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

Russell Scoggin
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Loyal user
Lubbock, Texas
257 Posts

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I know where to order dye for dyeying doves, but there is no time to order when the show is tomorrow. Actually the knowledge isn't for me, but a friend of mine who is doing a show tomorrow. So I (along with he) was just wondering if you can just buy a specific kind of dye that is safe to dye doves in red, white & blue from a local store or is it a specialty type of dye that would need to be ordered so it will be safe for the doves? He said that he tried food coloring on one of his doves and it didn't work. Anyway, if anyone has knowlege about this, I'd certainly appreciate it. Thanks,
Russell
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22650 Posts

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Food coloring has always been the product of choice. Did you friend give the birds a bath before trying the food coloring? It must be brushed on each feather. It takes a long time just to do one bird.
Regan
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Inner circle
U.S.A.
5699 Posts

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Russell, Bill is correct. The doves will have to be shampooed to remove the coating from their feathers. I have heard that a coconut shampoo works well. I would get something gentle. There is a no-more-tears-type of coconut shampoo but I forget who makes it. Be careful around the doves eyes! Do not try to get too close!

Red and Blue food coloring should be easy enough to find, but I don't know where to get White food coloring. Smile

Regan
Mister Mystery
Spellbinder
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Inner circle
The Holy City of East Orange, NJ
6438 Posts

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White dye is made from milk. You don't put it on the bird, however. You just drink a glass of milk while imagining one of your doves to be white.
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Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5119 Posts

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Russell, first of all, you said the show was tomorrow which means it is today. Trying to color doves at this late stage of the game is unwise to say the least. The first step is to wash the birds thoroughly with baby shampoo. You have to get all of the oils off of the feathers. this includes under the wings as well.

Here's where the problem begins. I'm assuming from your post, that your friend is looking to color two birds. A thorough shampooing will take about 30 minutes per bird and when finished, he must allow the feathers to dry with the birds out of any possible draft. Depending on where he is located, this could take about an hour. The actual coloring process will take about 20 to 30 minutes per bird, and again, they must dry before he can take them out. This makes the entire process about 3 hours at a minimum.

If the birds are not completely dry after the coloring, they are susceptable to draft and respiratory problems. I'm sure he doesn't want sick birds after the show. In addition, if the dye is not completely dry, it will come off on his pocket, silks, hands or whatever prop he is going to use. I don't think he wants that either.

The decision to use colored doves should have been made a long time ago, not the day of the show. I don't mean this to sound harsh, but my real concern is the health of the doves if they are exposed to a "cold".

I hope he has put more consideration into his act than he has into coloring his doves. While it may look pretty, it isn't worth the health of the birds.
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Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22650 Posts

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I forgot to mention that they sell bird soap in pet stores. Just squirt some into a bowl of water, let the birds bath themselves before you intervening and touching up were they missed.

I would exercise the birds before putting them in the water, this helps keep the bath water clean of droppings.

Also, food coloring can be purchased at any large grocery store in the cake and cookies decorating isle. They sell large bottles separately and also sell sets, usually in 4 basic colors.
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5119 Posts

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Regardless of what you use to clean the birds, the situation still comes down to drying time, both for the shampoo and the food coloring.

At this point, since I believe it is about 9:45 in the morning in Texas, it is really too late to get the shampoo, food coloring, set up the coloring area and get the birds fully colored and dry before a show today.

It simply comes down to poor planning.
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