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Discussion Starter #1
I found a baby dove during work who blew out of his nest (too high up to replace). He was most likely 1-2 days old. He was a fighter and actually survived. He is now about 14-15 days and just weighed in at 54g after feeding. I've been feeding Kaytee exact about 3-4 times per day, until his crop is full. I've added in some baby chicken food and baby cereal and egg yolk. His pin feathers are coming in and he's looking good and acting good.

I would like to release him. He mostly spends his days in his "room" with a heat lamp set at 85-90 (now between 82-86) since he's feathering out. He seems to want to cuddle though. I want to socialize with him but also don't want him to be imprinted. Is it too late? I've been reading that doves are more likely to imprint and more difficult to release back. I have cats and dogs, and keeping him would not be ideal (for him), but I will if his chances in the wild are slim.

Any other advice on when to start weaning him, when to start offering water, seeds, etc... I have no idea how to figure that out. Pics below of him on the day we found him, then today (about 14 days later)

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96955
 

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Cute little thing! Job well done. You can start introducing him to seeds when he is about 3 to 4 weeks old. He will copy what your fingers are doing You can play with the seeds and make pecking motions with your fingers. Do the same with a small bowl of water. Put down a variety of small seeds. They sometimes learn quickly. He might only start eating one type of seed first, but will eventually move on to the others.

I think it's too late to expect him not to be imprinted. Unless you can get him to a rescue centre where he will grow up amongst other babies. His chances of survival will be very small if released. He would much rather spend time with you. Any chance of building him an aviary?
 

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Thank you so much for the response! I'm on Guam so there's very little resources for wildlife rehab. I have a large parrot cage we can use until he's fully grown. I saw some people here on the forum who let their doves come and go. But is that dangerous for birds like him who have never had bird parents ? If he's already imprinted, can I cuddle him then? He seems to react to me and prefers to be close . Thank you again!
 

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When he is older, you can let him out to freefly if you want to. He will need to spend time outside in the cage to get used to the area. But there's always a risk that he won't return, or get lost or caught by a predator.

I will say rather keep him and start giving him all your love and attention.
 

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Ok thank you! He's 84g tonight after last feeding. I'm sitting him by me when I'm working so he has company and he doesn't seem to get cold. He flaps his wingsxa lot so I'm guessing he'll start flying a bit soon! Am proud of his development he's a fighter! A couple more questions: he has one toe that looks a bit bent. I thought it was getting better but I'm not sure. I'll post pic. Also he has food crusted on his feathers in spots I cannot get off. Witg water or my fingernails. Any suggestions? Thanks so much!
 

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You can keep on soaking those hardened food with warm water till eventually it gets soften and then remove it. Can't really notice the bend toe, just keep and eye on that. If the toes start curling underneath the foot, you will need to make a little shoe to keep it in place. This is a sign of Vit B2 deficiency. Hopefully this won't be necessary.
 

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97037
He has issues with his two toes, though. They looked like they were getting better but looked bent to the side still. I'm going to take him to the vet to see what they can do.
 

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97038
His feathers are coming in nicely. I'm still battling his food all over his chest and face. I wipe it each time but i really need to get it better. He's trying to eat seeds. he picks them up but doesn't know how to swallow them. He must be about 25 days now. Only feeding him via syringe twice/day and he doesn't seem as hungry. He was about 125g after his last feeding.
 

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He's been sitting with is wing lifted. Is he trying to sun? The window gives good heat but i was worried at first when I saw this. He seems content though.
 

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A quick clip of him feeding - he's still on Kaytee exact, mixed with some baby cereal, egg yolk (hard boiled) and baby chicken food, consistency is still runny mustard. he will drink from finger a bit but not from the bowl. He's preening consistently and rects are growing in nicely.
 

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Okay, thank you both! That makes me feel much better. He is now flying and is able to perch fairly well on most different surfaces and perches. Can you send pics of your cage setups? I ordered platforms for the current cage we have (made for parrots), but only have rope perches right now. He's still not drinking water. Any tips on the seeds? He picks them up in his bill then drop them. Like he doesn't know how to swallow them.
 

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If you’re syringe feeding a wet formula he probably doesn’t need additional water. Xena is now 6 months old and drank water independently for the first time this week, and that’s with me offering her water and encouraging her every day for that whole time! And she’s not doing it daily, just once in every few days. Xena also won’t eat seeds, she chatters them in the very tip of her beak and drops them.
Xena has a bad leg from an infection in her bone and now can’t perch so her setup is a little different... at night she sleeps in a little cat bed inside a small crate, she can just about fake perch on the rim of the cat bed because it’s so soft and wide. I’ll take a picture in a moment! In the day she has a macrame hanging cat bed which is brilliant!
 

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97046

this is the setup i used for Cher,she was a feral who had PMV (she’s released now and living with the local flock). The bottom of the cage and the moss poles (for plants) are covered in puppy pads because her droppings were highly contagious a x i had to be vigilant about cleanliness because of my other rescue who was very ill at the same time with pox and salmonella. The moss poles were perfect as they were a bit wider for her to perch on as she didn’t have great balance - you just wedge them in the corners where they fit. Her poles were quite low down. She had the whole bathroom hence why the top is covered too.
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This is an earlier pic of the same bird, when she was struggling to move around. I kept the water high up because she was at risk of seizures so didn’t want her to fall and drown.
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This is when Xena was first with me and could perch. Same cage with more moss poles, the rags covering because of the bacterial infection and pox, i cleaned her cage a few times every day.
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same pic but from the top - the little brown area was where she would sleep/nest when she was tired of perching. A few weeks after this the pic were obstructing Both eyes and the moss perch poles came out and she just stayed on the ground.

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this is Xenas current daily ‘cage’... it’s not a cage at all but she loves it!
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this is her nighttime set up - the little cat bed in the back of her cage, she loves it in there!
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here’s aclose up of her asleep in it.
Hope that’s helped! Sounds like your pidge doesn’t have as many limitations as Xena! But i thoroughly recommend the moss poles for perches as they don’t need special installation just cram them in the corner!
 
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