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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » New Doves (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Shaner316
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St. Catharines, ON. Canada
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I am hoping someone can help me out a bit here. I was in a pet store last week to enquire about purchasing 2 doves as this is an aspect of magic I wanted to get into. The store called yesterday and said that a lady had called them about 2 doves she was trying to get rid of. After getting in contact with her, she said I could have them for free!! (Because there was just no more room in her house with her 4 cats, 4 dogs 2 finches and a parrot!!!)) I went to pick them up today and they were very friendly and calm, so I took them home.

I just have a few questions about them:

I noticed that their feet seem to be a dark red, I have been told this is caused by age. If they are older, are they still trainable??? Or is it a wast of time to try with older birds.

Also, I am not certain, but by watching them all day, I think I might have a male and a female. If this is the case, and the female decides to lay an egg, will she just do it on the bottom of the cage?? Or do they normally need a nest available to them??

Thanks for your help guys, I'm sure I'll have more queustions soon.

Shane
Christopher Moro
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Yes, darker feet mean that the birds are older. I only got one of my doves outright from a pet store and the feet were dark red. I was able to use her in the show, however. It depends on what kind of training you plan to carry out. I did not try to train this particular bird for return flight at all, but rather just produced her (via the D.B. method) and placed her in a cage. That was it. I imagine that it would be dificult to train an older bird for something as impressed as return flight. -- The females will just lay an egg on the bottom of the cage if no nest is available.
Dave Scribner
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Shane, the older a dove gets, the darker it's feet become. It is harder to train an older bird but not impossible. You may just have to spend a little more time than normal with it. On the other hand, it sounds like your birds were well taken care of and are already pretty tame so part of the training is already done for you. It's all a matter of practice. As adults, they will have more strength and be able to accomplish the toss out or return flight effect. That takes a lot out of the bird. Their lung capacity isn't that great and flying out and back is like a human jogging. Younger birds can be trained easier but they don't have a lot of strength.

Why do you think you have a male and female? It's almost impossible to tell for sure without a medical checkup until they lay an egg. The male will be dominant and will bow and coo towards the other if they are in fact M/F. If they mate, you'll see them doing what I call "the birdie kiss". They sort of rub nose with their bills like they were kissing. The female will lay an egg on the cage floor if there is no nest for her. You need to decide if you want babies. If not, just remove the egg when you see it and destroy it. If you want the babies, they get some nesting material from you pet shop or some soft hay type of material. They need a small box or bowl for the nest.

Be aware that if you have two females, you may also get an egg. It just won't be fertile.
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Shaner316
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The reason I think I have a male and a female is one of the doves bow while it is cooing, and the other one does not.

As far as egg laying goes, should I have the nesting material available beforehand?? Or is it ok to just wait and see if one actually does lay an egg first and then add the nesting material?

If an egg is laid before I get the nesting material. Is it safe to handle the egg and put it in the nest for them?

Thanks again for the help.

Shane
Nick Wait
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Now, I'm no expert on doves at the moment (I hope to be in the future though) but I would suggest getting nesting material before hand as even if this pair doesn't lay eggs, you'll be likely to get many more. I understand that's what happens. Chances are therefore likely that you will have a female in your midst before long if not currently. It could therefore be seen as an investment. It doesn't cost that much anyway.
Just my thoughts, you would be better of listening to Dave or Bob though.
Bye
Nick
TommyTheTremendous
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I have 2 male doves and you can tell by how often they fight and the cooing they do.
- Tommy Magic
Dave Scribner
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Shane, I can only speak from personal experience on nesting. I always have a nest in my cage. I use what is called a "coop cup" which is just a feed or water bowl that you put in a cage. I putting nesting material in it and let nature take it's course. You'll find that the doves will do their business in the nest but don't remove it. They use the droppings for nutrients and nature stuff. Now if the bird doesn't lay an egg and the nest is getting dirty, by all means change the nesting material. It's just something you get used to after awhile. If your dove lays an egg on the cage bottom, you can gently put it in a nest.

BTW, I think your observation is correct and you do in fact have a male and female bird.
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Shaner316
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Thanks for all of your help guys. I am sure I will have more questions in the days/weeks ahead.

Shane
Bob Sanders
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Shane,

From the nose, I noticed a family resemblance. Are we related? Actually, I got my last one from the real Patch Adams. Since Patch is really a doctor, I suppose it was a face-lift.

Good to see another into dove magic. Folks are loading you with good advice so I can't add much. I use 6" pottery saucers from the florist for about everything. That is for feed, water and nests. At less than a dollar each, sometimes my cleaning method is called "chunk it". I like the weight because the doves can perch on the edges without flipping them over. You can clean them with bleach, if necessary, and they stack! I try to keep a stack around all the time and it makes life easier. I tried the 4" years ago and found that they were inadequate for water or nesting. So 6" saucers do it all. I do have some 18" ones in the walk-in aviaries but those are essentially "beaches" (water or sand) for large community cages. Doves will spend hours enjoying them. It also keeps them clean and away from doves with babies to feed in the hanging baskets or 6" saucers up on shelves. You can even sneak a few tablespoons of Sevin into the sand and solve the outdoor insect problems. Let the birds do the work!

Enjoy!

Bob
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Shaner316
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Great advise guys thanks.

I do have another question though.

I had my doves out of their cage today for their daily exercise/ bonding, and one of my dove took flight for a few seconds, and then landed on top of the other doves back! This also happend again a while later. Is this a mating thing that they do?

Thanks,

Shane
Dave Scribner
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Keep an eye out for babies. If you watch the bird on top, you'll see it shake and ruffle it's feathers. That's how they mate.
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Shaner316
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I personally thought it looked like a mating thing myself but I am puzzled by another thing Dave, the one I think is a male is at the bottom! Seems kind of backwards to me. Is this normal?

Thanks again!
magicman414
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I am not sure but I have a question. Do you make the nest hanging off the wires or on the bottom of the cage? Please reply.
:)
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Dave Scribner
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Well Shane, humans like variety so I guess birds can do the same. I wouldn't worry about which is on top. They naturally know what to do.

Magicman414, nest placement is a matter of preference. Some use hanging basket type nests, others have them on the cage bottom. I personally use what they call a coop cup. It's an aluminum bowl used for food and water and is about the size of a large soup bowl. I put nesting material inside and hang it from the cage bars in a position that has no perches over it. You don't want the other birds to do their business on the parents of baby if it hatches.
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Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Good and cheap feeding dishes are in Big Lots this week. It's at my price $.99. These are white with small flowers. (I don't think the doves are embarrassed!)

Bob
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Dakota Rose
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Dakota Rose
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Sorry Mr. Sanders,

I think my mom beat you on price for a nesting bowl. She buys cookie tins at Goodwill for $.25. When they get disgusting looking, we just throw them away and spend another $.25. It sure beats cleaning those things.

But you are right, the doves don't seem to get embarrased with the pretty little designs.

Your friend,
Dakota Rose
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Bob Sanders
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Hello Dakota!

Long time no see.

Yep! She beat me! Back to the drawing board.

I get out-shopped by a female every time! Maybe they are born with a shopping gene! Lucy feeds the four dogs in loaf pans. I wonder where she got them?

Bob
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captainmagic
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Hey guys and Gals?

I've been working with Doves in our show for years. The problem is they lay eggs and won't stay on them? They also will not lay in a nesting bowl, even if you put it in afterwards? We still can't figuire out why they won't stay with the eggs? Plus why won't they sit in the nesting bowl? They will usually leave it on the bottom of the cage. Is it possible these are not fertile eggs and they know it? Is this normal behavior?
Dave Scribner
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Doves don't know if the eggs are fertile or not. I've had some breeders in the past just refuse to sit on a clutch of eggs. No reason I can see. The next clutch will be fine. They are just finicky sometimes.
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Comet
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Nesting bowl? hehe. I have a ringneck and white who have laid so many eggs You'd think Easter was here year round. they always seem to hatch white babies though. I have a young magician I've been giving these to. Right now I have one egg in the cage and one baby ready to fly away! I have had a few health issues lately which, thank God are almost over, so I plan on keeping the next baby to train as a flyback if possible.
I've used doves in my act before and it's a good idea to buy some colored leg rings or tags for the doves. I put a color on the leg that is the same as the color silk I'm going to use to produce the dove from. I use no tag for a dove that will fly back. I learned long ago that sometimes they'll just do whatever they want. I had planned a show for a Christmas party about 18 years ago for my squadron when I was in the AF. I did a torn and restorded newspaper and had a dove in a paper bag. Once I produced him he decided t take off and flew around the whole room (large banquet hall) when he came up tword me I put my hand out and he landed on it. THANK GOODNESS!! No he wasn't trained for it it was pure luck. Of course I did take full responsibility for training the bird to do that. Nope he never did it again but WHEW thank Goodness he did that time.
enjoy!
Joe
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