Need advice on a semi domesticated dove

AA2

In the Brooder
Jun 6, 2020
6
11
13
About a week or so ago I found a white dove roaming in my yard. Come to find out my neighbor had some of these doves and released them into the park behind my house when he couldn't take care of them anymore. This one found its way back and keeps coming back to my backyard for shelter and some food we give it. It doesn't look like it can forage very well and it's kinda skinny. There aren't any facilities that are accepting birds around me so I think the best option is to continue caring for it. It obviously wasn't handled very much and is skiddish of my hands. I was wondering if there are any tips for getting it used to my hands so I can handle it, both for some interaction and to make sure the bird is in good shape. It's pretty possessive over food I give it and will coo and peck and hit me with its wing when I take too long to put food down or try to adjust the dish. I was also wondering about a set up for winter. It does get pretty cold in the winter around here so I was wondering what kind of set up I would need for the dove. It's most likely it will have to stay outside. Any advice would be appreciated
dove.jpg
 
Oct 18, 2018
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About a week or so ago I found a white dove roaming in my yard. Come to find out my neighbor had some of these doves and released them into the park behind my house when he couldn't take care of them anymore. This one found its way back and keeps coming back to my backyard for shelter and some food we give it. It doesn't look like it can forage very well and it's kinda skinny. There aren't any facilities that are accepting birds around me so I think the best option is to continue caring for it. It obviously wasn't handled very much and is skiddish of my hands. I was wondering if there are any tips for getting it used to my hands so I can handle it, both for some interaction and to make sure the bird is in good shape. It's pretty possessive over food I give it and will coo and peck and hit me with its wing when I take too long to put food down or try to adjust the dish. I was also wondering about a set up for winter. It does get pretty cold in the winter around here so I was wondering what kind of set up I would need for the dove. It's most likely it will have to stay outside. Any advice would be appreciated View attachment 2179857
Hello there! It appears to be a pigeon. It isn't a dove. There care is simular though, so here are the basics.

Food: it's best to give pigeons a mixture of grains, being around 12-15% protein. you can often but a pre mixed grain mixture at a feed store, or mix your own. Bird seed will work in a bind. If it isn't roaming free, you will also need grit for it to crush up the grain and be able to digest it.
IMG_20190202_122920.jpg


Shelter: If you are going to make it a pet, (which you won't regret) you will need to make a small loft for it. (Pigeon coops are called lofts). I would make a small rabbit hutch style loft. with a small flight pen. Ore a 4×4 loft for it. I would recommend getting it a friend, doesn't matter what type of gender, but they are very social animals so it would benefit from it.

something like this could be good for the little guy:
IMG_20190514_112928.jpg


Pigeons need a deep water bowl, because they suck water like livestock, not like most birds. something at least 1 inch deep. They also prefer flat perches over round ones.

Please don't hesitate to ask anymore questions. I'm happy to help!
 

biophiliac

Traveler in BYCLand
5 Years
Apr 22, 2016
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DeForest, WI
It is a beautiful bird! I guess I would call it a pigeon rather than a dove. What are you feeding him now?
These birds are winter hardy. All he will need is an enclosed area to perch that is dry and free of drafts, pretty much like chickens. An attached aviary so he can get some sun and flap his wings is needed also.

Pigeons also need grit.
They are social/flock birds so he/she should have a companion to be happy long term.
It is very good of you to take on his care. I feel sad when I hear of situations where someone releases domestic birds to fend for themselves. They are not well equipped to survive.
Ask any questions and we will try to help.
One other thought, would it be possible to trap any pigeons remaining in the park. It should be easy to attract them to food. They must be used to being fed by their prev owner.

I'll answer more about your taming question later ...
 
Last edited:

AA2

In the Brooder
Jun 6, 2020
6
11
13
Hello there! It appears to be a pigeon. It isn't a dove. There care is simular though, so here are the basics.

Food: it's best to give pigeons a mixture of grains, being around 12-15% protein. you can often but a pre mixed grain mixture at a feed store, or mix your own. Bird seed will work in a bind. If it isn't roaming free, you will also need grit for it to crush up the grain and be able to digest it. View attachment 2179921

Shelter: If you are going to make it a pet, (which you won't regret) you will need to make a small loft for it. (Pigeon coops are called lofts). I would make a small rabbit hutch style loft. with a small flight pen. Ore a 4×4 loft for it. I would recommend getting it a friend, doesn't matter what type of gender, but they are very social animals so it would benefit from it.

something like this could be good for the little guy: View attachment 2179914

Pigeons need a deep water bowl, because they suck water like livestock, not like most birds. something at least 1 inch deep. They also prefer flat perches over round ones.

Please don't hesitate to ask anymore questions. I'm happy to help!
Thank you for the quick reply. I got it a pigeon/dove mix the other day and it seems to like it, it looks similar to yours. It also eats broccoli occasionally. I was wondering how much food it should be eating and if any fruits or vegetables are harmful to it since I can't really find that information online. I have small bird dishes about an inch deep that seem to work. It's currently roaming free since I don't have a place to keep it. I do want to make the feeding spot permanent, so other birds wont touch it and also so the dishes can be attached to something since it tries to stand on them and ends up tipping them over. I'm a bit afraid it wont find the dishes though. It does have a lot of places to perch around my backyard and it comes under the roofed porch when its raining out. Thanks again for your advice
 

AA2

In the Brooder
Jun 6, 2020
6
11
13
It is a beautiful bird! I guess I would call it a pigeon rather than a dove. What are you feeding him now?
These birds are winter hardy. All he will need is an enclosed area to perch that is dry and free of drafts, pretty much like chickens. An attached aviary so he can get some sun and flap his wings is needed also.

Pigeons also need grit.
They are social/flock birds so he/she should have a companion to be happy long term.
It is very good of you to take on his care. I feel sad when I hear of situations where someone releases domestic birds to fend for themselves. They are not well equipped to survive.
Ask any questions and we will try to help.
One other thought, would it be possible to trap any pigeons remaining in the park. It should be easy to attract them to food. They must be used to being fed by their prev owner.

I'll answer more about your taming question later ...
I'm currently feeding it a pigeon/dove seed mix and it doesn't seem to be too picky with that. Unfortunately I have been to the park and saw no sign of the other birds. The park has a few hawks flying around consistently so I doubt I will be seeing them at this point. I would definitely want to get it a companion, but at the moment I'm struggling to care for one of them so maybe sometime in the future. I don't have an aviary for it, from what I saw they need to be pretty big and I'm afraid I won't have the space to keep it caged, although I know that's the safest option. I do, however, have a small budgie cage I got from the neighbor. It's definitely too small to keep the pigeon in but I was wondering if I could set it up as a spot for it to sleep in during the winter. I have enough space for that in my porch and there is a roof over it so I think it should be a safe spot for it. If I do set it up, do you think it would go in there on its own?
 

biophiliac

Traveler in BYCLand
5 Years
Apr 22, 2016
7,278
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DeForest, WI
I can't really picture the budgie cage set up but it sounds a little small, IDK. The porch is a good location. If you are letting him fly free during the day then he doesn't need a large cage. He will run a significant risk of being taken by a predator. Could he be rehomed to someone who has other pigeons?
Otherwise, do you have room for something the size of a rabbit hutch?
You should be able to get him to return to wherever you feed him. Shake a can of seeds and give a whistle or a call when you feed him to start his training. For now, if he's skinny, let him eat all he wants 2x a day.
BTW, pigeons like to perch with their feet flat, not on a dowel shaped perch.
 

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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Melrose Park Illinois
AA2

From what I read about your capabilities, at this time, I really would suggest you try to re-home lil guy to someone that has a pigeon loft. I know your intentions are sincere, but in reality, I don't think pigeon will live a long life, if you provide him with a solitary cage outdoors on your porch. If you allow him to randomly leave that cage, he is likely to become hawk dinner in not too distant future. You did mention there are hawks nearby in park.
Pigeon would make an excellent indoor pet if he was to be kept as a solo. I will tag @Serin and see if he may have better advice for you than what I provide.
WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,, :hugsfor saving him,,,,,,,,,,and:welcome
 

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