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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I raised my Mourning Dove, Bean, since he was probably 5 days old. He was alone on the ground with no feathers and his mom never came back for him. I'm guessing she was killed because there were feathers every where. Any way, I raised him and he's probably about 2 months now. He can't be released because of his attachment to me and he falls over every few steps, I'm not sure why but he does, his legs look fine. So don't give me crap about having an illegal pet. He's my baby and he knows it and is very happy. But recently his feathers have been falling out, especially his tail feathers. He is still fully feathered and is losing about one feather a day. Since he's so young I'm not sure if this is normal or if he is sick. He is in a pretty good size cage. It's about 2 1/2 feet long and 2 feet wide. Maybe 3 feet tall? I plan on building him an aviary soon. He always has food and water and he eats wild dove seed. So why is he losing feathers? Please help... I love my baby and I need to make sure he's ok.
 

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The falling over is a HUGE concern. Can you give us a bit more information about this? Has the youngster always had this problem?

As to losing feathers .. Mourning Doves often do that when handled or it could be the youngster molting into more adult feathers.

I'm more concerned about the falling over.

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bean has always had this problem. He will take a few steps perfectly fine like any typical dove and then stumbles to the side and just about falls over but quickly gets back up. His legs look the exact same and are perfectly even. I have no idea why he falls over but he does. When he tries to preen his feathers he falls over as well. It seems like he just has bad balance. I just switched his food yesterday to Sunseed Vita Dove and Pigeon food. I'm hoping it helps with his feathers and maybe even his balance.
 

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Little Bean

Hi Jimbee,
When my mourning dove Rooh was a young bird, she began losing her "baby feathers" including tail and wing feathers, at about 3-4 months old, one or two at a time. It lasted a few weeks, which made sense because losing several large primary wing or tail feathers would affect flying. The falling over is obviously not normal but if Bean is eating and pooping normally and his energy level and behavior are normal he may have some kind of dislocation in a leg. Does he always fall to the same side?
It might be time to (very carefully) see if you can find an avian vet in your area for little Bean. When Rooh laid her 11th and 12th eggs in less than 9 weeks I knew I'd have to take a chance and get her to a vet to see if we could slow down the egg-laying. I asked around and found one who treated Rooh, even though she's a mourning dove and they aren't supposed to treat protected unlicensed birds. I looked online at the vet's reviews and had to trust my intuition that this particular vet would not confiscate or euthanize Rooh. A coworker's wife is a vet and told me that many vets will look the other way in situations like mine. So I called and made an appointment. When asked what kind if bird I simply said " "dove" and did the same on the paperwork when I arrived. The vet and assistant didn't bat an eye and both just fell in love with her and after a thorough examination of her eyes, ears, mouth, crop, vent, tummy etc. started her on hormone therapy. I went back two more times but ultimately Rooh had bonded so strongly to me that her egg laying didn't slow enough for her to remain healthy. Plus, she had no one to relieve her of her sitting duties. Not a good life for a bird, no matter how happy she was to see me. So she was released at a local rehab center where hopefully she doesn't miss me nearly as much as I miss her.
Anyway, my point is that there are vets out there who will treat a bird like Bean. If you're going to keep him (and I'm so glad you decided to!) you'll need to find a vet sooner or later anyway. Bean sounds like he needs a checkup. It's a scary thing to have to do, but ask around and do a little research and I'll bet you can find a vet for little Bean. Good luck to you both and please keep us posted. You'll be in my thoughts.
 
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