really like some birds from this pair.
 

ilikepigeons

Chirping
Nov 11, 2021
33
69
76
I was told by a rando on a different forum that they were same sex birds also. But I kind of have a hard time believing that.
If it were two females, there would be eggs.
If it were two males, I think they would both be mating rather than just one. And both of my birds would be loud and dominant, which one bird (the male) is, and my female is not.
Correct me if I'm wrong on this.
 

Qwerty3159

Crowing
Dec 3, 2017
784
3,729
311
Rhode Island
Could it be that my female is infertile?
Likely not, but given her feral history anything is possible. Do they have oyster shell or some other calcium source?
Have I just not waited long enough?
Probably. Did they live together before and never nest before you gave them a box, or are they a new pair?
Am I not giving them the right nutrition? Could it be because they are not getting grit?
Grit should be provided at all times if they’re eating seeds. Pellets are good in moderation ( I always mix in about 25% layer pellets to my breeders to feed the squabs and keep them healthy) but in my opinion you should feed primarily a good quality pigeon mix for the best results. Some people have fed pellets only for decades with no bad results, but seed first is my opinion. There are specially formulated pigeon pellets which offer ideal nutrition but I can’t argue for or against them. I can link you some good quality pigeon grits and seeds from Chewy if you use that website, and there’s lots of other pretty inexpensive specialty pigeon feeds online.
If it were two females, there would be eggs.
If it were two males, I think they would both be mating rather than just one. And both of my birds would be loud and dominant, which one bird (the male) is, and my female is not.
Correct me if I'm wrong on this.
I think you are right on both counts, but it’s well within the realm of possibility to have a dominant and submissive male pair up. All in all I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance it just hasn’t been long enough or a minor husbandry change needs to be made, or you do indeed have a same sex pair.
 

avjudge

Songster
Oct 20, 2017
53
113
118
Northern NH
I would also give them more time, but if that doesn't yield results you can DNA test the pigeons' sex to rule out the same-sex possibility, if it's worth it to you. It's about $20 per test, and you just have to isolate for a little while, then pluck and send in a few feathers from the bird(s) you're testing, along with an order form to provide the necessary info to the lab. I've used Research Associates Laboratory a few times (2x for pigeon sexing, once for a Marek's test for one of my chickens) but there are also others.
 

ilikepigeons

Chirping
Nov 11, 2021
33
69
76
Did they live together before and never nest before you gave them a box, or are they a new pair?
They did live together before, but I never saw any courtship until I gave them the box.
Grit should be provided at all times if they’re eating seeds.
I'll get some from the store
Thanks for your help
DNA test the pigeons
If the other changes don't work I will get then DNA tested, thanks for the suggestion
 

ilikepigeons

Chirping
Nov 11, 2021
33
69
76
Where do you live? Up here in the northern hemisphere it's the wrong time of year to be breeding. The days are much too short without using artificial lighting to trick the birds system into thinking it's longer days. Any egg laying would be sporadic at best now
We're in the southern hemisphere, New Zealand. It's the longest days of the year here currently.
 

Old_Strain_Lover

Songster
Apr 8, 2018
363
1,369
191
NY
I went back and reread the original post... it sounds like they could need more time if they have only been mating for around a week (that is as long as it is a hen). If the hen in question comes out of the nest, does the cock bird start chasing after her and driving her back to the nest?
 

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