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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Becoming a Dove Mama - UPDATED W/ PHOTOS! :)

Hi, I'm Amani, and have been obsessively researching doves as pets (looove this site, have been logging a lot of hours here when I should be working...).

Just got the message that the ringneck dove a local breeder has been weaning (it had trouble eating on his/her own for a while there) is ready for us! I am over the moon excited. It might sound silly, but after trying over 6 years for a little human baby, it just feels so wonderful to add a sweet bird to our family.

We've been hemming and hawing over cage choices (going to order through Amazon Prime for fast shipping) and now of course it's killing me that we'll have to wait for a few more days.

I have a pressing question: should we choose a dog crate type, to have a flat bottom with a towel, plus we can afford a bit longer size, but has 1.5" bars; or should we choose a birdcage with a wire floor, fits width requirements but more of the space is vertical? (If anyone happens to have a favorite - highly affordable one - on amazon.com I would love to know!)

And a subquestion, would it help to line a wire floor with a towel? And are microfiber towels a good choice?

Secondly, after reading about the many risks that can endanger pet doves, I'm concerned about drafts. We have a nice, tight house but with baseboard heating vents, so pretty much every square foot of the house has some air movement. Realistically, how far away from a vent would be safe?

And finally, we thought we really wanted a female (seems like they would be happier as a single bird bonded to a human) but as I've learned more it seems that it's really hard to sex young doves?

I thank you so much for this wonderful resource and am so relieved to have a place to learn and share about this beautiful new world of columbiformaphilia!
 

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My indoor birds get an enclosed dog type crate lined with newspapers and I hang food and water dishes on door so they dont poop in them. They feel safe in there. BUT I only put them in that type of crate because they get free flight time indoors daily. If you dont plan to let them out then a rabbit type cage woudl be better, it is long and large and they can see everywhere. I also have baseboard heating, house is fine and warm normal temp. Keep them away from the actual heaters or the cages will melt. Dont use towels what will be unsanitary. Use newspapers or paper towel or sheets of paper. I slide off the top one a few times a day as they mess them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you CBL, that is so helpful!

I saw so many pictures of what looked like pampered doves living on soft towels and just figured it was good for them. I definitely prefer the idea of oft-changed newspaper and/or paper towels.

Thanks for the tip, I am comparing some rabbit cages now too.

We are thinking of a 31in x 20.5 x 53 (high) bird cage because it seems like the largest space we can get for our budget. Looking at rabbit cages now, I wonder if it would be a better choice to get a less spacious cage but one that has a plastic bottom instead of a wire bottom?

Also so excited to share, we just got his/her pictures and its appearance is so striking, my guess is orange pearled or tangerine pearled, and silky! (I thought it was just baby feathers but the breeder said they will stay soft like that.) I've read that silky feathers are especially delicate and wonder if that comes into play with the cage choice?

Thank you again for the feedback, we appreciate it so much!

Sorry, edited to add: We will definitely be letting him/her out to fly and play every day, but there also unfortunately will be long waits in the cage while I go teach and my husband is in school every day. So I want to make sure the home is nice enough that I feel good about leaving him/her there.
 

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Anytime, happy to help a fellow bird lover. Wonderful, yes can you let ME see that lovely bird color, can you post a pic or pm me for email :) I like the rabbit cage because they dont need the height when in a cage, they dont fly around like a budgie for finch, they just sit, so better for the rabbit cage as it is longer and has more floor space for this type of bird. You can still put a fat perch in if u want.

Dont worry about the long waits during the week, you will make up for it on weekends lol. When I am home I let them out for a bit, then when I have to crack down and clean or work from my home office I put them in their carriers. They are more than happy to go in, then I let them out again for a bit, then they put themselves to bed or walk from living room thru kitchen to laundry room and wait for me to lift them in to the crates. They are GEMS for sure. I love my single ladies. I dont know why I have a soft spot for hens, I just do. I love my boys too in the loft, I have a couple of sweet gentlemen in there. I just love them all.

I dont go for wire bottom as it is a pain to scrape then u have to clean two things the bottom and the grate. I just the newspapers shifted when dirty is great for me. I just leave a garbage can in the same root and toss spilled seed out the back door for the wild birds and newspaper in garbage. I just take it off in layers as it gets messy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you! I got pics by a text message and can't figure out how to download or resend them but I am such a proud mama right now. I'll either figure it out or just get a bunch of photos of the "blessed event" as my mom has been calling it Lol, when we pick him/her up next week. I can't wait to show off to family/friends and here!

Hearing about what it's like to hang out with the birds around the house sounds so lovely. Thank you for sharing!
 

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Hey, between a dog crate type and a bird one I think a dog crate type is better, because the birds get more space to move around. I would definitely say a cuboid one rather than a dome type one. I think you should get a custom made like the one whose picture I have attached or try to find a one similar to that(but smaller in size).As for the base, the wired floors are very uncomfortable so get a thick cardboard and place it on the floor and then place newspaper on it.Newspapers are very easy to clean too and the cardboard will sustain for at least 2 months.The bird is absolutely adorable! I can only determine a pigeon/dove's only when they grow up a little (from 1.5 or 2 months) by their behaviour, I don't know why but seeing the bird it looks like a girl to me :p.I hope this helps.
P.S make sure to keep something like a stick inside the cage on which the little one can perch, they absolutely love sitting on sticks/rods, if you're unable to keep one then a brick can work too though some birds don't like to perch on bricks.
CONGRATULATIONS!I bet you will love to have a dove, they are absolutely wonderful creatures :)
-Rubeena
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you, Rubeena!

That custom cage looks delightful for doves. :) My husband and I pored over cage options last night and finally decided on a bird cage that was tallish, but when we checked with the breeder she assured us it was long/wide enough. (It was cheaper than the rabbit cages that would be big enough to be her forever home.)

The plan is to make a custom place for her this summer, if needed - although knowing my husband, he may be drawing up plans for a custom dove palace soon (as long as she endears herself to him).

The cardboard suggestion is ingenious. We'll be glad to keep her little toesies off the wire.

The cage comes with some narrow dowel perches. From what we've been reading, we were thinking we should add perches made of untreated 2x4 instead. It's hard to decide since there are so many different ideas and solutions out there! I guess we'll start with both a narrow/rounded perch and a flat perch and see what she prefers? (We really want a girl so thanks for sharing your impression, we'll go with that unless we have reason otherwise!)

Thank you so much for all your help and ideas and well wishes.

 

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I am glad you liked my suggestion. Is the picture which you have attached of the cage you have now or the one you are planning to build later?Nevertheless, I am happy that the temporary cage is a comfortable one and that you are planning to build a more better one.I think dowel perches are good, maybe in your custom made one you can have rounded as well as a flat one, from my experience I have seen that they prefer flat ones, but each bird is different.Maybe you can describe her/his behaviour to me once you get her/him in a private message and I can help you in deciding its gender. :)
-Rubeena
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you, Rubeena! It will be so fun to observe her and try to figure out the sex. :) Thank you for your kind offer.

The picture is the cage we just ordered. Overall the size is okay, but we'd like to give her more horizontal room with a homemade cage that maybe looks more beautiful or furniture-like since she'll be in the living/dining room.
 

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I think the cage is wonderful for a single dove, but if you want to make a better one,why not.Will you not let her out to fly?
-Rubeena
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Rubeena, I'm glad to hear that. :)

Unfortunately, she will be stuck in her cage for an extended time during the work day (typically 9-10 hours). My grandma and I will be sizing her and making some dove diapers so she can hang out with us pretty freely when we're home. I hope the diapers are something she will be able to adjust to comfortably, otherwise I'm afraid it will be a very big adjustment for us to clean dove droppings around the home!

I think it work relatively well to have her out of the cage, especially since I have been reading about how silky doves can't fly too well at all, so I think it will be possible to keep her safe without too much trouble. We are also going to experiment with perch/shelf setups in her cage to see what gives her the most mobility and comfort.
 

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Oh, you don't have to keep her out all day long, but it's good that you are planning to let her out each day, 1-2 hours a day will be good. I am glad to hear that you are not going to keep her trapped in her cage like some people do.
-Rubeena
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you, I'm glad to hear that. I have been wondering if it would be hard for her when we spend an evening out sometimes after being at work all day, so the goal of 1-2 hours out of the cage will help me feel better on those days with something we have to do. :)

Just shopped at Jo-ann Fabrics for pretty spring colored fleece, soft wrapped elastic, and velcro, for little dove diapers...excited to start experimenting! The funniest thing, when I explained the purpose of getting 1/4 yards of 5 random fleece colors, I was tickled to learn that the lady cutting the fabric keeps doves, both ringneck and diamond. She wanted to warn me about the constant cooing. :eek:

Also picked up spray millet. Not sure if doves would prefer it hanging or in their dish, but for now I think I'll reserve it as a treat for taming/bonding with her.

This whole process is such an adventure!
 

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They prefer it kept in a dish rather than it hanging as they have to get into uncomfortable positions to reach the higher seeds. I hope you consider getting him/her a friend/partner in the future.
-Rubeena
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you, I'll keep it in the dish!

A partner dove was definitely not in the original plan...mostly because we were worried about the babies and the increased noise and mess...but having learned about "birdy birth control," I guess we'll get adjusted to life with one dove and then keep the option open for when we're all ready!
 

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Good to hear that you are keeping the option open, it would be good for him/her to have one of her/his own kind around him/her.(or else they can get lonely)
-Rubeena
 
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