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Discussion Starter #1
I found baby collared dove in my garden a week ago and have been keeping him inside in a shoe-box next to the radiator, seems content :) I tried feeding him the day I found him wit some dog food soaked in warm water (as it was recomended on a web site) didn't seem to like the process so I decided not to force-feed. The next morning i noticed two collard doves on the ground near where i found the baby so i put him outside and they both came and fed it. I put Bo (I named the baby Bo it means Precious in Chinese) outside from then on every morning and afternoon and did so this morning aswell but the parents didn't fly down to feed him. I've noticed they are gathering some twiggs and taking the to a conifer near the bedroom window. They seem to have lost intrest in the baby and I'm worried.
What could I do if the parents stop fedding him? I read everything there is to read about feeding baby collared doves but I would only feed him as a last resort.
Exact hand feeding formula is recomended on almost every website as a good feed, should I try giving him that in case the parents don't take intrest?
 

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Absolutely, if the parents don't feed the baby you have to feed him.
Exact formula or any bird pellets for young birds, they all work just fine. I found feeding pellets is much easier and less time consuming. You have to soak them in water so he gets water too and they are easier to swallow.
He also will need to be kept warm.
How old do you think is the baby?

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for replying so quickly. I’ve never seen a baby pigeon up-close before so I can only make an estimate on what my limited knowledge of birds allows. I would say it’s a juvenile. Doesn’t look like the parents yet, the dark ring is just starting to show on his neck. Right now he is sleeping, something that he never did during the day. Read on a website that they get dehydrated… he hasn’t been fed today
I feel helpless :(
 

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Hi,

If he has just started to get the 'collar' then he is probably close to 3 weeks, when they fledge.

I suggest that you mix up 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 TABLEspoon of glucose (or sugar) in 1/2 litre of water, and drop a few drops into the end of his beak, whereupon he should take it back and swallow. If you have a little dropper bottle or small sterile syringe, that is best, otherwise you could try little drops in a teaspoon. This is rehydration mix. You could also try gently guiding his beak (below nostrils) into a small pot of this - he may drink on his own if you do.

If he was fed yesterday he won't be starving, and it is important to ensure he is hydrated so his system will function.

Once he is warm and hydrated, then you will probably have to give him little items of food pushed towards the back of his beak. These could be softened pellets of wholemeal bread, the soaked dog biscuit or frozen (not tinned) sweetcorn and/or peas thawed in hot water for 15-20 mins. You may want to wrap him in a towel to keep him steady whilst feeding.

Once he has some nourishment, then he can be tried with seed in a dish - dove mix or wild bird seed from Pets At Home or other pet store. He will need to learn how to feed himself.

Exact baby bird formula is good, but have had a big problem actually finding it anywhere. Pets At Home used to have it, and may do in your area, but I haven't seen it for a while. If you can get any, let us know, and we can suggest how to give it.

John
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you very much for your advice, I was worried it was starving. I’ve been keeping an eye out for the parents. Yesterday they fed him at around the same time so they might still come back. My fiancé says I got too attached to him, but I couldn’t help it, he’s such a cutie :) Would it be ok if I posted a picture of him?
Thank you again for the advice, it means a lot :)
 

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Sure, post a pic of him. We love pics.
Hopefully the parents will feed him but sounds like you might have to supplement his feedings anyways. He needs to be fed more often than once a day. At this stage they need food at least three times a day.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Both parents are back now, they’re just sitting in the tree grooming each other. I put Bo outside for about 10 minutes, it walked around for a bit they didn’t take notice of him at all. I will give him some of that hydrating mix and some food after that. I don’t want to leave him outside for very long because it’s very cold. Even after 10 minutes his tiny feet feel very cold when I hold him. He is sleeping a lot now he was very lively ‘till this morning. Hope he’ll be better after I feed him.
Thank you again for helping.
Here’s the little cutie :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I’ve just fed him on a tiny bit of wholemeal bread soaked in warm water, he swallowed it and seemed happy about it. I just hate having to force his little beak open :( He had some of that hydrating mix, couldn’t tell how much though. He doesn’t look like he’s well at all, constantly asleep, the only time he opens its eyes is if I touch him or I put him outside. I read on a website that it is best to mimic the natural way they feed, which is that the baby puts its beak into the parent’s mouth and not the other way around. I was suggested that it’s best to use a rubber glove with its pinkie-finger cut open so that the baby’s beak can fit inside. The problem is that all these sites say they are using Exact feeding formula. I have no clue where to find some on a Sunday afternoon in England. Maybe baby food would do… Hope the bread didn’t do more harm the good :(
 

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Bread isn't the best choise, you can buy Gerber's baby cereal, that would work for now.
Don't worry too much about opening his beak and feeding him, just feed him cause it seems like he needs it. He is a sweet baby, great pic, only thing, he doesn't look too good.
Do you have him on a heating pad? He needs warmth, hydration and food. If that won't make him feel better than you have some illness going on, but try first to hydrate him and feed him and warm him up.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I don’t have a heating-pad, bat he is right next to the hot radiator and feels pretty warm when I touch him. I was very worried that he doesn’t look good, he hasn’t been like this since I had him. He was always very lively and constantly moving about. Since this morning all he does is sleep when he is in the box but when I take him out he is back to normal. Will a bit a dog biscuits do ‘till tomorrow? The pet shop only opens tomorrow at 9 and the supermarket’s closed too cause it’s Sunday :( The only cereal I have that might suit him is Wheatabix. I didn’t think I’d have to feed him because his parents always did it. I would have prepared if I knew :( I will do my best to keep him warm. I have an infra-red lamp maybe that will do?
 

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Hi Athalie,

Does he walk about at all? Doves are very prone to metabolic bone disease, caused by a lack of calcium in their diet, so if he has weak legs and/ or a "rubbery" beak a calcium supplement can help.

I have a baby dove at the moment (I will post pictures later for comparison...must walk the dogs first) and I have been deeding him Nutra Bird (or Nutribird), he has been producing wonderful poops on that. But a good substitute is Ready Breck, mixed into a smooth paste with warm water. I have PM;d Phil yo ask him to go through how you can persuade your dove to feed the natural way. Mine is taking abot 60 ml a day.

Little doves are quick to learn how to feed themselves, so if you get canary food or even just millet to start with he should pick it up eventually to test it in his beak. This soon leads to self feeding.

The sleeping all the time is not natural. Keep him warm on a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel and draught free.

Mine is in the bath at the moment, I have put towels along the bottom and a cat basket at one end. He is already flying up to the top of the cat basket.

Cynthia
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Yes, he is walking about and seems lively when I take him out of his box. He has jumped out of its box too, quite a few times and flew off the bed while I was cleaning his box :) he was doing great ‘till this morning :( His beak feels a bit soft but I wouldn’t say rubbery – he does wobble a bit when he’s walking. Just wish I’d know how to help :( gave some more hydrating mix, I’ll go and get a hot water bottle.
I named him Bo… don’t even know if it’s a boy or girl :( I’d do anything to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Another thing I’ve noticed is that he doesn’t poop as often as the first 4 days. Yesterday I only had to clean him twice and today only once ‘till now. He used to poop every 2, 3 hours. Where can I get that Nutra Bird? Feel really dumb and helpless :(
 

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Hi Athelie,




Sounds like your Dove is ill, and were he not showing sufficient interest to the invitations of his parents to feed him, they would leave him be and stop feeding him.

If all were well, he would have been making about 2 poops an hour originally, and, if adequately fed, it would be that way still.


When you say you had to 'clean' him after he pooped, would you give more details?


If they are healthy, their poops merely fall away and there is nothing to clean on the Bird.


So, anyway, it sounds like there are three things going on here -


1 ) He was getting sick, and he has gotten sicker


2) Since his parents had stopped feeding him, he has been either starving or very close to it


3) He is almost certainly very seriously dehydrated ( he would normally drink or be given by his parents, probably 1/3 of a Tea Cup worth of Water a day, maybe more )


When they are sick their appetite and interest in eating can diminish.


My guess is, that at this point, he will need to be evaluated with a view to administer appropriate medications, and, he would likely require to be tube-fed, thin liquid meals, if possibly having half-a-day of rehydrating proceedures of tube fed electrolytes.


If you want to see if he will drink, try this -


In a Tea Cup, mix a good pinch of common table Salt, with one of Sugar, and dissolve in tepid Water.

Make it so the Water is just about your own body temperature.


Offer the Cup of Water to him by having it set in some stable way in front of him and low enough for his Beak to be gently guided into it.


You can moisten your finger tips in it, and, very softly massage his Beak with your moist warm fingertips, say, betwen the pad of your thumb and index finger, and softly massage it back where it meets his face.

This might take several trys ( it might take ten or twelve tries) but it should work to convery to him that you are willing to feed/water him, for him to drink...so, the 'soft massage' gesture, and, also, gently guiding his Beak into the Water by either gently tilting his head into it, or, by raising the Cup so his Beak goes into it.


His poops, and or the poops you had to clean him of, were they of a 'yellowish' cast or color? LIke a thin yellow watercolor paint?



Where are you located?



Phil
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Discussion Starter #15
When I said I cleaned him I meant I whipped his feathers because he has been sitting on the poop. Usually I cleaned his box the whipped his feathers wits a bit of tissue paper. The colour of his poop was dark green with white bits, only once I saw yellowish runny one yesterday afternoon. I tried a same sort of hydrating mix he drank a bit when I put it under it beak then I put a few drops of it in his beak just now.
He seemed very eager to feed, kept knocking the parent over when they flew down to him. He didn’t seem ill till this morning. He was active and alert. I’d be heartbroken if I didn’t do all can for him. Thank you very much for your help.
I live in Middleton Manchester.
 

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If he has no poops he is starving. Please feed him.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I gave him some wholemeal bread soaked in water I don’t know what else I could give him. Supermarkets are not open the shop across the road doesn’t have that baby cereal. If I had something to feed him I would but if bread isn’t ok I don’t know what else to give him. I’ll try dog food soaked in water.
 

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Hi Athalie,

I checked and it is "Nutribird" but I think that you can only get it from Morley Aviaries by post. As he is old enough to fly he should be OK on Ready brek, I am feeding that to one of my own rescues and he is doing well. THat was recommended to me by Helen of wild-life-line in Blackburn who is a moderator of this forum.

Dove poops should ideally be firm, they dry into nice solid bits that you can sweep up.

Dip his beak regularly into the rehydrating solution. The correct proportions for that are 1 pint warm water, mixed with 1/2 tablespoon glucose, honey or sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Encourage him to drink as much as possible.

If you feed him wholemeal bread dipped in water then try to give him at least 1/2 a slice (with crusts removed) three times a day.

I have some antibiotics that I can send off to you tomorrow if necessary...please PM me if I can help.

You could take it to the Three Owls Sanctuary if it doesn't pull itself together, but I feel that sometimes a baby profits from the amount of attention that it receives from a single rescuer. We also have a wonderful member in Salford that could have a look at him, she would not be able to take him in as she has pigeon lung disease.

Cynthia
 

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...have a towell on your Lap...


Set the Dove on the Towell, and cover her with a smaller towell so just her Head is almost visable...and so she is sort of tucked in at the sides.


Get a very small Glass, like a Shot Glass, and fill it with small, whole Seeds.


Hold the Glass low and in front of her, and, 'peck' at the Seeds with a crook'd index finger, while you other hand gently is laid on the towell which is covering her.


And, see if you can inspire her to be pecking.


She is old enough TO be doing so, or to be learning to do so.



You can gently tap the end of her Beak with a Seed also, showing it to her.


Try that...



See -


http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/showthread.php?t=24110


Along with the links it contains which will show some images



Phil
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Wholemeal bread is OK, just as long as it isn't fresh as that will have a high yeast content. I have raised healthy babies on that dipped in Complan and the Gower Biird Hospital use it to hand raise baby wood pigeons.

I found Ready Brek among the cereals at the One Stop convenience store, not among the baby food. Soaked bran flakes or any other sugar free cereal would be fine too. London Wildcare use porridge oats soaked in warm water.

I don't know if puppy food might not be too rich for a collared dove, they don't have the varied diet of feral pigeons, they tend to stick to seeds.

Cynthia
 
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