Ringneck Dove Chick; few questions

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Pandapop, May 19, 2019.

  1. Pandapop

    Pandapop In the Brooder

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    So to start things off, I've had a pair of Ringneck Doves that I'd purchased earlier in the year. They came with two fertile eggs (already laid!) and one successfully hatched. Since then they've hatched and raised two other chicks at different times. Currently they've hatched their fourth chick, and the hen has already laid a new egg, even though their previous/current chick hasn't been fully weaned.

    The parents refuse to feed the baby, and what's worse, it has a splayed leg. I tried a few different methods to fix the leg in the beginning, and nothing has worked. It's now just two days shy of 3 weeks old. I had to give the poor thing a bath in warm water to soften all of the dried feces on its legs, feet, underside and beak.

    I've read that I can force-feed the baby frozen-thawed peas (thawed in warm water) which I have already done and will continue to do, but I'm not sure when to stop? How many peas should I be feeding this baby? I'll try other foods too, but for now, peas are the only thing I can get into its mouth.

    As for the leg, I'm swaddling the bird in a tight paper-towel burrito. Tight enough to keep that leg where it should be, but not enough to cause discomfort. I'm hoping I can keep this up diligently enough to maybe see some improvement.

    I'm hesitant to put the baby back with its parents for a number of reasons. Firstly, no matter how often I clean their cage, poop will always be on the ground and since the baby can't perch, it'll just crawl right through it. The parents have begun laying their new set of eggs, and they refuse to pay any attention to the baby. I've seen the father peck at the baby a few times, and I'm not willing to let that progress. So for now, the baby hangs around me until bed time, where I have a separate cage I can place it in.

    Any advice?


    Also, every clutch of eggs my doves have laid have been fertile, but one (or both) die right before hatching. Opening the eggs reveals that every time, the babies inside were 'shrink-wrapped' and unable to break out. So it must be a matter of humidity... or lack thereof, right? What can I do to help with this?

    As a side note, I HAVE tried to stop my birds from laying. The only thing I haven't done is separate the male and female, and I don't want to do that. It's cruel to them, and with how noisy the male already is, I can imagine he'd be insufferable without his hen. Taking out the nest or nesting materials doesn't work, the hen will happily plop an egg on the hard floor. Removing the eggs just has her laying more. So as far as I'm concerned, as long as she's happy and healthy (and I have a place to bring the extra babies once they're older, which I do) she can continue to lay her eggs and raise her chicks.
     
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  2. biophiliac

    biophiliac Traveler in BYCLand

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    Try the method @Hokum Coco suggests from this recent thread.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/pigeon-legs.1310475/#post-21360581
    Notice he advises zip ties on each leg with a connecting elastic.

    For pigeons that age I would say around 30 peas would fill the crop. Not sure if doves are smaller...

    Be sure your hen has access to calcium grit.:)
     
  3. backyard pigeons

    backyard pigeons Crowing

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    Good advice above, from biophiliac. For the baby's dying before hatching, the day before they are due to hatch, give the parents a bowl of water so that they can take a bath, then when they sit on the eggs, the shell will soften.
     
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  4. Pandapop

    Pandapop In the Brooder

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    Thank you so much to both of you. I'm about to feed again, so this is very helpful. I'll also try the zip-tie and elastic method for its legs, I thankfully have both of those things around here somewhere.

    @backyard pigeons oh wow! I don't know why I didn't think of this, I'll definitely try that.

    Thank you!
     
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  5. Pandapop

    Pandapop In the Brooder

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    Aug 7, 2018
    Going to start referring to the chick as a 'he' until I know for sure later on, since the boyfriend has dubbed him "Groucho."

    So last night I fed him around 30 or so frozen-thawed peas, and his crop felt pretty full at that point. Woke up this morning to retrieve and check on him, crop was empty and he was covered in feces. While the zip-ties seem to be working a bit, the baby can't move much and dinner ended up all over his rear end and legs/feet. Yuck.

    Cleaned him up, dried him off, swaddled him again to keep him warm and then attempted breakfast... but I wanted to try something other than peas.

    So I de-shelled some sunflower seeds, and fed him those. Then I made a mixture of Manna Pro Gamebird/Showbird crumble (that I feed my button quail), egg food, crushed freeze-dried mealworms and broccoli (the buds). Added warm water to get it to stick together a bit... and wow, what a mess that was. I managed to get him to eat some of it by force, but gave up after a few attempts.

    I really want to help this baby out, but I don't feel confident enough that I'm doing it right. I feel terrible force-feeding the poor thing, even though I know it's necessary, since it won't eat on its own.

    When can I expect to see him trying to feed himself?

    I'm also not sure how much water he should be getting each day. I feed him his peas and that mixture with water, but I feel like it's not enough.

    EDIT:

    Just fed him more peas. Right after he pooped, and it was this milky yellow color. Not normal poop. Should I be concerned, or is it just because all he's really had so far is peas?

    I got him to drink some water from a bowl, by tipping the very end of his beak into it... being mindful of his nostrils.

    Also, I know adult doves require grit, and I supply my pair with some. But what about the baby?
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  6. biophiliac

    biophiliac Traveler in BYCLand

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    Drop the mealworms out. At least pigeons do not eat insects. You can make a mixture of flock raiser or your quail pellets blended with warm water to the consistency of ketchup. Put it in a small plastic bottle with an opening the size of a quarter. cover the opening with a section of latex glove and secure with an elastic. Then cut a small slit so the baby can put his beak in and slurp it up. There are some fotos and vids of this on another recent thread...

    You don't need grit for this. You need grit with seeds.
    At the same time put a small container of seeds and grit and one of water so he can start playing with them and learn to feed himself.

    I wouldn't worry about the color of poop for now.

    Edit - if you do 'force feed' seeds then you also need to feed a pinch of small grit.

    I think he may start eating between 3 and 4 weeks of age.:)
    The peas have enough water in them. So does the blended mixture.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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