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Discussion Starter #1
About 5 days ago, i found a baby dove in my backyard at the base of the date palm that is home to a flock of feral doves.

Based on the day-by-day photos of racing pigeon babies here, I have concluded that she is about 17 days old now.

http://www.speedpigeon.com/baby_racing_pigeon.htm

At first i fed her oatmeal, but a wildlife rescue person said to feed her soaked puppy biscuits (pal pedigree puppy). A single biscuit is about this long. <-->

I've been feeding baby every 6-8 hours. She seems constantly hungry though..and eats about 25 soaked biscuits at once. She cheeps for more, but i'm afraid that if i give her more i might be overfeeding her, because afterwards her crop feels quite plump (still soft, but with some resistance). Should i feed her more until she stops cheeping?

I leave budgie seed on the bottom of the aquarium which she eats keenly between meals. When am i supposed to start weaning her and how should this be done? How much do i reduce her dog biscuits by?

She flaps her wings pretty well, but can't fly yet. I want to take her outside, but i'm worried that she might suddenly take off over the fence. When a bird first starts to fly, can it make it over a backyard fence? And might other doves attack her because she's a baby?

Also, when will she graduate to an outside cage?

Thanks!
 

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Hello and welcome!

It sounds as if you are doing really well with the dove. The amount of food you are giving sounds OK...Do you know what kind of dove you have? Some fledge a lot quicker than pigeons.

I wouldn't let it practice flying outside until it is weaned, has learnt to recognise its natural food and has developed its flight muscles.

We might have members with experience of your specific type of dove, it is always best to be advised with hands on experience, so more information or a photo will help.


Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for replying!

I assume she's a rock dove, or a "feral dove", as some people call them.

I'm from Australia, and the doves nesting in my date palm are the same time that live in the city.

Perhaps looking at other photos now, she is closer to 3 weeks old..
Her name is Pecky. Should i avoid unnecessary contact with her, or are love and cuddles okay because she's still a baby?

It's just that i want to release her back to live with her colony when she's older, and i don't want to jeopardise her chances.

She started flapping her wings so vigorously tonight that she almost took off!

I'll post a few pictures in the morning.
 

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They do a lot of that (hovering and near-hovering) as they get older. Is she drinking water on her own?

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter #5
nope, i haven't seen her drink her water yet,
but she loves to poo in it.
It seems to be her favourite toilet spot.

Should i still be worrying about keeping her warm? She's living in a glass aquarium sitting in my bathtub..
I fill a bottle up with hot tap water every night which she often seems to sit on like she;s cold..but then i often find her sitting well away from the bottle too, like she's hot.

It's summer here in australia...it's been around 30 C lately..so it isn't all that cold at night.

Also, should i take her outside in a small cage tomorrow for a few hours to get some sunlight? she's living in my bathroom, which gets it's share of sun, but not direct light.

Sometimes, when she gets super enthused about food..she tries to swallow my fingers.
 

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Well, you need to guide her beak down into some water part way. She's not going to know how to drink it at first so she has to be taught. She's certainly going to be needing it.

She's not going to get cold at those temperatures, not at her age anyway.

If you take her out, you'll just have to be wary of predators.

Pidgey
 

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Yes the feet are very dark... looks to me like a rock dove too... if you have an hearbal tea you can make that and then cool it and give it to her in her water in a 50:50 solution of the tea and drinking water... i do this alot for my birds... it promotes better oxygen flow and the bird is just all around more healthy... it does the same thing for pigeons as it does for us.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In one of the photos you can see how big her soaked biscuits are..
so 25 isn't too much?
Her crop seemed like it could be emptier this morning..and i hadn't fed her for about 10 hours.

After every feeding..she squeaks for more like she's still hungry..
and then pecks frantically at the seed i've left for her. she won't overdose on seed will she?

Thanks for the tip! i have plenty of tea for her.
I tried introducing her to water, but she didn't like it at all.
She shook her beak to get away and splashed it around..but didn't drink.
She knows what she wants, and she hates anyone else to tell her what to do!
 

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If that is her water in the bottom pic... it needs to be in a shallow bowl. Maybe you can cut the top half off the cup?
 

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The water isn't as important if the biscuits are soaked. Eventually, you're going to want her to start going for drier stuff and learning to drink her own water.

Pidgey
 

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To give you an idea how much they do eat at that age, though, the book says that they should get approximately 10 to 15% of their weight per meal, three times per day. Actual feedings vary, of course.

Pidgey
 

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Discussion Starter #17
hehe thanks for the concern, but that's just the bowl i use to soak her food in.
her water dish is quite shallow..i think it's pictured in her aquarium photo.
 

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...her water dish is quite shallow..i think it's pictured in her aquarium photo.
Make sure the drinking water is at least an inch (3-4cm) deep. Pigeons drink by sucking up the water, so need the depth.

Regarding food, an adult pigeon eats about a tablespoon of dry food twice a day. A growing youngster like yours will need a bit more. In the photos, the crop looked pretty empty to me. Was that before or after feeding?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
ahh..maybe her water dish is just a tad too shallow..i'll give her a deeper one.

That was before feeding.
Next time i feed, i'll post a picture afterwards..

I have a few questions...

1. I haven't been to a pet shop yet, but all i could find at the supermarket in terms of seed was budgie, parrot, and canary..

I read somewhere that doves like to eat greens..so i bought some budgie seed with fruit and greens in it..but now i'm not so sure. Is fruit bad for baby doves?

The seed mix contains: White French millet, Panicum millet, red panicum millet, plain canary, japanese millet, linseed, canola, lucerne grass, parsely, currents, paw paw, aviary grit and apricots.

If fruit is bad, can i just pick it out?

2. I also bought some frozen corn and peas. How much corn and peas should be substituted for her dog biscuits? about half? or less?

3. I heard that apple cider vinegar is good for the tummy. If i added a drop into the food soaking water would that be the right amount?
 

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Do not give her seeds unless they are dried. I believe that it will cause health issues, or so I have been told and it says so in every other pigeon book i read. yes apple cider vinegar is good, or so Becky (Mary of Exeter) tells me. Don't feed her greens yet. That is "big boy" stuff. No fruits. Just pick it out. Depeding on the size of you soaking glass... If it is about 2 cups i would say 4 drops but i am no where close to being an expert at vinegar yet... i have only just started.
 
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