Ring neck doves stealing all the feed!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Tracydr, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am so sick of all the wild ring neck doves stealing all my chicken feed. There must be a hundred of the darn things out there every time I go out. I've tried feeding in a small cat feeder inside the coop with the door open so the chickens can come and go to eat ( my coop has a 2 foot by 4 foot door), and now I'm trying a netted area but they fly down through the lemon tree branches and get in. I can't seem to net the top good enough to keep them out.
    Today, I put the feed in a large dog crate with the door propped open, inside the netted area. Not ideal, since only a couple of the bigger chickens can eat at a time, but the best I can come up with. We'll see how long it keeps the doves out.
    I'm going to have my husband make a smaller door inside my big door on the coop, but, that won't work for the five Cornish cross that I haven't butchered yet so I still need something for the next week or two, until I have a couple of cool days where I can butcher my last five fatties. (they can't, or won't go up the ramp)
    Do those owl decoys really work? Are there any other ideas, short of locking my chickens inside the coop, that I can do to save on the enormous feed bill I'm racking up, feeding hundreds of doves?
     
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    We seem to have more than our fair share of doves in AZ and they can really put away the chicken feed. I too had a terrible problem with them. I built a treadle feeder which immediately stopped feed loss (look at the link in my sig line), but there are also other easier options out there (e.g., check out the auto feeder in this thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=485925&p=1). I also talk about keeping wild birds out the the coop on my byc page, which may not be all that helpful to you given the size of your door. Good luck!
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    I do not have a solution for you however I will tell you that you need to prevent the Doves from getting into the chicken area. They carry a virus that causes infectious bronchitis in chickens and quail bronchitis in quail. I am dealing with a case of quail bronchitis that one of my quail has. I did research here on line after she came down with a very deep congestive cough. Turns out all Sparrows and Doves carry this virus. The Sparrows had been getting into the quail aviary. And from what I understand this virus is difficult to treat. It has been 2 weeks and still she coughs horribly. The chicken variety is the infectious bronchitis and it is contagious. Antibacterials will not treat it as it is a virus. And now I am worried it will get transferred over to my chickens. So I have become a paranoid hand washer and shoe changer. [​IMG]
     
  4. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

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    Dove season starts on September first if you are rural.... We finally had to build treadle feeders as well and one of the lever style in a bucket bottom to stop them as mentioned above.
     
  5. 1AcreRooster

    1AcreRooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:[​IMG]
     
  6. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Wish I was rural! I'm in Mesa. I'll check out the treadle feeder and, for the smaller chickens, add a smaller door on the coop.
    I will never be able to completely eliminate them, as far as disease prevention goes. They nest in my trees and I have a lot of trees. Years ago, before I met my husband, he rescued a pair of babies. Now, there are many, many generations of ring necks that return to our backyard, probably started from that pair. Plus, all my neighbors have chickens, which attracts them.
    At least my cats have free food during nesting season.[​IMG]
    Do those fake owls help at all?
    The treadle feeder is encouraging, since I want to get twenty five more broilers in October. I really don't want to feed that much food to the doves.[​IMG]
     
  7. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    In looking at the treadle feeder, one problem I may have is that my OEGBs aren't all that much heavier than a dove. I'll see if my husband thinks he can make something that could be calibrated that well. My other birds are small layers, from 3-5 pounds, not counting the meaties.
     
  8. goldtopper

    goldtopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:And doves are D-Licious!
     
  9. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:And doves are D-Licious!

    I think the city of Mesa would have issues with me shooting my shotgun off in my backyard. I agree, though, doves are yummy.
     

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