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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband's coworkers found a white dove outside their office. It's calm and doesn't fly away. I raise chickens, so my husband assumes our home is the right place, lol. I have the bird quarantined in an extra large dog kennel with hay, a deep water dish and some wild bird seed. I also took it to a regular vet this morning (not an aviary vet because I would have to drive 30 miles and didn't want to stress the poor bird too much). She flew all over the vet exam room until they caught her and held her wings in a towel, so i know she can fly. Vet said she's very clean, seems mite free, no mucus, inside mouth looks good... So I ordered a 5x2x2 aviary cage for the bird today.

What else can I do to make sure she lives a good life? I'm afraid if she isn't wild she won't survive out there, and suppose I'll just keep her?
 

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Thank you for rescuing her! Keeping her safe and warm is good. Wild bird seed is ok, dove or pigeon mix and grit would be even better at some point. Are you interested in getting a second friend or mate?
 

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Don't suppose the poor thing had a band? Can you post a picture of the bird?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi cwebster, yes, I do believe at some point a mate or friend for her would be amazing. The reason I'm bringing her into the house is because she can be around us humans and have some company at least for now. I don't believe she'd fare well with my chickens, else I'd have her live with them. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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You're right about pigeons not being kept together. Not a good idea. And she is a domestic bird and won't last long outside. Hawks or something would get her, especially being white.
If she is calm, she is either tame and was someones pet, or she is ill. Your vet should have done tests on her droppings at least. She may have something your vet didn't notice. Regular vets don't know much about birds. Avian vet would be much better if they see pigeons. Not all will. You have to call and ask, and always tell them it's your pet. Even ones that won't see them will if it is your pet. I say this because when a pigeon acts too calm or tame, it is a red flag that it could be sick. Even if it was someones pet, it doesn't know you, so would think it would be a bit cautious. Of course, if hungry enough and needing food, then that might make it act a bit tamer also. Just keep an eye on her and watch that she is eating, drinking and pooping enough. And that her droppings look solid and formed and healthy. Pretty bird.
You said the cage is 5X2X2. Pigeons need a cage more wide than high. If it is 2 feet wide and 5 feet high, then she would have trouble getting up to higher perches. They don't climb like parrots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you for the info. The bird eats, drinks and has very normal poops from what i can tell. I'm not sure if I mentioned it in my original post, but the nearest avian vet is 30 miles away, and I was afraid to have her in the car that long. Perhaps I can get an avian vet to make a house call. :) But yes, from now on, I will refer to her as my pet so I don't run into the reluctance. My husband trained pigeons in grad school and he knows more than I do. Just talked to him, and we decided to order a second cage (it's wood and hardware cloth for the most part), and we'll put them together. :) Thanks again!
 

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Thank you for the info. The bird eats, drinks and has very normal poops from what i can tell. I'm not sure if I mentioned it in my original post, but the nearest avian vet is 30 miles away, and I was afraid to have her in the car that long. Perhaps I can get an avian vet to make a house call. :)

You won't find avian vets that make house calls, but confined to a cat carrier or the like, even a box, the bird would be fine. Lots of us go much further with our birds.
You do what you have to. Regular vets aren't going to find most things that could be wrong. So the visit is usually wasted anyway.

But yes, from now on, I will refer to her as my pet so I don't run into the reluctance. My husband trained pigeons in grad school and he knows more than I do. Just talked to him, and we decided to order a second cage (it's wood and hardware cloth for the most part), and we'll put them together. :) Thanks again!
Hope the bird will be kept indoors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. She is in the garage with heat for now and my baby chicks are in a coop a few feet from her (also with heat). She only sees me when I feed her and talk to her. Everytime I go into her dwelling to feed her, she puffs up and shivers a bit. Otherwise, I observe her not fluffed up and moving around normally. I tried just a few minutes ago to talk to her and reach into her cage and she kinda lunged at me and made a "voo" sound. I'll get her to an avian vet, but for sure she's not liking me very much right now. :(
 

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It will take time for her to get to know you. If you keep her outside, and only spend time with her now and then to feed, she won't get comfortable with you.
 

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Her making noises at you is a terrific sign. That is what a pigeon or dove will do as it us getting to know you and getting comfortable. If you are patient and kind the bird will learn to trust you and will be friendly.
 

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Right now she is threatening you to stay away. But at least she isn't cringing in the corner, afraid of you. It will just take time to help her to trust you. Something that will help is treats. All birds, including pigeons love unsalted peanuts. Chop some up into bite size, and mix in with her feed, so that she will eventually try them. It sometimes takes a while to try something new. Once they try them, they all love them. Eventually she will come to you for them.
It's harder when you have a bird in a cage I think. When you reach in for them, they don't like it. The new birds in my loft wouldn't like it either. They like to come to you. So unless the bird is let out and allowed to come to you when it is ready, then I think it's harder. But if kept inside, you can let him out in the room and go slow with him. If you let him out, do it near sun down so that you can turn off the light to catch him to return to the cage. Pigeons don't normally see well in the dark, and usually won't fly then. So you can just go over and pick him up to put him in his cage. He will probably come to trust you after a while. It just takes time.
Once he or she is settled in the new cage, try putting a large size make-up mirror on the inside of the cage. This may help to identify whether you have a male or female pigeon. A female will usually pretty much ignore it, or maybe just lay beside it for company. But a male will usually react to it. Bow and coo as if to another pigeon, or maybe even try to fight with it. Could be interesting.
 

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That white dove is actually a white "pigeon". Well pigeons are doves but I mean it is Columba livia and not a ringneck dove, for example. Where in the USA are you? Although it would make a nice pet inside it might also be better to get if at least a mate and have it in a SECURE outdoor coop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update

So... I brought the bird inside yesterday. I bought a large cage that is 3x3x5. I'm creating flat perches now - she doesn't like the round ones, which I had read. She is much happier now, and has even started to play and coo. She's been flying some inside the cage and climbing a bit too. I'm working on finding a proper mirror also. I would hate to put her outside right now in the snow - even in an outdoor coop. Also, this fall I lost a chicken to a raccoon, and we have hawks, possum, mice, squirrels... Inside I have dogs and cats. One particular cat is a hunter and I've seen her get birds outside (which I hated). She is now an indoor cat. I have to be careful. I feel like I can only do my best here and it's likely better than letting this bird loose. I'm not confident it would survive for long. As for a mate, this cage is certainly large enough. I'll start thinking of that after her vet visit next week.

Thanks for all the helpful advice!
 

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Outside (or inside if your kitty hunter will be anywhere near) any screen/caging should be the strong hardware cloth with the small openings......so no mice can squeeze through and no raccoon can rip it off. Thank you for taking this bird in!!
 

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Outside (or inside if your kitty hunter will be anywhere near) any screen/caging should be the strong hardware cloth with the small openings......so no mice can squeeze through and no raccoon can rip it off. Thank you for taking this bird in!!

^ This is good advice, as it is very easy for an animal to reach in and grab the bird.
 
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