Dove Facts.....

            "White Dove"
Species - Ringneck Dove - white mutation (Streptopelia risoria)


     The White Dove is often thought of as a separate species but it is actually perhaps the most common color mutation of the Ringneck Dove (Streptopelia risoria). This bird is often confused with the domestic white homing pigeon which is used to release at special occasions (weddings, anniversaries, etc.). This bird does not have the homing instinct and should not be released.

Other Names:
Sacred Dove, Java Dove



     White Dove There are many varieties of the dove that vary in color. Some of the more popular varieties of dove are: Ring-Neck Dove - A grey colored dove with a dark ring around its neck. White Dove - A gentle, hardy bird. Diamond Dove - An attractive speckled miniature. Traits: If properly cared for, doves can live up to 15 years.

     Doves are not typically a bird that can be handled, although there are a few rare cases. They are better as pets to be watched and listened to as opposed to being handled. Doves are active, amusing and the males tend to have a soothing song (sounding like a soft cooing). Be careful when mixing varieties, as all breeds do not get along. Doves are social birds and prefer to be kept in a colony setting. If breeding is not desired females can be kept together without difficulty. Doves also require the ability to nest and do best with an open nest. Old shoe boxes or a small cat litter box works well for this.

     Feeding: A dove's metabolism is very active and can starve to death in as little as 24 hours if it does not eat. Doves should eat a staple diet of fresh fortified finch seed, parakeet seed or pellet daily. Doves only eat off the top of what is offered, so be sure to check the food daily. Besides a variety of seed mix or pellet, offer chopped dark green and yellow vegetables, and a variety of fresh fruits in addition to a protein source like mature legumes, hard cooked chopped egg, and grated cheese. Remove fresh fruits and vegetables within 2 hours of offering to prevent spoilage. If the bird gets too much liquid from the fresh fruits and vegetables, the droppings could become runny. Stop the fresh food for a day to see if this is the reason. Doves require fresh water each day. Wash and rinse their water cup out thoroughly prior to adding fresh water to reduce bacteria growth. Millet Spray also makes an excellent supplement for doves. Powdered vitamins can be lightly sprinkled on the fresh food, but putting it in the water can encourage bacterial growth.

     Housing: When choosing a cage for your dove, remember length is more beneficial to the bird than height. Doves enjoy flying, therefore, the larger the cage the better. Ideally the cage for a pair of doves should measure a minimum of 36 " long by 14" high and 10" wide. Perches are an essential part of the cage and should be chosen to suit the feet of the dove. Approximately 3" of perch space per bird is best. A variety of perch sizes, shapes, and diameters will help exercise the bird's feet and toes. Place perches strategically to prevent droppings from contaminating water and food dishes and to prevent the tail from hanging in dishes or on the floor.

     Toys, such as bells and mirrors, in the dove's cage will keep your bird entertained. Always have a cuttlebone to supply your dove with calcium and prevent beak overgrowth. To aid the bird in keeping itself clean, we recommend placing a suitable size birdbath in the cage on a weekly basis. Place your dove's cage at eye-level in a bright area free from drafts and direct sunlight.

Potential Problems:
Doves and pigeons are very hardy birds. Seldom do they get sick if they are well cared for. Many are very cold hardy but they do not handle being in an environment that is wet, cool, and drafty.
Signs of Illness: Some of the signs of illness to be aware of are abnormal behavior such as sitting for longer than usual or being abnormally quiet, closed eyes, fluffed feathers, head nodding or head to one side, balance problems, sharply protruding breast bone, dirty vent, and slimy droppings.
Common Illness: Some of the more common illnesses your dove or pigeon could contract are pigeon pox, internal parasites such as threadworm, roundworm, or tapeworm, external parasites such as mites or ticks, wounds, salmonellosis, and parrot fever also known as psittacosis. An ailing dove or pigeon should be taken to a avian veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.










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