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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Paloma Rainbow's been home with her new family over a week now. She's already growing up so much.

She came home with patches of spikey pinfeathers, but after lots of preening she is soft and fluffy everywhere now.

Her color is morphing a bit as her new feathers come in so that her head and breast are getting a more violet cast instead of soft brown - I'm thinking that might mean she's tangerine pearled?

She eats her fortified dove food like a little piggy and has really rounded out, and feels a little heavier. The breeder said she was born right around new year, so that makes her 11.5 weeks old now.

She ate a lot of grit in the first several days, but it's now leveled off. I think perhaps she needed that calcium while going through her molt?

She had her first test flight - after days of trying to exercise her silky-mutation wings, she took a jump from my hand to the floor and landed softly. Since then she's "flown" (more like glided) about once each day but I think it takes a lot of courage because she seems to work herself up to it each time!

She's happy sleeping on a plexiglass platform that my husband made for her. We are hoping that the flat but transparent platform is kind on her feet and comfortable, but doesn't give her the feeling of being secure enough to lay eggs.

Her perch had been about 1" from the cage bottom and her platform about 2" above that because we saw that she could barely hop. I wondered if she would always be so differently abled due to her silky mutation. But it seems as she gets bigger and stronger, and perhaps as her feathers are growing, she has more ability. So this morning, I moved her perch up to about 4" above the cage floor, and her platform about 6" above that. She seems to be getting from place to place okay!

She is 100% tame, which is a huge relief to me as I wasn't sure I knew how to tame her well. Her second day home, she was indicating lots of interest in us so I picked her up and she seemed to be very comfortable with it. Now, we spend literally hours together every evening. She perches on my hand and I pet her, talk to her and ruffle her little neck feathers. I have not felt so happy and peaceful since I can remember. She is a darling.

She knows how to step up, and is also happy to let my husband hold her - although she doesn't like him to pet her!

She has needed three baths - once as she was getting her new feathers and was looking kind of greasy, another because she got a little poo on her feet the first night on her new sleeping platform, and the third this morning because a little round poop was stuck in her feathers. At first, she didn't want to get in the water herself but let me use the sprayer very gently in the sink, and seemed to enjoy her gentle blow-dry! We use nice, cozy warm water, and the low-warm setting on the blow dryer. Today, she was now happy soaking in a dish in the sink while I sprayed her.

I am surprised that she doesn't seem to want to, or know how to, spread her wings to dry them off or sun herself. Perhaps it's not warm/sunny enough yet? But she is happy to let me blow her dry little by little, although it takes forever!

The most exciting news is...it seems she is potty-trained! It happened almost by accident, although we had read about how to potty train a dove and followed some of the suggestions. We learned to see the signs she was about to go, and would always make sure a paper towel was in place, and praise her. I started to realize that when I took her out of her cage, she was waiting to poo until I got her over her paper towel. Finally, yesterday, after sitting in one spot on my hand for a long time, she suddenly wandered up my arm until she was as close to the towel as she could get (it had been moved away as we rearranged ourselves). I realized what she must be doing. The moment I put the paper under her bum, she went! I suppose at this point it could still just be luck but I am really hoping she's potty trained!

Cleaning up after her is not too much work, but it's definitely necessary to keep up on it - every morning we have a routine for changing food, water, and newspaper, and I swiffer up the dust (not powdery as I expected - instead it's like little white flakes of all sizes) at least a couple times a day. Just one little bird, she's not really making too much mess. I'm using 50% vinegar/water solution to wipe down all cage surfaces, and putting dishes through the dishwasher.

She poops about 35x/day, Lol! Often they are balanced between dark/light/wet parts, but I've noticed that about half the time they are either dry, watery, heavy on the white, or with very little white. At first it made me nervous but by paying attention I noticed that they balance out over the course of a couple hours - a couple wet ones, then a couple dry ones, for example. So I think that's okay.

I think my skin was a little sensitive to her always walking on it - it was getting red and dry - so now when we're spending extended time together I have her stand on my less sensitive palm or I wear a glove.

Her little toenails are so tiny but also were extremely sharp, enough to dig in to my skin. They are pale in color and it's easy to see where the quick starts. So I spent a few minutes moving my hand a lot while she was perched on it, so one by one each of her little toenails was exposed, and just clipped the very tip of each one with a people nail clipper. It was very easy and she didn't seem to even notice.

Part of this post is because I am so proud of little PR and am really excited to show her off! But also I hope that it's a useful snapshot of the transition period for a first-time dove parent. Lurking posts on Pigeon Talk has made all the difference in making this transition successful and low-stress. I feel like anything I need to know, I can search and find here. I didn't really have any surprises, except the positive kind!

I would love to hear suggestions! There's always this nagging feeling that I am missing something she needs or would like. :)
 

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She is pretty sweet looking. Her feathers look tattered to me and for her age, should be in much better condition. Can u post a clear picture and search this site for feather condition or supplements or feeding and health. Is she getting her minerals, very important.

He shoulders back and tail took too disheveled. She should look pristine out of the nest. See if she is getting any iodine in her feed or supplements as well. She needs more than just calcium grit, she needs multi mineral grit for those feathers. Also consider mixing some bird pellets in with her seed if they are not in there. You can get budgie or cockatiel pellets and mix that in and see if she will eat some, this will help.
 

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Hey, congratulations on finally getting her! She sounds like an absolute cutie! It seems like she is very peculiar about hygiene :p , both of you are very lucky to have each other. You are taking good care of her, Keep posting about her little adventures :) .
-Rubeena
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cwebster - Thank you. :)

Rubeena - Thank you for all your help! She is funny about baths. I am looking forward to seeing if she eventually learns to be more independent bathing.

CBL - She has the silky feather mutation, so the individual fibers (sorry I don't know the technical term) of each feather don't barb together at all...they are just soft and wispy. This is the only other recent picture I have right now. Does it look like her feathers are unhealthy even for a silky dove? They feel extremely soft to the touch. The feathers on the underside of her body are almost like a thick, soft, smooth white fur. Each of her back feathers mostly stays in place but still has some "flyaways" or frizz even when smoothed by her preening or my petting. Her long wing and tail feathers with long fibers are very fluffed up.

Her feed is fortified with vitamins and minerals, but I don't think it includes pellets. I will buy some to give her more variety. We like to shop with Amazon Prime - if there is a brand available there that you recommend, it would be very helpful! Here is the grit we use: calcium grit but says it includes "other important minerals." Is this a recommended brand or no? Thank you so much for helping me look out for Paloma!! She has definitely been going through a lot of work growing out pinfeathers. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Spirit Wings - docile certainly describes her!

I think if she could fly away, she would not be so easy to work with. A few times she's gotten nervous when I walk to a new place or if there is suddenly a loud noise (accidental - like when my husband dropped his keys!), but after fluttering her wings for a moment (and not getting anywhere) she realizes she is perfectly safe and settles right down.
 
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