Pigeon-Talk banner

1 - 20 of 38 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Please help!!!! I need help after rescuing two baby spotted turtle doves. The mum was a new mum and a regular in my yard. She has nested three times in a flimsy vine type tree outside my window and my family and I have looked on excitedly. However, the nests she builds are very flimsy and she has not had much luck. The first one with 1 egg (unfertilised) was knocked out in a cat attack, the second with 1 egg was knocked down by wind (however was unable to find egg), and recently she nested again with 2 eggs.
It appears as if the birds hatched on monday as a friend saw the eggs on sunday and then on monday the mum would not leave the nest. Unfortunately, on thursday the wind blew the nest down to a deeper part of the tree. At 4pm it was noticed that there was still one baby in the nest. The mum did not return over the next 4 hours and after observing no movement from the baby, we decided to remove what we believed was a body and assumed that the other must have fallen to grief as well.
At about 8pm when a friend grabbed the nest, he saw the baby move but it was very weak. We immediately started searching to see if there was another baby (we had not actually seen two in the nest) and several hours later we found it still alive buried in the base of some low bushy plants.
We have so far been able to keep the birds alive over the last three nights despite our lack of experience and equipment. We have had to rely on a water bottle for heat so have been unable to regulate it. For the first feed we tried the liquid from a sweet biscuit mixture but were unable to administer it without getting it into the airways (as I found out later from my sister who breeds parrot type birds). I then tried to feed a raw egg mixture - again it got into the airways. So I tried boiled and mashed egg (friday morning) but they wouldn't take it. I am now feeding them a mixture of sweet biscuit and boiled egg combined with water to a smooth consistancy and administered just with a plain (no tip) 5ml syringe.
Both birds have survived til today (sunday) but while the second one has progressed and is getting stronger, the first one (from nest) just lolls its head around and is not very active. Neither one seems to look for food, however the first one will move its beak to swallow a slow drizzle of food, while the second one (the healthier) puts up a fight and does not seem to want to eat at all. I have to force the beak open and place a small amount of food towards the back.

I don't know what else I can do and I am concerned about the condition of the first one.
My sister is driving down today to provide me with a heat pad which I can regulate, and something that she uses that contains nutrients and stuff. As doves are so different from her parrots, she is unable to help me with advice and is surprised that I even got them through the first night without proper equipment.

Please help by providing any information that will help keep these birds alive.

Thank you

Karen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,536 Posts
Karen
Thank you for taking in these two babies. There will be someone shortly to help you, as I'm not familiar with Turtle Doves.
I can tell you though, that heat is essential. That could be why the one baby isn't responding because it's not warm enough.
When you get the heat pad, place a towel or something between the baby and the heat pad so that it's doesn't get too hot.
I'm assuming that you are not in the US?
Let me go see who's on line right now and alert them to the thread........hang on.........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,536 Posts
We've got a couple of members in Australia. One of them is on line now. I just sent her a Private Message, as she appears to be on line right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you. I will go have a look. In the meantime, I have taken a photo but am not familiar with forums and have been unable to find a way to include it. Can it be done? or do you have to have the photo attached to a URL?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,808 Posts
Thank you for taking care of these babies. If you can get a hold of some baby bird food, sold at many pet shops, that would be best. It is specially formulated to give them all the nutrition they need. If you can't get that, try some human baby cereal (with protein, the veggie kind or turkey with veggies is good I believe); the kind sold in little jars. Third choice would be if you can get some high-quality dog food or dog biscuits (I understand this can be quite expensive in Australia though), soak until soft, and feed that to them. Pigeons and doves feed their babies "milk", which both parents produce. The best bet is to try and reproduce something similar that is thin and easily drank by them. Cow milk or any other kind of milk is NOT recommended, as pigeon milk is very different. My favorite hand-feeding method is:

http://picasaweb.google.com/awrats3333/BabyFeeding

I have found this easiest for the babies as well as for the feeder! As mentioned, warmth is essential and a heating pad set on low with a towel over it is ideal. If not, you can microwave a sock full of uncooked rice and wrap that in a towel. A new member is using warm water bottles in a pinch at the moment. If you have a feather duster or soft stuffed animal, you can put that in with them as it is comforting. Provide them with a towel under them, so they can get a good grasp when they begin to stand or walk. If they are on a slippery surface, they can get "splay leg" (which results in the legs going off to each side).

Raising baby birds is a tricky business, so please don't be too upset if one or both don't make it, but at the moment it sounds like you're doing a great job. Good luck and please feel free to ask any questions. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,045 Posts
Renee...You've done such a good job with this. The article you posted the link
for is great. I posted it to favorites for future use.

Will you hold the babies individually to you ear, their back to your ear, and listen to the breathing. Do you hear any crackling sounds?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Hi Charis. Unfortunately they do both have a bit of clicking (my sister also asked me to checked this) and it clicks once approx every second (which my sister suggested could be the breathing rate). I am aware that this is a problem but despite this, they have still been feeding (sort of) and pooping (approx. every 1/2 to 1 hour), and the second one is scrambling all over the place. I am hoping that if I can keep them strong they may be able to clear their lungs. Any advice as to what might help??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Baby Photo

here are the babies. This photo was taken about an hour ago (had to work out how to load it). The one on the right (doing the poop) is the first one found and the one that I am worried about.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,207 Posts
Hi Karen and welcome to Pigeon-Talk. You've gotten some great advice already and have done a very good job of keeping these two tiny doves going. I think the heating pad and formula that your sister is bringing will be a huge help to you and the babies. I suspect the formula she has is Kaytee Exact or something similar for hookbills. Most likely, it will work just fine for the little doves, but please do let us know what the product is so we can be sure. Please do keep us posted and good luck with them!

Terry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,536 Posts
Karen
Charis had to leave and go somewhere, but mentioned in a PM that the babies might need some antibiotics. She was concerned about pneumonia.
Again, I'm not sure what antibiotics that would be. I PM'd another of our members that appears to be on line, but sometimes his COMPUTER is on, but he's not actually there. Hopefully, he'll be along in a while and can give you advice if no one does before that.
Gosh, I feel so useless............:(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,856 Posts
Well, you sure have some teenies to deal with but I'm hoping that if they have survived until now they may make it. The clicking is a concern but hopefully they can overcome it if some food did go down the wrong way. That happens to the best of us and it is hard sometimes to raise the tiny newborns.

The site that Renee gave you about feeding doves is very good. They have some products I'm not familiar with but if you can get Exact hand feeding formula you'll be in good shape. Just a note though. They mention the macaw formula and I think (emphasize think) they no longer make this because when we order through our wildlife group it was not available the last time.

Until you can get this formula, you will probably be better off to soak dog/cat food pellets until they are soft and have cooled. Pinch off a small piece and put it to the back of their throats and let them swallow each piece you give them before giving another. We use Science Diet Adult Small Bites so even when they're soaked and swell some they're not very big so I would think about 5 pellets (broken into pieces of course) every couple of hours would do until you can get the Exact. Note that they need no water when you're feeding them pellets.

Do you have access to anything like Baytril (antibiotic)? Sometimes we can stave off an infection from getting food down the airways by giving them the Baytril.

Wishing you the very best of luck. Be sure to keep them warm. That is essential.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,856 Posts
Renee, looks like we kinda crossed messages about the antibiotics. I think that Baytril would be appropriate. I hate to give it to small ones but sometimes we have to.

That was a great link about the dove feeding. I want to go back later to read it in its entirety.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I really appreciate the kind reception I am getting in your forum. My only other experience was when I went on a dog site to talk about how wonderful a temperament my mixed-breed dog had and I was attacked viciously about "designer dog breeders" etc. despite repeatedly stating that I had adopted her from a family member after an accident between their two types of purebreeds.

I have looked at the links that you guys have posted and have gained some helpful ideas.

I have some specific questions that some of you may be able to help me with though.

1. How often should I be feeding these birds?

2. How much should I feed them at each feeding?

3. I have bathed them using a cotton tip and warm water - is this o.k.? (the food was hardening on their feathers and the weaker one was laying in poop)

4. Is there anything I can do to help the clicking?

5. should they have already opened their eyes?


I think thats it for a start, and I really do appreciate the help so far
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thank you Renee and Maggie for the antibiotic advice (our messages crossed because I am a pretty slow typer ;) ). My sister should be able to help me with that when she gets her.

P.S. Renee, your response kept me online until others could help and I really appreciate this. Had I not got a fairly quick response I probably would have tried elsewhere. Thank-you so much for taking my hand in this forum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
984 Posts
You are doing a good job so far. The good news is, doves grow faster than pigeons so by day 11 a ringneck dovelet can regulate their own temperature. Every day brings you closer to successfully raising doves.
I think at this point feeding 3 times per day is right for doves, that's what my doves do. They wait until the crop is empty, then give more food. Only a few ML at a time, a few sips, until the crop seems 3/4 full. Don't stuff the dove. :)

My dove parents are really bad about sitting. They sit tight for 5 days keeping the doves warm, then they stay off the dovelets for hours at a time during the day or night. As parents, they are terrible. I have to put a heating pad in for 5 days every time they hatch squabs. :eek:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
984 Posts
3. I have bathed them using a cotton tip and warm water - is this o.k.? (the food was hardening on their feathers and the weaker one was laying in poop)

Bathing is fine, I give mine a bath on day 5.

4. Is there anything I can do to help the clicking?
Don't know...but somebody here will.

5. should they have already opened their eyes?

Eyes open slowly starting day 5 and take several days to finish opening. Day 9-12 sounds about right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,856 Posts
We always feed newborns about every 2 hours from sun up until around 10:00 pm. in small amounts. If you are feeding with a syringe, I would give them no more than 2-3 cc every two hours for a day or so. Pay special attention to their crop - you want it to be soft and plump but not too full.

At that age, I would definitely hold off on any bath until they get feathers. It is ok to use a warm washcloth to gently clean the excess formula from their face and around their beak. I try to always make sure their nostrils are clean of any food so they can breathe better. Don't give them full baths just now because they are way too young and warmth is crucial for their well being and digestive system.

I think we've already covered the clicking and hopefully your sister can help you there.

And, their eyes should begin opening in about 5 days from when they hatched.
 
1 - 20 of 38 Posts
Top