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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello there!
I'm a newbie here, looking for some help.

I have a pair of ringneck doves that I bought 2 years ago. They are my very first pet birds. I got them together from the pet store and, as far as I know, they've always been together. The female didn't seem very interested in the male at first but eventually she bounded with him and now lay eggs regulary. I always replace them with fake ones as I don't want baby birds. They have a relatively large cage (biggest I could find). The male has always been more shy with humans and a bit agressive but nothing really worrying. Until now.

For the past 2 weeks, they've been fighting almost constantly: pecking and flapping their wings at each other. I'm worried for the female, who is much smaller and fragile-looking. He also show signs of agressivity and jalousy toward me whenever I try to pet the female, move her, etc... And he don't take care of the "eggs" like he used to, leaving all the work to the female. I don't know what's wrong with him. The female has always been a sweetheart but now she's turning into a nervous wreck.

Any idea why he suddenly became so aggressive? Could it be that they never get baby birds out of the fake eggs? Should I separate them? I have another cage, a bit smaller. I tried this once for similar (but much more moderate) reasons and the male stopped eating the first few days. He was calling his mate constantly but the female stayed quiet and enjoyed the peace. It took her almost a week before she even replied to his calls. :-\
She don't like him that much but I'm worried about the male. He's a bully but he's still my bird.

(Sorry for my bad English. I'm a native French-speaker)

EDIT: I forgot to mention that those past 2 weeks Rosalie (the female) has been sitting on her fake eggs. I know this can influence their behavior but it never been this extreme before. With them it's always either complete adoration or full hatred. :(
 

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i'm not sure why he's beiing a brat, but you may want to try to put them in seperate cages next to each other. how do they behave when they are out of the cage??
hopefully he will return to his little less bratty self after she is done with her eggs, and you can try to reunite them.
maybe you can use this time to strengthen your bond with him, maybe he doesn't like her anymore.
 

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have you tried not having anything resembling a nest in there so she may stop laying eggs??
That does not stop them, beleive me, they will just lay on the cage floor or the seed cup.

as far as the male goes, he may just be an aggresive male, driving her to do what he thinks she should be doing, sitting on the nest... does he leave her alone when she is on her nest? I would give him some time out of the cage and let her have her peace for a week or so, then try it again. doves can be pretty violent. If he continues I would think about finding her a new mate, or you can try a trio, 2 hens and one male, see if that helps.
 

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Try adding toys, mirrors, free flight time around the house taking turns for both birds to tire themselves out.
By giving my doves lots of things to do, that stopped the fighting. Special perches, twice as many perches as I thought I needed, special private boxes for them to claim, sticks to pick up, grass to eat, constantly changing the seed mixture...anything to keep life from getting dull in the loft.

My doves have a 6 foot by 10 foot long by ten foot high flight cage, so they don't fight anymore unless it is for fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks a lot for all the helpful tips!

I'm pretty sure I found Gustave's (the male) problem! He's bored.

When I realised that he didn't like humans that much and was a bit shy I decided to just leave him to enjoy his mate's company and only pet Rosalie (the female) as she was much more outgoing. When I took them out of their cage to get some exercise, I would play with Rosalie, pet her, talk to her... Gustave, I would just leave him on top of the cage (his favourite observation spot) and let him do whatever it is he does to entertain himself. I would talk to him, give him food, let him out of the cage but not pet him. I tought that pressurizing him to stand on my hand would only make him hate me more.

Tonight, I took them out of their cage together, then I picked them both individually and talked to them gently. Including Gustave. He was refractive at first but then he really seemed to enjoy himself, especially when I showed him the big mirror in the hall (who's that bird?). When I put him back in the cage, he cuddled and preened with Rosalie then went strait to sit on the eggs. Later when I went to see them again, he shyly jumped on my hand and gently nibbled my fingers in an affectionnate way. I don't recognise my boy! O_O He's back to his lovable self of when I first brought them home! <3
Obviously he only needed some more attention and patience. I won't make that mistake twice and make sure to give him special attention everyday now.

Right now they're happily sharing some stray millet sitting side by side on a perch.
I'm so happy!
 

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I love their names, and I'm glad it's working out. Do try some of the toys and moving around their perches and such, as it keeps them occupied. I hope Gustave continues to mind his manners. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Something terrible happened yesterday.

In the evening, I heard strange noises coming from Gustave and Rosalie's cage. When I went to check up on them, they both were in respiratory distress and unable to stand on their feet. 5 minutes later Gustave died and Rosalie followed a minute later. They were absolutely fine during the day. They had fun cooing over the music I had playing while doing the cleaning.

I still don't know what happened. I had the exterior fan working during the afternoon to change the appartment's air (the bird were not in the draft though). Maybe there was something outside that caused them to get ill. I'll probably never know. :-(
I'll miss them so very much. I still can't believe they're gone.
 

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Hi Jolieplume,

I am so very sorry to hear that Gustave and Rosalie have died, please do accept my condolences.

The suddenness with which this occurred makes me think of some kind of poisoning. You mentioned you were cleaning that day, this sets off a little red flag for me. Did you use a new cleaner and was the room they were in well ventilated?
Also, did you happened to be cooking that day using a non-stick pan (Teflon) and did it overheat by any chance?

Outside of one these two happenstances, I think a postmortem would have to be done to determine what took both of their lives so suddenly.

Karyn
 

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Hi Jolieplume,

I am so very sorry to hear that Gustave and Rosalie have died, please do accept my condolences.

The suddenness with which this occurred makes me think of some kind of poisoning. You mentioned you were cleaning that day, this sets off a little red flag for me. Did you use a new cleaner and was the room they were in well ventilated?
Also, did you happened to be cooking that day using a non-stick pan (Teflon) and did it overheat by any chance?

Outside of one these two happenstances, I think a postmortem would have to be done to determine what took both of their lives so suddenly.

Karyn
I came to the conclusion that they were intoxicated by the vapor of the new detergent I used for laundry that fateful afternoon. It's the exact same brand but liquid instead of the usual powder. The smell must have been stronger. D: Poor little things. They were buried together in my prettiest hand towel.
 

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Gosh, what a shock. I am so sorry for your loss. What a terrible thing to go through...I was thoroughly enjoying the thread and they looked so cute in the photo I must say I'm shocked. Once again, sorry you went through this :(
 
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