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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,
I am brand new here. My family (my husband, myself and our two young daughters) have two white ringneck doves. We believe some local church is releasing ringneck doves on easter (instead of white homing pigeons; I'm sure I don't have to explain in a pigeon forum how big of a mistake that is), because last year on April 18th my husband found a white dove on the neighbor's driveway, and when he approached it, it jumped into his hand. My then-2 year old daughter named him Mubcupk. We are not sure what she was trying to say, but the name stuck and he's been Mubcupk ever since. At once, we built a nice big cage for him and got him set up in our living room. At 5am the following morning, Mubcupk started cooing loudly and didn't stop all day. He now lives outside, and bow-coos to the local birds that crowd around his cage all day (they like to eat the seed he spills, but he thinks they think he's sexy).

Our second dove came to us much the same way. I came home 2 weeks ago (the weekend following Easter) and saw a white dove on my driveway. My first thought was that Mubcupk had escaped, and my heart leapt in my throat. Upon approaching her, I could see she was much smaller, skinnier, and with bright pink/red feet. I caught her easily and put her in the cage with Mubcupk. My 5 year old named her Rainbow. We don't know if she's male or female yet, because she is still a juvenile as far as we can tell, but we call her "she" anyway.

So, onto the egg story. Out of all those doves and pigeons that come around to visit our birds and eat the spilled seed, one of them laid an egg on the ground.

Mubcupk has been a single male for a year, and Rainbow is a juvenile (we've had her a week and a half and still have never heard a peep from her). We figured it probably wasn't in the egg's best interest to incubate and raise the baby ourselves, so we put the egg (and another white clay egg so that there are two) in their nesting box.

My first question then is that I'm wondering if anyone knows what the chances are that this odd couple might sit on the egg(s) and try to hatch them.

My second question is about Rainbow in general. Is there any way to guess her age? When will her feet turn purple like Mubcupk's? If she turns out to be a he, will two males get along in the same cage? He bow-coos to her all the time, but she makes no response. Is this because she's too young, or because she's male?

I appreciate any insight you dove and pigeon veterans can give us. We have only been dove owners for a year, and that was somewhat by accident! At first we tried to find Mubcupk's owners, and when it was clear no one was looking for him, we tried to rehome him. When no one wanted him still, we kept him charitably, but have since grown VERY fond of him. I hear him cooing like mad outside right now. Ignoring the egg and nest box.

Would a fake mate in the nesting box help him sit on the egg(s)?

Thanks!
Sarah

PS, if the attached image works, it is a picture of Mubcupk's anniversary present, and Rainbow's welcome present: their new dove house.
 

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That's a beautiful aviary! Two males will do fine with plenty of room which they have. As for the egg, wild birds have different nutritional needs so that may not work out. Good luck with your lovelies!
 

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That is a really nice dove house! Lucky birds!

About the egg:
It is probably not a good idea to have your doves incubate the wild/feral bird egg. It takes two adult parents to successfully raise a chick and since Rainbow is a juvenile, it may risk his/her health to try raising young at this stage in life. Not to mention that the chick may be of a different species altogether and end up being malnourished. (That being said - ringnecks do make excellent foster parents for rare types of doves that are more difficult to raise in captivity. But breeders who use this technique typically have a lot of experience in raising birds and don't leave anything to chance.)

About Rainbow's gender:
Eventually it will become clear what sex this bird is. If male, he will bow-coo incessantly. If female, they will bond as a pair, and she will likely begin to lay eggs. I have had a bonded male-male pair before though, and know of others who have as well. So if they bond as a pair but there are no eggs, you have 2 males.

Rainbow's legs may stay pink. I have one adult white male whose legs are purple, and two whose legs are more pink. I think leg skin color is a genetic trait, rather than being age related.
 

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you will not know Rainbow's sex, untill she lays an egg, then you would know.. or the other one mubcupk may lay an egg if he is a she and finds a mate in the dove #2. they usually do not lay eggs unless they feel they have a mate... two hens can mate up and they lay four eggs and sit on them together. of course they are infertile.. two males can "mate" up, but no eggs will happen.. usually males do not get along if a third bird were to be added esp a hen. one male to two hens works which is a trio.. two males one hen..no way.. two males that are docile and get on with each other may pair up. so you will not beable to make them sit on the egg, so you can toss it. who knows one day one of yours may lay eggs or both will or neither one will...so you will have to wait and see.. love the cage! it is perfect.. the only thing is the basket.. they like them up higher and secured so it does not tip..so you may have to zip tie it to an upper corner of the cage.. when and if they use it time will tell.

doves need to have laid egg/s of their own and sitting them to beable to foster anothers egg/s, and the switch needs to be within 1 to 5 days of them laying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for replying. The birds broke the egg yesterday, so the "will they foster it?" question is moot anyway.

The basket in the corner was just one space for them (it was weighted so it doesn't tip). You can see the other nesting box in the top left of the aviary.

Now I just have to wait for Rainbow to grow up some so we can see what she is. Sometimes when I hold her, she makes a tiny sound for just half a second like a grunt-squeak. Other than that, I've never heard her make a sound. Mubcupk was cooing incessantly from the day we found him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Rainbow's legs may stay pink. I have one adult white male whose legs are purple, and two whose legs are more pink. I think leg skin color is a genetic trait, rather than being age related.
That is really interesting! I had read that pink legs were a sign of them being juveniles. Now I'm not sure what to think about Rainbow. She is much smaller than Mubcupk, so she may be a juvenile anyway. She is much more docile and will sit on my shoulder or just near me on the couch, and she allows me to pet her a little. Mubcupk is much more wild, despite us having had him for a year. I don't know if that is age, sex, or personality-related or something else. Who knows, maybe she was hand raised or raised around lots of people and Mubcupk wasn't. That's the problem with just finding these random birds. I have no idea what their background is!

I really enjoy these doves, though. They wouldn't have been my bird of choice, had I gone to to pick out a bird for a pet, but now I find them quite endearing and very enjoyable. When I feel stressed, I just go sit outside by their cage and talk to them and watch them jump around. Or I prepare a nice little snack of fruit or greens for them and watch them enjoy it. It's very relaxing. I'm so thankful they both came my way!
 

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Im glad they came your way too! could not ask for a better cage and home. just to let you know my three hens have red/pink legs too. :)
 
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