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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My female dove is having an issue. She just sits like in the picture, and she walks very low to the ground. She looks bright/alert, eyes are bright. She shows interest in food but I don't think she's actually eating much. she can move her legs, hopped off my hand, then just sat down again. She has never laid eggs, she has been with her male mate maybe 8 months. The male seems ok, I'm going to keep a good eye on him.

I'm going to bring her to my work (a vet hospital) but they aren't thrilled to see birds. I'm hoping if I can have some suggestions where to start then they may be more willing to willing to help her out.
 

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How old is your dove? You say she has been with her mate 8 months and has never laid eggs. If she is only 8/9 months old she could be preparing to lay her first eggs. The behavior you describe is typical of a hen just prior to laying eggs. There could also be other reasons for her behavior so watch her very carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh man, my sense of time is way off! I looked it up and I only got her in November. But I'm not sure how old she was when I got her. I just saw her up on a perch, she had been on the cage floor. Her mate was eating so she hopped down, sat in that same posture in the picture, and pecked at a few pellets. She also did some preening, got up and walked normally. Then she sat down in the same position, then walked all low on her hocks with her tail up like before:confused: The pair does have a nest that they have been adding twigs to, but I keep finding the male in it, the female on the cage floor. I checked, no eggs in the nest. I will try to contact the person I got her from In case she knows how old she is.
 

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I'm going to bring her to my work (a vet hospital) but they aren't thrilled to see birds....
As a precaution, and just for the future, you should find yourself a good avian vet....I would imagine there must be one withing a half-hour of Sac, somewhere......

Just keep an eye on her...does sound like it could be an egg thang....but just be vigilant....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This morning she is walking, flying, eating, cooing. I don't see an egg anywhere. She seems perfectly fine. Not sure what that was all about but I'm glad she's ok. I will keep a look out for eggs. Thanks everyone for the advice:)
 

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It does sound as though she's getting ready to lay. Do you give your doves grit? Because she needs to have a calcium source. It appears your doves are indoor birds so you also need to make sure she's getting adequate Vitamin D so she can absorb calcium. There are some good products on the market for birds. One I like is Calcivet, a syrup you dilute in their water. But they should also have good quality pigeon grit at all times (I like Leach brand), provided in a separate dish from their food. If you can't find pigeon grit (available at feed stores) then high calcium grit sold for cage birds would suffice for now.

Most doves also appreciate fresh greens. I give mine well-washed Romaine lettuce. Organic is best to avoid traces of pesticides.
 

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It does sound as though she's getting ready to lay. Do you give your doves grit? Because she needs to have a calcium source. It appears your doves are indoor birds so you also need to make sure she's getting adequate Vitamin D so she can absorb calcium. There are some good products on the market for birds. One I like is Calcivet, a syrup you dilute in their water. But they should also have good quality pigeon grit at all times (I like Leach brand), provided in a separate dish from their food. If you can't find pigeon grit (available at feed stores) then high calcium grit sold for cage birds would suffice for now.

Most doves also appreciate fresh greens. I give mine well-washed Romaine lettuce. Organic is best to avoid traces of pesticides.
all this info is very important, esp with doves on a seed diet..seed/grains lack calcium and they need a source.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
She has "Hi Cal Grit" by KayTee for parakeets and finches. I will see what my feed store has in the way of pigeon grit. They eat a mixture of grains and Zupreem finch pellets, sometimes the fruit pellets, sometimes the natural ones. It's odd because she and her mate decorated the basket nest I gave them with twigs and other stuff, but lately the male is always in the nest and the female is on the floor. But no eggs yet. I found the Calcivet on Foy's site, I'll order it. I see they have a vitamin A/D/E supplement but it is out of stock. What's the best way to get vit D to indoor birds? And rookie question: How does vitamin D from the sun get into animals that have no skin exposed?
 

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She has "Hi Cal Grit" by KayTee for parakeets and finches. I will see what my feed store has in the way of pigeon grit. They eat a mixture of grains and Zupreem finch pellets, sometimes the fruit pellets, sometimes the natural ones. It's odd because she and her mate decorated the basket nest I gave them with twigs and other stuff, but lately the male is always in the nest and the female is on the floor. But no eggs yet. I found the Calcivet on Foy's site, I'll order it. I see they have a vitamin A/D/E supplement but it is out of stock. What's the best way to get vit D to indoor birds? And rookie question: How does vitamin D from the sun get into animals that have no skin exposed?
I heard they get it from the sun through their eyes.
 

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Her diet sounds good, but it can be hard for indoor birds to get enough sunshine to make vitamin D. And some hens (even outdoor birds) just seem to have a problem with calcium absorption.

We have a pair of tiny orange-cheeked waxbill finches and almost lost the hen to egg-binding a few years ago. Since then I bought them a full-spectrum lamp and give them calcium/vitamin D supplements in their water several times a week. She hasn't had any more problems when she lays eggs.

If possible, you can put your doves outside for part of the day during nice weather. But make sure the cage is predator-proof. Standard bird cages aren't hawk-proof and I've seen hawks try to get my doves right through the wire. Half-inch square wire is best for outdoor enclosures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Since then I bought them a full-spectrum lamp and give them calcium/vitamin D supplements in their water several times a week.
I will try to give them some outside time. For the full spectrum light, could I do 1 week over the dove cage, one week over the pigeon cage, alternating? Maybe if I get a big one, I can use it over both at the same time. How often do you need to change the bulb, I know eventually they lose some of their "spectrum."
 

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I read that they are good for about 3 or 4 months, then start to weaken. I don't know.
 

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I replace the bulb when it starts looking dimmer. Mine seem to last close to a year, but I can't say for sure that they're fully effective for that whole time. My finch hen has been fine, though. I have one lamp situated so it lights two cages (finches and diamond doves) and a separate one for our lovebird. She had some calcium issues before we got it and has been fine since she got her own lamp. I also give her calcium supplements when she's laying.
 

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I have read different amounts of time daily that the lights should be on. But the different articles have given different times. Does anyone know how long during the day the lights should be on? During the warmer weather this isn't really a problem as Scooter is the only bird in the house, and I bring him outside a lot. But during the winter months. What do others do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was wondering about light cycles too. I get up at 4am, have the lights on ~45min, then turn the lights off and go to work. Then the pijs and doves are in the dark again until the sun comes up. Does that interruption bother them?

Also, still no egg from the dove. Can they have "false pregnancies" like dogs?
 

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I was wondering about light cycles too. I get up at 4am, have the lights on ~45min, then turn the lights off and go to work. Then the pijs and doves are in the dark again until the sun comes up. Does that interruption bother them?

Also, still no egg from the dove. Can they have "false pregnancies" like dogs?
No "false pregnancies" but it can take some time for a young hen to lay. I've seen them court and exhibit nesting behavior for weeks before getting around to actually laying eggs. Then there are old hens.

I turn their full-spectrum lights on and off to correspond with the natural daylight cycle. They have light longer than that, at least the birds who live in rooms we occupy do. I've worried about it because of course we stay up far later than sundown; my hubby rarely comes to bed before midnight. But our birds seem to adjust. No one is in the "bird room" much of the day so there's no TV on or anything to make a lot of noise and they can rest. We cover some of our birds' cages at night, such as the canaries and downstairs doves. The lovebird goes in her hut and sleeps when we stay up too late and the cockatiel takes afternoon naps.
 
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