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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was downtown last night and a guy walked up with this baby bird in this hand. They were going to put it in the bushes somewhere and I was worried it wouldn't make it, so I brought it home. Here are 3 pictures. I know doves and pigeons are technically the same, but am not sure if they have different needs. Here are the pics:

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2520949110101452403AmuKDn?vhost=pets
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2807965340101452403WSbdLd?vhost=pets
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2313303570101452403HHGzqt?vhost=pets

Right now we are feeding it Kaytee Exact through an eye dropper. I am trying to get a feel for how the crop should feel once it is full. Approximately how many cc's of food should it be eating and how often? I am also giving it water after it eats and throughout the day. Any suggestions on how much water it needs each day? I have it in a shoebox on top of a heating pad which keeps the bottom of the box around 90 degrees. I have been scrambling to learn as much as I can about their needs since getting home last night. It seems very energetic and alert and is pooing a lot, so I believe that's a good sign. Thanks so much for the advice and help!!

Ryan
 

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Ryan...
The crop should feel squishy when it has food in it.
From the looks of it, I would say you should be feeding thid baby about 15ccs per feeding.
As the baby grows, the amount per feeding should be increased.
The baby should be fed every time the crop empties and you should never add more food to a crop that already has food in it.... doing so can cause a bacterial infection and make the baby very ill if not fatally so.
The crop will empty in 2-4 hours depending upon the amount you feed and the thickness of the formula.
The heating pad should be on the lowest setting and only half under the box so that if the baby gets too hot, she can get away from the heat. Make sure you have a towel in the bottom of the box.
I'm so gald you saved the baby. Thanks for asking questions so you can do it right.
 

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I'm pretty sure that is a baby Mourning Dove, and I don't think it can handle 15 cc's of formula at any age though 15 cc's would be about the right amount for a baby pigeon. Probably something in the 6-8 cc range per feeding .. just guessing by the picture. You really need to judge by how full the crop is as Charis posted.

Thank you for helping this little one, Ryan. Since I do believe it is a baby Mourning Dove, you really need to get it to a permitted wildlife rehabilitator since it is protected under state and federal law. If you will post your general location, we can try and help you find a facility or person to help the little one.

Terry
 

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Hi Ryan, It looks to me that this is baby dove!
15 cc may be too much because is smaller than pigeon. Start with 5 cc and go to 7 max.
Two~three time a day. Do not overfeed it, as Charis suggested leave to empty crop completely. Even if is hungry and getting less food is better then to much food.
As long as you feed regularly it wont starve.

We postet same time with Terry :) but info is more or less the same:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok, this makes a lot of sense because we've been noticing the crop is full WAY before 15 cc's. We've been giving it about 8 cc's or less. I've also noticed his eyes will get real squinty as he starts filling up, almost as if he is sleepy. We are starting to get a much better feel for the crop. We've been putting him in a large basket and setting him outside on top of our table during the day so he can get some sunshine. We usually let him play around in the backyard a few times while we watch, just in case any predators were to come by. So, it sounds like about 3 feedings a day, I'm guessing breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We are located in Bossier City, Louisiana, so if anyone knows of a rehabilitator that would be great. Here are my questions so far:

1. How much water should he be drinking each day and does it need to be warmed like the food?
2. Do we need to be including any type of grit w. the food even though the Katee formula says it includes digestive enzymes?
3. Does he need a feeding in the middle of the night or can he eat morning, noon and evening as we do?

That's all I can think of at the moment. Thanks so much for everyone's help. I really appreciate it!

Ryan
 

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No water required (fluids are in the mix) or you can leave dish closeby.
No grit at this age (grit is for seeds when he starts eating)
No feeding after sunset (baby is big enough to hold till morning)

Put him in the cage - box is not safe and when taking outside keep it in the cage.
Babies can get in trouble in more ways than you can imagine.
 

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Hi Ryan, thanks so much for saving this little baby! If he'd been put in the bushes he would have died for sure.

I also think this is a dove.Everyone has given you great advice, be careful of overfeeding and wait till the crop empties. Doves can drink, they suck the water sort of like a straw with their beaks. The baby formula will be providing moisture but you can always offer the bird a little water, I used a tiny plastic spoon. Hold it in front of him and he will drink if he wants to, you can gently raise it so it touches his beak. If you use a very tiny and shallow spoon it's safe as it won't reach his nostrils. If you do leave a dish out make sure it's very shallow, they can easily drown. He doesn't need grit at this stage.

Well done Ryan! You're doing great, I know it's not easy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Terry, I will check it out. As an update, we are feeding him about 6 cc's 3 times a day. He seems to be doing really well. Still very alert and energetic. Yesterday right before we fed him, he was running around like crazy. I was wondering if this is a sign that they are hungry? The main thing I'm wondering about now is at what point should we try to graduate him from formula to seed? Also, I keep referring to it as him, but have no clue what the sex is. What is the easiest way to tell? Thanks guys!

Ryan
 

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Weaning in birds is around 30~35 day from hatching. Youngsters first play with the seeds and then they start eating them. Even then you should carry on feeding for another weak. In nature parents wean chicks sooner but keep in mind that formula however good is not natural food and they will need that extra support from you.
Once weaned, start giving vitamins and minerals in water 1~2 time(s) a week for a day because around day 45 starts their molt and they need material for feather growth.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Help, I found a baby and need advice - UPDATE

Well he seems to be doing really really well. He is eating the right amounts and is drinking water out of a spoon as penname suggested. I saw some things when I let him outside today that made me extremely optimistic. He walked up to a piece of rope in the yard and actually half hopped/half fluttered up to it. I also saw him pecking at the ground as he was walking around. My biggest hope at this point is that these are signs that he will have a chance at living as a wild bird and not be dependent on me. I'm going to start weighing him each day to make sure he is growing. Does anyone have any guesses as to how old he is from the pics? Thanks!
 
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