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As those of you who read my last thread know, my male dove is completely feral for a very good reason.
The woman I got him from kept him outside in a barn in a cage too small for 1 dove, with 11 other doves in the cage, feeding him chicken laying pellets...barn cats running around, she said there's been raccoons on the property...just generally a really bad place for him to be. Because of this, he isn't friendly. At all. In fact, he hits me with his wings when I get near him. Even if I'm filling their food dish, if his wing can reach, he hits me. Yes, he has a mate and they have eggs, but he always did this even before they started laying eggs. He's roughly 6ish months old, but the woman wasn't completely sure how old he was. He has evidence of suffering a broken wing in the past that didn't heal completely right too :(
I was wondering if there's anything I can do to make him less aggressive and fearful...? I've had him since August with no progress. I've tried having my hand in the cage for 10 minutes at a time, I've tried waiting for him to come to me, I've tried offering food from my hand (which he'll take eventually, but only if his mate Raine does too)
 

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There is nothing strange in his behavior. He is protecting his territory and you are intruder. :) That is pigeon/dove way and we can’t measure it by human standards. Their cage is their sanctuary and they need to feel safe in it. He will become less scared of you with the time, but you need to spend time, talking to them and offering food.
My males are less aggressive when they are out of their cages. I don’t know your setup, but if you let them fly inside the room for some time it may help.
 

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As those of you who read my last thread know, my male dove is completely feral for a very good reason.
The woman I got him from kept him outside in a barn in a cage too small for 1 dove, with 11 other doves in the cage, feeding him chicken laying pellets...barn cats running around, she said there's been raccoons on the property...just generally a really bad place for him to be. Because of this, he isn't friendly. At all. In fact, he hits me with his wings when I get near him. Even if I'm filling their food dish, if his wing can reach, he hits me. Yes, he has a mate and they have eggs, but he always did this even before they started laying eggs. He's roughly 6ish months old, but the woman wasn't completely sure how old he was. He has evidence of suffering a broken wing in the past that didn't heal completely right too :(
I was wondering if there's anything I can do to make him less aggressive and fearful...? I've had him since August with no progress. I've tried having my hand in the cage for 10 minutes at a time, I've tried waiting for him to come to me, I've tried offering food from my hand (which he'll take eventually, but only if his mate Raine does too)
he seems happy enough, why does he have to be tame?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
There is nothing strange in his behavior. He is protecting his territory and you are intruder. :) That is pigeon/dove way and we can’t measure it by human standards. Their cage is their sanctuary and they need to feel safe in it. He will become less scared of you with the time, but you need to spend time, talking to them and offering food.
My males are less aggressive when they are out of their cages. I don’t know your setup, but if you let them fly inside the room for some time it may help.
I can't let them fly out of the cage, it isn't safe in my house, but their cage is large enough for them to fly around in. I've tried spending time talking to him and offering him food but he just doesn't want anything to do with me, he attacks me every time :/ Its a real bummer.

he seems happy enough, why does he have to be tame?
So I can put my hand in the cage without being attacked. I can't even pet my other dove without him attacking me. I can't fill their food and water dishes without him attacking me either. I'm pretty sure it'd be better for him to be tame should he ever have to visit a vet and be handled and such too.

Sorry for the late reply, it didn't send me a notification even though I'm subscribed for it to?
 

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I can't let them fly out of the cage, it isn't safe in my house, but their cage is large enough for them to fly around in. I've tried spending time talking to him and offering him food but he just doesn't want anything to do with me, he attacks me every time :/ Its a real bummer.


So I can put my hand in the cage without being attacked. I can't even pet my other dove without him attacking me. I can't fill their food and water dishes without him attacking me either. I'm pretty sure it'd be better for him to be tame should he ever have to visit a vet and be handled and such too.
Being tame may not help actually.
I got really busy once for about two weeks and didn't have time to play with my young male dove. When I got some time for him again he seemed to hate me. He would flick his tail in an aggressive manner when I came near, and if I opened his cage he would make aggressive sounds and fly over to my hand, and wing slap me or bite me. He was fine once I let him out.
After a few days of spending time with him, he went back to normal and didn't mind me being in his area.
The point here is that he was a perfectly tame bird, but for whatever reason, leaving him alone for two weeks made him very defensive of his area.


There is something you can do to get along better with your dove.
It will take some time, but if you pay attention the results will be very good.
Go over to the area your dove is in, and find out how close you can get to him without him becoming irritated. Go over to him and as long as he doesn't get mad, back away and leave him alone for a few seconds. Continue this process and move closer and closer to the dove.

Basically what you want to teach him is that the best way to get rid of you is just to wait. You want to reward him for being calm by leaving him alone. Never back away when he is being aggressive. If you back away or even jerk your hand back, you are rewarding him for being aggressive.

Move a little bit closer as you can. You don't want to get so close to him that he starts acting aggressive every time. Don't push him too hard. You should pretty much only get close enough to irritate him a little bit, but not so close that he launches at you.
You can actually go through this kind of procedure and get a bird that you can handle in 3-4 hours, but that takes some experience, and more time an patience than most want to spend. I think you would see some good results if you did this for just a few minutes each day.

Also, since you do have to get in there to take care of him, see if you can wait until he takes a break from being aggressive before you leave him alone after taking care of him.

I did something like this with a sick house sparrow I had a year ago.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS57eZXPR8I
What I did here is pretty harsh compared to what I would do now, I was really pushing her too hard. I can go into more detail about this kind of stuff if anybody wants.
 

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Your way may work. Also, do Doves like chopped peanuts as much as pigeons do? I have gotten very unfriendly pigeons to come to me for chopped peanuts, once they find out how good they are. After that, they will come for seed, and eventually they will come to me even if I'm offering nothing. It can take a very long time with some, and lots of patience. But with caring and patience, you'll be surprised at how far they will come. Keep us updated on the progress. Good luck!
 

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Also, do Doves like chopped peanuts as much as pigeons do?
Doves LOVE chopped raw peanuts or peanut hearts. And they also like raw sunflower seeds and safflower seeds as a treat. Peanuts are the best though. They need to be chopped very small, or the doves can't eat them with their little beaks. (I buy the peanut hearts because they're already small pieces.)

I keep a jar of peanut hearts near my aviary. When I pick it up and say "Who likes peanuts?" They all pile on top of each other in my hands to get the treats. Even the ones who usually don't like me will sit on my hands for peanuts.
 

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Doves LOVE chopped raw peanuts or peanut hearts. And they also like raw sunflower seeds and safflower seeds as a treat. Peanuts are the best though. They need to be chopped very small, or the doves can't eat them with their little beaks. (I buy the peanut hearts because they're already small pieces.)

I keep a jar of peanut hearts near my aviary. When I pick it up and say "Who likes peanuts?" They all pile on top of each other in my hands to get the treats. Even the ones who usually don't like me will sit on my hands for peanuts.
Guess they like them just as much as pigeons! I think they're addicting!:p
 

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I can't let them fly out of the cage, it isn't safe in my house, but their cage is large enough for them to fly around in. I've tried spending time talking to him and offering him food but he just doesn't want anything to do with me, he attacks me every time :/ Its a real bummer.


So I can put my hand in the cage without being attacked. I can't even pet my other dove without him attacking me. I can't fill their food and water dishes without him attacking me either. I'm pretty sure it'd be better for him to be tame should he ever have to visit a vet and be handled and such too.

Sorry for the late reply, it didn't send me a notification even though I'm subscribed for it to?
well you would be holding him when he was with the vet...so he could not attack you at that point.. to me he sounds like a hoot... little dove attacking the big human...lol... male doves can be very aggressive and I do not think there is much you can do about it... you are bigger than he is so unless he is drawing blood I guess you would have to use gloves on your hands.. try the peanuts and see if that helps..
 
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