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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there. I am handrearing a white garden dove since his parents suddenly vanished. He's 16 days old now. I took him in on day 10. I'm am feeding him 6 times a day on a bird rearing mixture I bought in the UK. I mix it with water, a little soja milk and a little olive oil. When I started he weighed 103g. Tonight he's around 190g. Is that a good growth rate? I have no idea. His droppings are quite watery which makes me worry that he may not be doing particularly well. Any suggestions please? :):). I have some squabs in another nest that are a few days younger yet look really sturdy by comparison. :confused::confused:
 

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I have never weighed a baby pigeon, so I have no idea how "fast" they should grow in terms of weight.
It's a known fact, that babies that are hand reared are usually just a little slower in growing up than the ones taken care of by their parents.
I don't know what soja milk is but birds really shouldn't be given milk or dairy products. I'd also lay off of the olive oil. Not sure why you would need to give that daily...........or at all unless there's a problem with food leaving the crop.
What kind of food are you feeding? The brand. Most of the hand rearing forumulas that I'm aware of only need water.
Also, IMO, at 16 days old, you could start introducing seeds. If the parents were feeding it, seeds is all it would get anyway...and water of course.
 

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i don't know what soja milk is either is it soy milk?? anyways his dropping could be watery because maybe his formula is being mixed too watery, i wouldn't think you should need to add anything either , olive oil (shouldn't add more than a few drops)will give him some extra fat and calories but you should try to just use the formula and offer seeds, and possibly a quality pellet. the only thing i ever add for baby pigeons and doves is probiotics as per instructions.
i think gaining 87 grams in 6 days sounds like a good weight gain to me, what's the average weight for this type of bird?? i'm not sure if a garden dove is the size of a rock dove, or like a ring neck dove.
are filling him up really well and waiting for his crop to empty before he's fed again?? 6 times a day seems like it may be too much
is it possible to get him in for a vet check to rule out an infection or virus??
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi there and many thanks again for getting back to me. Sorry my non English speaking background is showing, it's soy milk of course which isn't dairy but made from soja beans and therefore a good protein source. I thought I read in some thread that someone used it. Also I thought I read about a few drops of olive oil on a thread...

Yes, this is the sibling of the little one that died. Therefore I am particularly keen to make it live. Who wants to have 2 fatalities in a short time or indeed at all!

Also, I don't want to give the impression that I am a total moron. I have nursed fledgelings (different species) and injured adult birds back to health and adulthood before. It's just that doves have their own specific requirements.

I still feed just the slurry. How do I introduce seeds? Should I just have them lying in the nest? My little fellow doesn't scramble out of it yet. But I must praise him, he's very clean, all the waste is smartly pushed overboard :D

As usual any further advice will be great to receive.

Spok
 

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You could start to replace some of the formula feedings with seeds. I am just raising a baby and today for the fist time he had seeds, he loved it.
You can feed him the split peas and lentils and small corn one by one, it takes some time for the to learn how to pick it up themselves but they do eventually.

Reti
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi there, just thought I'd give you an update. The little chap is doing just fine now. He's become much better at feeding although he's getting messy because he's flicking his head around sending the slurry everywhere. Am trying to introduce seeds, he hasn't got the idea yet, guess it takes time. He's 19 days old now and weighs 205g (doubled his weight since I took him in). The other night after I cleaned the excess food off him, he felt a little cold, so i cupped my hand over him, kept still and before long his little eyes fell shut and he fell asleep. He jerked a little once or twice just like humans do when they drop off. I wonder whether he was dreaming. If so, was I a bird or he human..... I wonder. It's lovely to think that things are looking up!

Spok :)
 
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