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Topic: A skiddish and inseparable couple
Message: Posted by: BondJames628 (Jun 1, 2006 10:47PM)
Hi guys. I'm a long time dove magician. I started using doves in my shows when I started at the age of seven, but my recent friends dumbfound me. I sold the doves I had before because we were moving and taking them on the trip and having a space for them was quite out of the question, so, I recently purchased two doves: a male and a female. The pet shop had kept them in the back infirmary because they had no floor room to display them, so basically they were stuck in the back with very little human involvement except the norm. I've had the doves for two days, and have kinda wanted to start handling them and letting them get used to being touched and held. The female is a little reluctant and jumpy when I move my hand towards her, but steps up onto my finger fine; then she gets a little uneasy and tries to get down. The male on the other hand, runs from me in the cage, I think he may've come to me once and that was it. What can I do to get them more used to me and being held? When I get them out to hold them, is there a certain way I should pet them, hold them, etc?

Also, since they have been in the cage with each other basically since they were for sale, they seem to have become inseparable. As I said before, the female will let me pick her up, so when I take her out, the male goes crazy inside the cage flopping around and such. How can I get them used to being away from each other if I will have to use them separately in a show?

Also, this is just a curious question. The doves I've had in the past had a brownish pupil in their eye and the rest was red. I haven't looked at the male, but I noticed the female's eyes are totally red and the pupil is really only visible if the light reflects on it. Is this normal and do their eye colors vary as ours do? Please help!! Thanks in advance!

-Taylor
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Jun 2, 2006 06:12AM)
Taylor, (I hate pet shop doves, btw). This sounds like a normal reaction since the pet shop kept the doves out of sight and didn't seem to interact with them. You present a threat to them and must over come that. Just put you hand in the cage everyday, even if just to let them perch on it. You might try putting some of the their food in you hand while you do this. They need to feel safe and that only comes with time.

It's natural for the male to get agitated when you handle it's mate. He sees you as competition (sounds human doesn't it). Be sure to give him equal time when handling them. He'll eventually get the idea that all is ok and his mate will return to him.

As for handling, I've had this problem before. I remove the birds from the cage with both hands. It will perch on one finger while I stroke it from head to tail and along the wings. At first, it may fly off, but eventually it will feel safe and stay with you. The birds are suffering from pet shop neglect. I'm not saying they were negligent, only that they don't didn't the birds the affection and training they need.

As for the pupils, it may just be the species of bird you have. There's no way of telling what that may be when you buy from the pet shop but it doesn't really matter to the audience. They don't see the eyes anyway unless you are doing really up close work.