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I rescued three doves from the humane society in September. Two females and a male. The male, very sweet and docile, paired off with one of them. The other female we are keeping, as she has cancer and the vet felt that she still had a good year or so left, so we take her for check- ups to make sure that she is comfortable. The females get along great. They call for each other, they hang out together. The male and the sick female, although not paired, also get along well. You can tell who is his fav, but he courts the sick female around her egging time and makes sure the favorite female does not interfere. But he really hangs tight with his favorite female. He sleeps on the same perch as she does. If he flys out of the cage, he demands that she comes with. If he finds seeds still left on the window sill, he chooses to feed it to her. So he chose his female, not the other way around. BUT....my problem....his chosen one pulls all the feathers out of the back of his neck...and half of them she eats. :eek: She does not do this to herself, nor the other female, nor anywhere else on the male except his neck. Now I have separated the two for 6 weeks and most of the feathers have returned. I had hoped that she would stop once He looked normal...but Nooo.
I have tried the green apple spray...but Nooo. She preens and then picks at him
till he is bald in the neck. Now he does nothing to stop this. It is not funny, as his neck gets cold, his neck dries out, he is getting skin damage from exposure. And...in my mind, it makes him look hideous. I hate to get rid of her or keep her permanently away from him in two separate cages with a view. He is so unhappy when she is gone. Not even the sick female can appease his sadness when he is segregated away from...mrs. Picker. First, can any one explain this behavior ? And how do I get this to stop?
 

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Hello and Welcome to PT !

Pigeons/doves eat the budding raw feathers when they're small and raw and accidently break and come into their beaks when fighting or preening. Its their way of getting back the protein lost in making/growing feathers by eating the raw feathers.
But your sick dove may have developed taste for it. Do you give them good feed and supplements regularly.
As she has cancer,so maybe something in her is driving her to do so. You may talk to your vet about this.

But until you figure something out,you must keep the sick hen separated. Because your male can become permanently bald cuz raw feathers once plucked from roots never grow back.

I'm so sorry to hear about your sick hen that she's only got a year left. Well if she's sick then one day she be gone and this polygamy will be ended and then your male have to live with her original partner,without her.
I think you should keep the original pair together and let them lay and make the pair busy in family work. Then he may pay less/no attention to sick hen.
 
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