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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I just have a question you more knowledgeable folks may be able to help me with.

I have had a pet ringneck dove (Oliver) sharing a large cage with a zebra finch for at least six years now-- a bit of an odd pairing perhaps, but they got on well together and were rather happy cagemates. Well sadly the finch passed away this morning of unknown but likely natural causes (he was quite old, at least twice as old as Oliver).

I am just wondering how Oliver might react to losing his long-time cagemate. He has been extremely quiet all day (he's usually constantly cooing up a storm) and I'm worried he might get distressed or lonely. I might just be projecting my sense of loss onto him but I'm going to be watching him closely the next few days.

How do doves usually react to losing a cagemate? Is he likely to get over it and be okay l or is there something I can do to help him not stress out? I'm just worried, especially since they were cagemates for so long, that the change might upset him.

To make things even more complicated, I'm moving across the country in about a week, and I know the road trip and the new location won't help his stress levels either. Please, if you guys have any suggestions I would really appreciate them.
 

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They do experience grief some more than others. I had some refusing to eat, one in particular got very aggressive with any other dove or bird in the house. Usually it won't last more than a week then they move on.
The move will stress him out but it also might help him get over his loss.
Have you considered after the move maybe to get him a new cagemate?

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies guys :)

We moved in a few days ago now and his huge cage is temporarily on the bathroom counter until we can get proper shelving set up. He didn't appreciate the car ride but he seems to otherwise be doing alright now; he's certainly making a lot of noise again which makes me feel better. I think you were right about the move helping him to get over the loss; it's a huge distraction if nothing else. I haven't actually seen him eat or drink but there is evidence that he has (seeds/water drops scattered under the dishes). One thing I find a little odd is that he has refused to touch the greens (kale) that I provided for him, even though he usually loves them. Possibly the vegetation from this area tastes different to him?

On the notion of getting him another cagemate, I have considered it but I have a few concerns, not the least of which being that I don't really have a space to quarantine the newcomer. I am also a little concerned how Oliver, not really being a terribly young bird, would react to a new stranger in his cage. Honestly, I would like to avoid getting him another cagemate unless I am sure it really will improve his quality of life. As this point I sort of fear it would just cause him more stress. I also might be moving (again, though not so long a distance) within the next few months and would like to avoid accumulating any more living creatures to stress out all over again. But you guys are probably more experienced than me, so in your experience, do doves generally need company for a happy life? In the end, his health/happiness is highest priority here.

One thing to note is that Oliver acts rather wild-- he doesn't like to be touched and tends to avoid my hand. I had someone tell me years ago that doves generally cannot be tamed if they are kept with other birds because they tend to just bond with those birds instead, so I never made much of an attempt to hand-tame him. As this point (7+ years old), do you think it's too late to make any attempt to get him to warm up to me (In a few weeks after he's settled in his new home, of course)? If I could provide company for him I really would much prefer that over getting another dove or other bird. But I'm not even sure if doves work that way-- they aren't really companion birds are they?

I really want to do what's best for him; I'm just not sure what that is.

Advance thanks for any insight!
 

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I think Oliver would appreciate the company of another bird. They like companionship, and where he is not very people friendly, I don't think you can provide that for him. Being along isn't good for a bird. They are happier with a friend.
 

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I have one ringneck dove that will have nothing to do with other birds. I am his mate and best friend. I also heard stories from other people about doves bonding with their humans. Now, considering his age, I am not sure this is still possible with Oliver, but you have nothing to loose if you try. If that doesn't work you can always get him a mate.

Reti
 
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