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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Keeping Doves in your Basement (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Shaner316
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St. Catharines, ON. Canada
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I was wondering if anyone keeps their doves in the basement of their home?

Due to circumstances, I have 2 inside and 2 outside in a small aviary, and now must keep all of them in my basement.

I am just concerned about proper lighting for them, seeing as there are no windows, as well as suggestions for an air purifier (I didn't notice too much dander with 2 in the house, but I might with 4, especially with little air movement)

Thanks,

Shane
Autumn Morning Star
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Well, Shane, I would make sure your basement has fresh air. Doves breathe with a series of air sacs and are prone to respiratory problems if it is particularly damp.

Here is a great link on Diamond doves. (Yes, I know you and I have white Java Doves, but this is pertinent.) Here is a quick quote from this site: Doves can get "...Respiratory diseases, and fungal infections resulting from spoiled feed, overusing antibiotics, or "green mold" growing on the air sacs of lung surfaces of birds housed in DAMP ENCLOSED AREAS, where poor hygiene is practiced. http://www.gbwf.org/hoagba/diamond_doves.html

Doves need sunlight during the day. I think if you can move in an air purifier (good ones start at $200) and get one of those 100 watt, full-spectrum natural light bulbs (maybe $8 each) you may be able to make this work. Do NOT accidentally purchase a sunlamp or a tanning bulb. It will make your birds blind from the high intensity UV light.

Be particularly aware of a bird that fluffs out and breathes with the tail moving up and down like an old fashioned water pump handle. This bird has a respiratory infection. For good info on doves check out this link: http://www.dovepage.com/javadove/ You can find many answers here.

Get to know the movements and regular actions of your birds, this is the best predictor of good bird health and if they are doing well in the new environment. Sit and watch your doves for a while. Dove are generally a very hardy creature, but you want to provide them a good life.

Sunlight, unspoiled grain, grit, crushed eggshells, and fresh water are important. Want your doves to thrive? Use large red pigeon grit! Twice a week give them finely chopped fresh veggies and boiled eggs. They will look amazing for your show. Ever seen those magicians with scraggly birds? Arg.

One more thought regarding YOUR health...Always use a dust mask when changing their bedding or sweep/dust in the room where they are kept. The dust from their dried poop can cause serious problems for you in the form of a lung fungus that really never goes away...Histoplasmosis. This fungus can masquerade as asthma. You can get it from almost any bird's dried droppings when the dust becomes airborne, especially in an enclosed room.

Good luck! I really do hope this helps.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
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Dave Scribner
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Shane, I built an aviary in my basement years ago and kept 30 birds in it. The room measured 12L' x 12W' by 8'H. It was just a frame work covered in chicken wire so there was air circulation. I was fortunate enough to have a window at that end of my basement. I also used a Hepa filter which ran most of the time.

It was easy to clean up after them. I always laid brown butcher paper on the floor so I'd just have to roll it up and throw it away. As morning starstar said, I also had several full spectrum lights in the room.

Since I have a stage in my basement for practice, it was easy access to the birds when I needed them.

The downside is that the dust, even with the filter was unbearable. Not really noticeable at first but eventually, it was almost impossible to breathe down there. The dander was all over everything. I moved the birds outside several years ago but I'm still cleaning up dust.

I guess what I'm saying is that yes, you can keep a few birds in your basement and 4 wouldn't really be a problem as long as you gave them light and provided an air filter for yourself. That dust will clog your lungs big time. I wouldn't recommend the basement idea for any more than 4 birds. I keep my birds in cages now in my garage. I'd prefer an outdoor aviary but because I live in a wooded area with lots of predators (bears, raccoons, and other creatures like that)I just don't feel comfortable leaving them outside.
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Crispy
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Just wanted to add that even if you have a glass window in your basement, that the glass is going to filter out UV, which all animals need for vitamin D synthesis. I keep my doves outdoors, but my canaries indoors. Even though they are near a window and get lots of sunlight, my vet told me I needed to get a full spectrum ( the type normally used for reptiles) and install it on the wall near their cage. Doves are hardy birds, but this will help them stay healthy and live long.

Cris
Shaner316
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St. Catharines, ON. Canada
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Thanks for all the suggestions.

I had been looking at some full spectrum lights as well as an air purifier that I was going to pick up this weekend. I just really wanted to make sure these guys were comfortable and healthy, and wanted to make sure I was doing everything for them that I could.
Dave Scribner
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Shane, since you are only talking about a few birds, you can always take the cages outside on a good sunny day and let them bask in the sun. I do that with my 8 cages every weekend while I'm working around the house. If you do that, don't forget to lightly spray them with some water from a spritz bottle. They love that and helps them preen in the sun.
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Autumn Morning Star
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Dave is right. Sunning and spritzing them is fantastic. They will raise their little wing and let you spritz their underarm. They like showers, too, if the water is warm and the spray is fine.

Be sure to keep an eye out for cats. I suggest that you enclose your cage in 1/2" X 1/2" wire (called hardware cloth). My outdoor cage is outfitted this way and it works great.

Otherwise, a cat can put his paws between seemingly tight bars. Then, the cat will wait for the dove to panic and fly within reach. I had a neighborhood cat climb in an open window and drag a full grown dove through bars that were less than 1/2" apart. I had no idea this was even possible. So I am passing this along FYI.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
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Bill Hegbli
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I really do not suggest you bother with doves if you cannot care for them properly. Putting them in a basement without natural sunlight and is not good. You should build an outdoor cage, buy the time you put in lighting timers, sun lamps, fresh air circulation system. This is still not natural, and the birds will suffer in the long run.

If they had decent laws against this, I would report you to authorities and see that you do not imprison your birds to such stress. But being there are no good laws for animal or bird protection, you will get away with what you are planning. I am so sad for the birds!
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Dave Scribner
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Bill, lighten up a bit. Providing a large area in my basement that allowed the doves to fly freely, giving them a full spectrum light during the day, open windows for fresh air, changing their food and water twice a day and keeping the aviary clean IS taking proper care of the birds. The heppa filter was for human protection not the birds. I still took them outside whenever possible for natural sunlight. If you go back through my many posts here in this forum, you'll see that I'm one of the most caring people you'll ever meet when it comes to my doves. The shear fact that Shane is asking the question shows he's concerned and caring as well.

Not everyone has the capability to set up an outdoor aviary and in Shanes case, for only 4 birds, it isn't necessary. I had my birds in the basement for years and none of them had any ill effects. They were on natural breeding cycles (that's how I ended up with over 30 of them), performed perfectly and were never sick. Being that I was new to dove magic at the time (about 15 years ago) and didn't know a lot about keeping them healthy, I actually looked for advise from several local animal protection agencies and got a clean bill of health from them. I've never lost a bird do to living conditions. In fact, in those 15 years, I've only lost 1 and that was because a small critter got in the cage outside and literally scared it to death.

Again, I don't recommend keeping large numbers of birds in the basement but it can be done and with the proper attention, smaller numbers as Shane is talking about, will survive just fine and be happy.
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Shaner316
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True, I am only looking out for the welfare of my birds.

And Bill, if you had read my post, you will see that I DID have 2 of the birds in an outside dove cote while the other 2 were raised quite comfortably indoors (and they have been perfectly fine) Unfortunately I have been forced to bring them indoors, (Besides, winter will be upon us soon and it can get to -40 where I live, so just trying to keep them from freezing to death, which would probably be classified as being a lot more cruel than being indoors)

Trust me, my birds are spoiled rotten! I spend more time with them every day than I do with my wife!! (They seem to more appreciative of my attention LOL)

I am only trying to do everything I can to keep them healthy and safe
Mr. Muggle
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Michael Ammar at one time kepy his doves in the basement. There is nothing wrong IMO with a basement being used if everything is kept up and maintained properly.

Sometimes the only place to put birds is in the basement; we don't all have equal space and living area's in our homes. Do what you can with what you have and take care of your animals.
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
Jason Purdy
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Perhaps Bill's idea of a basement is something along the line of a dirt floor and granite rocks. You know with leaky sewer pipes, and cobwebs… Kind of like some of the fraternity house basement parties I used to attend?

Gosh! I’ve seen some basements that I’d live in! Sun light is very important though!
rhinomax
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Well I am glad Bill is not a law maker

I have kept doves in my celler for years

the kote is in a window that is often open my doves, never more than 6, seem quite happy and get much flight time in my practise space also in the celler

none have died in 7 + years and quite a few have been hatched and given to other magi

Topper
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Dannydoyle
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The generic term "BASEMENT" needs to be defined. To keep them without light and without air circulation is inhumane.

Bill is correct in that if you can not care for the animals properly you should not have them period.

BUT as has been pointed out "BASEMENT" is a loose term and can mean a wide variety of things. Proper environment is a better term I believe. And after all outside is probably best of all.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Mr. Muggle
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Quote:
On 2005-10-23 22:13, Dannydoyle wrote:
[...]And after all outside is probably best of all.


Depending on where you live I agree. But could you imagine someone living in Maine, New Hampshire (or any other northern state) with a dove pen outside? It would take a lot of work and money to properly maintain it during the winter and cooler months(which usually are about 6 months of the year). I don't think that that's an option for most people.

The vast majority of basements are far from 'root cellars', and building codes require certain things such as window's for ventilation and safety. No matter were you keep your birds just take care of them as you would any other pet or family member. It shouldn't matter where you keep your doves as long as they are properly cared for.

Proper care is the "proper environment" for any animal.
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
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