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Caring for a dove?

Does anyone know the basics of what to do when caring for a dove? A friend of mine found one in her yard and rescued it just in time to prevent it from becoming a kitty cat dinner bite. It appears to be someone's escaped pet, since it steps readily onto people's hands without trying to fly away or bite at all. I used to do parrot rescue, so I found a suitable cage and some seed to get her started, but I never worked with doves before. The bird appears to be more perky this morning than it was last night, preening and stretching its wings, so I guess that must be a good sign. Do doves need cage toys like hookbills? Do they eat fruit, veggies, proteins, and grains like hookbills? Are there other considerations? I know Google is my friend, but I don't have a lot of time and I'm still not feeling well, so I hoped maybe I'd find an expert among all of you fabulous mamas.


Asked by Ballad at 2:33 PM on May. 18, 2013 in Pets

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Doves eat seeds, such as milo, wheat and millet, and swallow them whole. You should buy food especially made for doves but parakeet food can work temporarily until you can get some. Mashed up boiled eggs will also provide them the protein they need. They need constant water replenish because they can dehydrate easily.

    If your doves are caged inside your home, it is important to know that they produce a fine dust that coats their feathers. Doves use the dust to preen their feathers where it becomes airborne with movement of their wings. This dust can get into your furniture, appliances and can irritate the lungs.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 9:46 PM on May. 18, 2013

  • It is always a good idea to quarantine a new pet when you first bring it home. Keep stress to a minimum. The new bird should be placed in a warm, quiet area with fresh food and water. Let your new pet get used to its new surroundings before subjecting the dove to handling, noise or stress. Be sure to use good hygiene by washing thoroughly after each handling of the bird or cage. Most birds carry worm eggs in their defecations. A health check up & lab tests by a veterinarian is strongly suggested for any new pet you bring into your home. Check your yellow pages or local pet stores to find a vet which is experienced in avian medicine. If you have other birds in your home, be sure to quarantine your new arrival for about 3 weeks. Look for signs of illness or problems with your new pet. If you have heeded the advice of having your new pet examined by an avian vet, be sure to write down & follow any advice that they provide.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 9:32 PM on May. 18, 2013

  • Doves are not fond of toys or swings like a parakeet. Save your money. They are fairly sedentary and spend most of their time standing on the perch and eating. It is important that you provide the appropriate perching alternatives for the doves. For sleeping and mating, they need a stable flat surface wide enough for the Dove to stand flat footed. A 2 inch by 1/2 inch thick board, cut to the same length as the perches that came with the cage makes a good flat perch. It will need to be notched appropriately to snugly fit the cage bars. For traction & easy cleaning, two long, clear, adhesive bathtub anti-slip strips are a good choice. You can also add round perches so the dove can exercise its feet and choose where it wishes to stand.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 9:35 PM on May. 18, 2013

  • Be sure that the filtration systems do not blow directly on the birds or create a draft. Sunshine entering the room through windows will quickly heat up a room to temperatures that can kill a bird and other pets.When your Dove is cold, it will fluff the feathers up like a puffed ball in order to insulate them from the cold. Shivering helps the bird to fluff the feathers and keep warm. Birds will also fluff their feathers when sleeping and when ill. Avoid any sudden changes of temperature.

    The way to get a dove to bath in water is to provide a dish of water at least 2 inches deep... not more than 3 inches. The water should be toasty warm like you would have for your own bath.... NOT lukewarm. They like it almost hot even if the weather is hot outside. Warning!! If the bird has its mouth open or starts gasping, IMMEDIATELY STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING!

    Answer by hellokittykat at 9:46 PM on May. 18, 2013

  • If you see the bird taking deep gasps, you have less than 30 seconds to a minute to stop what you are doing and calm the Dove before it dies. This is the sign of the final gasps before death!

    Never place your pet Dove into a cage with other types of birds. A Dove is defenseless against most other birds. Other Pets present a deadly threat to Doves.Anytime a dove gets bored, they love to play with hay and alfalfa in their cages.Personal attention should be part of the birds day. At least once a day, pick them up and pet them for at least a half hour.A special treat of finely chopped vegetables, sprouts, shelled snow peas or fruit are good for the Doves.
    A full night of undisturbed sleep in darkness is essential for the doves health.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 9:47 PM on May. 18, 2013