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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Does anyone know how to color doves? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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KennyK
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Ft Myers, FL
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Just need some help please.
Does anyone know how to color doves?
g0thike
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My advice is NOT to color the doves. The audience or lay people don't like it when they see that a dove has been dyed red or yellow, they think dove abuse and cruality to animals.

But if you insist. Andy Amyx sells the color
http://www.andyamyx.com/products.html

G0THIKE
Dave Scribner
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There are several methods to color your doves but first, be sure you want to spend the time keeping them colored. Doves are continually losing feathers and molting and unless you want them to look like they have leprosy or something, you shouldn't color them.

If you insist on coloring them, this is my method. First wash them thoroughly with baby shampoo to remove the oil on the feathers. Pat them dry. Once the feathers are dry, mix up Rit coloring in the color you desire and gently dab the color on with a cotton ball.

Be careful not to color the bills, feet or eyes. Set them in a box one at a time. If you mix them, you will end up with rainbow colored birds. After they have dried, you'll have to watch their feathers and do touch ups when the color fades or feathers are lost.

In response to Gothike, most audiences I have worked for find the colored doves very cute and appealing. If you produce a yellow bird from a yellow silk for example, the mystery is hightened. Yes, there will be some that think cruelty but they are the same ones that don't think you should be using birds in the first place, so I wouldn't be too concerned about that.

As long as you handle the doves lovingly, the audience will have respect for both you and the animal.
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DaveWomach
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I agree with Dave on everything except for the die itself. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Rit a fabric coloring? I've had great success with using Durkey (sp?) food coloring. I'm not sure if Rit is toxic or not to the bird, but just make sure that whatever "coloring" you are using is safe, and not to use anything that could potentially hurt the birds.

Your best bet is probably the product that Andy Amyx produces. http://www.andyamyx.com/amyxproducts.html .It's safe, and works great! Andy has beautiful birds. Just be careful. It would be a shame to kill a bird by doing it wrong. Smile

Dave
Dave Scribner
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Dave, you're absolutely correct. I have my dyes mixed. Durkey for the birds. I don't know what I was thinking. I don't think the Rit would hurt the bird but wouldn't want to try one to find out. Thanks for the correction.
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KennyK
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Thanks for all the great help.
g0thike
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Dave Scribner wrote:
<<<most audiences I have worked for find the colored doves very cute and appealing. Yes, there will be some that think cruelty but they are the same ones that don't think you should be using birds in the first place, so I wouldn't be too concerned about that. >>>

Most audiences are impressed temporarily by colored “dyed” doves and clap at the productions. But afterwards when they think about it, they realize that you painted the doves with dye and how cruel that is.

Just imagine that you dye your baby’s face purple to do a show and it is unnecessary. It is cute for the show but when audiences go home relax, think about your show or tell someone about your show the whole psychology changes. They realize that the doves are being colored. Just imagine someone describing the show as, “Well the magician makes red doves then yellow ones appear”. Then the person will ask “How are white doves yellow or red?”. Then they realize that the doves were colored.

Additionally children always want to imitate the magician. Now imagine a child at hope using a marker to dye the family bird.

<<< As long as you handle the doves lovingly, the audience will have respect for both you and the animal.>>>

The audience is amazed by the way the doves are appearing. The audience will only disrespect you if use foul language or some inappropriate behavior or language. When a person is on stage, people respect the entertainer automatically it is customary.

Animals must be handle lovingly at all times anyway. Now imagine this, imagine that Siegfried & Roy (sp.) were to dye a tiger blue, just imagine how the audience feels. They will applause because it appeared but when they realize what the animal has to go thru to be blue, it is different. A dove is an animal, a small one but an animal.

I am telling you this from experience. I perform magic 7 days a week and do my bird act almost everyday and when I was younger and did not know better I dyed my birds.

Lance Burton, Shimada, Tony Clark, George Saterial (sp.), Great Thomsoni, Ice McDonald, Rick Thomas, Dan Birch and other top dove workers. DO NOT DYE THEIR DOVES.
Dave Scribner
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Gothike: I'm assuming from your comments about what people think after they go home from a show is based on the fact you went with them and heard the conversation. I have been performing for 40 years and have yet to hear anyone that saw my show, complain about the birds being colored. Since we're naming top dove workers, have you ever seen General Grant perform? How about Jason Byrne or Greg Frewin. They use nothing but colored doves and I can't say their act has suffered at any time because of it. Comparing Siegfried and Roy's tigers to doves is a little out there.

Do you suppose that when an audience sees a magician produce a Macaw or other bird that they wonder how the bird got to be that color? Or when Siegfried produces the white tiger, could it be that they dyed the orange tiger white? Of course not and I don't believe, in my opinion, that the audience really thinks about how the dove came to be red or yellow or blue. I have heard many comments like "look, he has a yellow bird" or "he produces colored birds". The magician produces a bird and it's not white. I truly believe magicians think more about this than the average layman.
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g0thike
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<<< I'm assuming from your comments about what people think after they go home from a show is based on the fact you went with them and heard the conversation.>>>

I have not been performing for 40 years since I am younger. But I always ask friends to ask random people what they like or disliked about my act. They have asked people a week after the show to the same day.

I try to do a show that lay people and not magicians will like. People will hardly give you an honest comment about your act to your face. You ‘ll just get the nice and polite “It was GREAT show”. “Your amazing”.

<<<Have you ever seen General Grant perform? How about Jason Byrne or Greg Frewin. >>

Yep I have seen Jason & Greg in person and they have clever productions. But most of the top dove workers do not dye their birds.

<<<Comparing Siegfried and Roy's tigers to doves is a little out there.
Or when Siegfried produces the white tiger, could it be that they dyed the orange tiger white? >>>

I meant to say that if Siegfried and Roy produced a colored tiger, people would look down on it but be amazed at the production-effect. You can tell that a dove has been colored like you can tell if the white tiger is natural and not dyed. A bird and a tiger are animals and the “human condition” is that we feel compassion towards living things including animals.

<<<Of course not and I don't believe, in my opinion, that the audience really thinks about how the dove came to be red or yellow or blue. I have heard many comments like "look, he has a yellow bird" or "he produces colored birds".>>>

The audience knows that the birds have been dyed since the color is not consistent and it is spotty even though you have washed the bird to remove the oil. When they feel compassion towards the dye they will not tell you to your face or maybe you just don’t want to admit it since you dye birds in your act.

When I was younger I dyed my birds yellow like Jason but I stopped.In my opinion it is not healthy for a dove to be exposed to man-made dyes that have chemicals. We don’t know what biological, neurological effects they will have on a dove in short term or long term exposure. Personally I care about my doves that I wouldn’t want them exposed to any chemicals in dyes.

The dove coloring box may say safe but was it tested by the FDA. The biology of an animal is different from humans. A pig can drink a pail of arsenic and it’ll do nothing to him. That amount will kill a human.

G0THIKE
Dave Scribner
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I understand what you are saying and don't totally disagree but feel that ideas like this whether mine or anyone elses, get carried to extremes. There is no way to be totally sure of how an audience will recieve an act or how they will react to it. I think it's great that you try to perform for lay people rather than magicians and I do as well. Magicians are probably worse than lay people when it comes to telling a fellow performer the truth. Noone wants to hurt anothers feelings.
If you only use white birds, then when your friends ask random questions about your act, you aren't getting feedback concerning colored doves but rather on your act as they see it. Again, I don't really believe, from my experience that the colored birds have a negative impact on the lay audience.
You mentioned that they can tell the birds are colored because they are spotty. That would indicate to me that the coloring was not done correctly. There should be no spotting but full, complete color. If you get a chance to see General Grant, look closely at his birds. The are brightly colored including bill and feet. I've seen some poorly colored birds in my career and quite frankly, when I see them, I get concerned about the birds even after all I have said in this topic. Spotty coloring indicates a lack of care and concern for the animal and that bothers me.
for the record, I believe we sometimes tend to overthink what the audience is feeling or thinking. The vast majority of them are not thinking about cruelty to animals because the bird is a different color. I have 3 doves in my current act that are peach colored from head to tip of their tail and I have yet to have anyone comment about how cruel I was to color the birds. They do ask me where and how I was able to get peach colored birds. In fact, I have done repeat shows where I was specifically asked if I was still doing magic with the pretty birds so I'm sure those people are not thinking cruelty. By the way, the answer to where I got the peach colored birds is simple. They were born that way. I did not cross breed them although I do raise all my own birds.

This is an interesting topic but like most, when dealing with opinion, there is no right or wrong answer. Just a lot of ideas and food for thought by all contributors.
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DaveWomach
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For a senior prank this past year at my old high school, a kid brought a Lama into school in the morning, and surprised everyone that walked in... even the cops. This wouldn't have been a big deal, except that he had dyed the lama to match our school colors.

I'm don't really care either way. I'm not against coloring doves (if done safely), infact I think that it can be a great effect if added to the show properly.

Just be careful. Think before you do it. Consider your options. You never know who is sitting in the audience. Needless to say, the kids that colored the lama got arrested on the spot... what a way to end their senior year.

Again, just weigh out everyone's opinions. Like Dave said, there is not a "right" answer, just a lot of opinions.

Good luck!

Dave
KSMagic2007
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O agreeing with Dave, the audience doesn't always know that the dove has been colored, I have used Pink Ring Neck doves in a show before and they are naturally tan. I don't see it as the audience would think it is cruel. I think they would be more concerenr with things like the tight holders we put them into.
Kyle
Dave Scribner
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Point taken Kyle, but the audience isn't supposed to know about the harnesses. As a side note, the harness shouldn't be that tight anyway. It should just fit around the bird to hold the wings down. I'm sure you know that, just didn't want to give out the wrong impression.

I've said it before and I still feel that the general audience is not concerned with the color of the bird. We produce parrots, macaw's, love birds, parakeets, and canary's and no ever says, "I hope he didn't hurt that bird coloring it" so why do we think the audience feels any differently about doves. I use several brown ringnecks in my act along with the white ones and I've never been approached and asked about coloring the doves brown.

Most audience members don't refer to them as doves anyway. They usually say pigeons which come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Sure, there are the PETA members that get carried away but that's a different story.
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sperris
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Use andy's color, in the past I've used it myself and have co-produced some of his colors. It is very safe, and since it is pre-mixed you don't have to worry about any problems if you are not experienced with coloring birds. I've said before I think its the people who poorly color their birds that give it a bad name. Either the dye job looks like my dove's butt or they bird's lost too many feathers or they look too rough from mishandeling during the coloring process. I could easily raddle off at least 10 names right now, I think its important to be aware that you shouldn't color the birds unless it is really necessary. I've always thought to first get your dove act down to precision, then worry about the little stuff like coloring birds later because it really doesn't add a whole lot to an act, in my opinion, and this is coming from a guy who uses colored birds...

sperris
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Dave Scribner
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Absolutely, Dan. I look at Jason Byrne and Greg Frewin. They use yellow balls and yellow clay. It wouldn't fit the act if their birds were white. There should be a better reason for color than "it looks pretty".
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KSMagic2007
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Dave, by "tight" I didn't mean that. I just meant that they audience wouldn't like the doves being put in holders, if they knew about them.
Kyle
Mr.Dennis
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Remember that if you decide you want white doves once again, it takes a few weeks before the coloring wears off and for the feathers to grow out. This might result in funky looking doves for a short time.
tdowell2007
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Hi Kyle,
While I respect your opinion regarding the audience members not liking harnesses, there should never be any rough handling when placing a dove in to a harness. Each of my harnesses are hand made for each specific bird. Why? So that the harness is comfortable for that specific dove. How do I know its comfortable? Doves, like most animals display basic emotions like fear, illness, etc. In the past, my doves have been upset for whatever reason, and not wanted to go into their harness. What do I do? Simple, set them down, let them relax and then place them into the harness, gently. Tony Clark taught me the correct way to place a dove into a harness. I do not stuff my dove into a harness but gently roll the harness around the dove and them clasp it. Not that I would ever allow it but I would not hesitate a bit if anyone wanted to watch me prepare my doves for a show. No one, and I mean no one could ever accuse me of being rough with my doves. A feeling I bet is shared by most dove workers. My doves are members of my family day in and day out. They are not props but the true stars of my show. Just my 2 cents worth...
Tony
Dynamike
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Are other animals dyed the same way?
Father Photius
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Well Dave's method is what I used, but I think one thing got left out. Regardless of how much you handle your doves, and regardless of how gentle you are in the process, don't expect the dove to be thrilled with the whole experience. In fact, expect it to be outright irate. I ened up as wet as the dove, pecked, and almost as dyed as the dove when I tried. Never did that one a second time.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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