Need Help - Diamond Dove Plucking Feathers Really Bad

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Karen in Baltim, Jun 5, 2012.

  1. Karen in Baltim

    Karen in Baltim In the Brooder

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    May 28, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    I've had one diamond dove since December. I got him at the same time as a java sparrow. They have been housed together with no problems. I recently added another diamond dove. When I initially placed them in the cage together there didn't seem to be any problem with the new dove initially. The other dove did a little territorial pecking which seemed to really end up being part of the mating ritual. Turns out the initial dove was male and the new one is female. Everything went fine for a day or so . . . and then I noticed the new dove was really loosing feathers around her neck. (When I got her from animal control she had been missing quite a few feathers there but everyone assumed it was because her wings had been clipped and she was at the bottom of the cage and had gotten picked on.)

    So, despite the fact that they had mated I was concerned that either the other diamond dove or the java sparrow in the cage was pecking her so I separated them. I placed the new dove in a small cage in a separate room . . . then slowly moved it closer to the cage containing the other dove. I placed it directly next to it and they were both doing the mating dance in no time. Even though it was obvious they both wanted to be together I held out placing her back in the cage with him.until I could be there nonstop to separate them if necessary. I left for work at 7:00 and came home at 5:00 to find the new dove hanging from the side of the cage with her wing stuck between the bars of the cage. I'm assuming that she got her wing stuck when she was doing the mating dance and trying to get close to the other dove in the other cage. The cage she was in had properly sized bars - it appears to have just been a freak accident. One which left her badly injured.

    Fast forward - $600 later her wing is healed. She has been in isolation during the rehab period and but it has been clear that she wants back in the cage with the other dove. During this entire time she has been plucking her feathers really badly. I though at first it was because of the ointment I had to apply 3x daily. But it continued after I stopped applying the ointment. I feel really terrible now because it is kind of obvious that I separated them initially under the mistaken assumption that one of the other birds were pecking her when it appears she was doing the pecking . . . and that led to the accident.

    I had wanted to wait until her feathers came back in more to return her to the other cage but decided Sunday afternoon to go ahead and place her back in with the other dove before she was entirely bald. I placed her in the cage and everything went well. Overnight there were no issues so I left her there while I was at work Monday. I returned home to find her missing even more feathers.

    I've moved her, the other dove, and the java sparrow to a new vision cage Monday evening and she seems happy and was not plucking while I was watching her throughout the evening. Her and the other dove spent the evening cooing to each other off and on and the java sparrow just hopped from one swing to the other in the cage as if they weren't even present.

    Any advice on how to stop her from pecking herself bald? If this continues she will look like one of those rubber chickens soon!
     
  2. Doves1111

    Doves1111 In the Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2012
    Connecticut
    You can try misting the Diamond Dove with warm water...or get some some Aloe at a pharmacy and mix it with warm water in a spray bottle. Mist the dove couple times a day and this may help it stop plucking itself. You can also try a product with Aloe in it that they sell for plucking parrots. Make sure you Diamonds are getting at least 14% protein in their diet. Offer them leafy greens...mine love dandelion leaves. Do you give your birds a vitamin supplement a few times a weeks? A poor diet will often cause self plucking.

    When you say they were both doing the mating dance...do you mean they where both bow cooing with their tails fanned in the air? Only males do this in Diamond Doves...not the females. Dominant males will often peck the feathers off the head and backs of other males.

    Dawn
     
  3. Karen in Baltim

    Karen in Baltim In the Brooder

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    22
    May 28, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    The male was bowing and cooing with wings flapping and tail feathers in the air and then I actually saw them mating. The female wasn't - just increased hopping around and some wing flapping. Once separated the male continued with bowing and cooing with wings flapping and tail feathers in the air . The female was just flapping her wings up at the side next to the cage he was in. I'm a novice but what I saw looked remarkable like birds in the neighborhood in early spring.

    I'm off to work now. She was sitting on the food bowl when I got up this morning. She seems settled and they both seem happier when in the cage together. I just looked over and she had moved from sitting on the food bowl and is walking contentedly around the cage with the other diamond dove. Then he went up to a low perch and she went back to sitting on the food bowl which is almost underneath him. She definitely wants to be near him . . . there is a similar bowl on the other side of the cage (with no perch nearby by for the male) and she hasn't shown any interest in sitting on it. Just the one at the end of the cage near him. And the java sparrow seems content and doesn't seem to be bothering them at all. I've never seen anyone pecking her . . . just her pecking herself.

    I'll stop and pick up your suggested items. Maybe it is diet. I was feeding finch mix initially and I put liquid vitamins in the water daily. I'm now feeding dove, pigeon, and quail food. The other dove is fine.

    Whatever it is began prior to me getting her and she was cleared by the vet at animal control before my adoption. It's has just continued/increased.

    I'm thinking stress from being shuffled around and then the injury may be a big part of it . . . but I'm new to sick birds. All mine have been trouble free until this little adoption!
     

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