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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm posting this as I have just lost my second Diamond Dove chick. The first one died about 10pm last night - 12 hours after hatching and the second one a few minutes before this post - 30 hours after hatching.

Both times the male was on the chick(s)

My question is could it be the fact that I found them on their backs underneath the male (dead) both times be the cause? I'm sure I read somewhere that they can't breath properly in that position? The one I found just now looked like it had almost been throttled :(
They were OK with just the mother on the nest as she was sitting 'correctly' with them upright & their heads sticking out from underneath her chest.

I suppose another factor could be these were their first chicks. This is their 10th time laying and the first 2 out of 20 eggs in just under a year to actually be fertile - I honestly thought one of the birds was infertile up until now!
I've also read the mortality rates are high in Doves so was prepared for/expecting it and although it is sad I'm not downbeat as I now know they can breed.
This is just nature and I'd rather lose a chick for some 'unknown' reason than end up with a lame or weak bird(s) - been there once and don't fancy it much again.

One other thing that I'm hoping someone can help me with as I'm unable to find anything from extensive googling - one was pink in colour and the other had very dark skin and a dark stripe across its bill. Anyone know why there's a difference? I've seen this in a lot of pictures online of Dove chick siblings and just wondered if they grew into 2 rather different looking birds? I can't see it myself as my pair are both Wild Blue or 'common' as I have come to call them lol

Thanks for reading

Jamie
 

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hi,
i think the male is inexperienced. my birds whenever they've hatched eggs the babies always grow up well. the babies should not be on their backs under the adult.
i think the reason one of your babies looks different, is probably when it grows up it might have grown up to be a pied or white feathered bird. one of my birds babies hatched with pale skin and when it grew up it was pied. the darker skin baby would have had normal coloration
what kind of food are you giving your birds? do they have grit and calcium?
the 10th time seems a bit long. my birds were first time parent too and hatched the eggs out around the third time. they do lose a lot of eggs though so thats understandable.
 

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I am sorry for your loss, hopefully their next cluch is more successful. I dont have Diamonds, but Ringnecks and first time parents can be very inexperienced and not know what to do. I had fostered an egg to a sitting pair, but when the egg hatched they refused to go near the little guy; luckily I had another clutch that hatched the day before so I could pop the little guy in with his cousins. The next month the foster pair hatched their own egg and all was good.
What nesting material is in the nest? maybe the little hatchlings had nothing to hold onto so they rolled over on their backs, and could not flip back over.
 

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this is a quote from the diamond dove site.. it may be of help the next time.. Im sorry they did not make it...



"Other times the parents will not remove the baby from the nest but will not be able to feed the baby because it is too weak to stick its head up to receive food from the parents. So it is worthwhile to watch and see the the parents are able to keep the babies crop full. In watching the babies I try to get a glimpse of the baby without physically removing the parent from the nest as the baby might be hurt if the parent tried to resist my efforts. But if I find the babies crop is empty or find the baby laying over on one side, then I remove the parent, take the baby out and feed it until it appears stronger. At that time I return the baby to the nest and the parent almost always will take over."

 

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I have tried to use the 'formula' (forgot what its called) and my doves refuse to eat it. I wanted to give it to them as a boost - some chicks have fret markings in their tail feathers - oh they hate it and fling it all over. What is the secret? is it the temperature? do they not like the spoon I'm using? :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies - backs up my initial theory that it was down to Peeps inexperience as a father!

Their diet tends to be a mixture of 2 different seed mixes. One is mostly white and yellow millet and the other is a mixed millet with nyger and rape seed (both of which no one will touch) They have access to fresh pots of cress in the bottom of the cage which is either not touched or completely shredded. They have access to a mixture of grit and crushed oyster shell and a cuttlefish (Took over 6 months before they even touched the stuff) I sprinkle the oyster shell onto the bottom of the cage with some fine charcoal each time I change the sand which the hens like to pick at.

I still can't work out why on the 10th attempt we have finally had fertile eggs whereas the other pair (with the hen I lost back in September) in the same cage suceeded first time. Only problem with them was one egg died a few days into development and the other never hatched.

The nest is a mixture of fine dried grass in the bottom and sturdy straw for the top layer just do the chicks would have something to hold on to. The first chick I lost didn't look very strong that afternoon - didn't seem to be nearly as active as the other little one. Plus whenever they poked their heads out from underneath the male he'd lift up and peck them back underneath him and almost press himself down as if to stop them moving; something that didn't bother the hen in the same situation. My father in all his infinite wisdom of breeding birds for years reckons next time I should remove the male from the cage when the chicks hatch. I'm reluctant to do this as I'm concerned about stressing my hen and having her desert the nest; I wouldn't know how to feed a <1 day old dove(s) for a start!

How long is it before the baby starts to allow the mother to feed it? I read that it can be anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. After 12 hours I did see the female grab the beak of the remaining chick but it didn't even attempt to feed. However it didn't seem to be lathargic either and spent the afternoon wrigging around until the male went back on the nest.

She has just laid her second egg this morning so in theory if fertile they'll hatch on Christmas day (13 days again)

We shall have to wait and see!

again thank you for answering a few things. I've read many websites but its never quite the same as having good people like you guys on hand to ask who have experience in this area.
 
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