Baby Mourning Dove!

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by AccentOnHakes, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    Oh gosh, what do I do? This morning I saw 3 mourning doves in my yard--two parents and a fledgling(I think?). The baby doesn't appear to be able to fly, but it's decently feathered. It's the offspring of the other two for sure--it follows them around and I've seen them feeding it(pigeon milk and all that).

    The problem is, the two parents were scared away. I locked up my two hens in the coop and waited.....and one parent came back. I saw the other one, too, I think. I can't be certain that it's the same bird(they all look the same to me!) but at least one came back and stayed in the yard, feeding the baby.

    I don't think the baby can fly, so it doesn't seem to be able to get out of the fenced yard. I first saw them on top of the fence, and somehow they all ended up in my yard. So what do I do? I don't want to lock my hens up for weeks until the baby can fly away, but I don't want the baby to die, either.
     
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    This is nature at work. Everything you've noted is perfectly normal. The parents are encouraging the youngster to fly by leaving it alone. The only thing you can do is keep your chickens, cats, dogs, and other predators away. If the fledgling is able it will be flying in a day or so. If not, an imperfect bird was culled from the gene pool.
     
  3. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With doves and pigeons, there normally are 2 eggs/babies at a time, and the more dominant one (often the one that hatches first) will push its sibling out of the nest, where the latter baby will die if the parents don't feed it on the ground. If you want to rescue it, you will have to do it ASAP.

    You will need to make emergency "dove milk" and carefully feed it with a soft rubber tube as unfledged doves and pigeons are dependent on regurgitated food from the parents' crops.

    New-hatched squabs need a more refined "milk," but older babies that are feathered can take a coarser form that includes a "slurry" of small seeds (such as in packaged dove food or budgie/parakeet food) softened in warm water first, and then mixed into a small amount of luke-warm soy milk to make it liquid enough to pump through a small rubber tube or soft plastic dropper. Parent birds "pump" the food into the baby's throat, but you will have to use a soft plastic medicine dropper (that you can snip the tip off of to create a wider opening) placed OVER (not under) the tongue and carefully squeezed to make sure it goes down the esophagus (food pipe) and not its windpipe.

    If the baby is old enough to walk on its own, it probably can peck at seeds, so you can try putting a bowl of dove- or budgie seeds with it, and a small bowl of water and see if it will eat on its own. I would keep it in a "hospital" cage or box with warm, soft bedding or pine shavings.

    I keep domestic ringneck doves, and have had plenty of babies that needed hand feeding after their siblings kept booting them out of the shared nests!

    Good luck.

     
  4. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    Turns out the little bugger could fly. [​IMG]

    I went out and put out some water and a bit of scratch for it(it was all I had on hand). The little guy didn't want any, just walked around the yard a bit. When I went out a bit later I didn't see it, but when I approached the corner where I thought it would be, it flew across the yard! And then from there, it flew onto the rafters. I have no idea where it went next, as it was gone the next time I went out to check.
     
  5. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lol
    I wasn't sure how old it was, but it definitely sounds like it is well able to fend for itself. The parents will feed it when you're not around, probably. You can still leave some wild birdseed mix and water just in case.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  7. CorinneP

    CorinneP Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]I Love a Happy Ending !
     

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