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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Some one needs hair care (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kyle^Ravin
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Inner circle
I slammed my head against
1070 Posts

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Hey folks... Got a quick one here... One of my doves has seemed to have started 'balding'.This has been the case for the past 2 months. Smack me if I'm reacting too late!

As far as I'm aware, it's a female and there is no molt going on. Could this be a health issue or something I'm missing out on. Any advice?
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Kyle, there are several answers. First, although you aren't aware of it, there could be moulting going on. It will clear up just like any other moult.

A second option is that it is bored. Is it living in a cage with other doves or by itself. Doves are social creatures and really need the company of other birds.

The third option is one you don't want to hear. Check out the dove very carefully especially under the wings and tail. Ruffle the feathers in the opposite direction of growth. It might have mites or lice and is scratching itself. It's an easy condition to remedy as has been described here. http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=13&5
Where the magic begins
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11161 Posts

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Fourth option... Is it being picked on by other doves. I've seen stronger, alpha birds pick at smaller, weaker, or older birds, resulting in feathers being plucked away, mostly the small feathers around the head and neck.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22410 Posts

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I don't know why, but one of my birds once was on the bottom of the cage for a couple months, yes the stronger one picked on him, but he at times was the dominate one.

Anyway, when I picked up the bird from the bottom of the cage, all his feathers fell off. His eyes were bluging and looked poorly. He always had some problems, not able to fly as well. I decided to terminate his life.

The other bird lived on very well.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20496 Posts

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Mites are likely this time of the year. Doctor Lucy thinks puffy eyes can be caused by mites too.

Over crowding can also cause strange problems.

Perching is a very important behavior for a healthy dove. Will the bird perch somewhere, even away from the other birds? You want to be sure the problem isn't just intimidation by other doves. Even perching on the sides of feeding and watering dishes counts.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

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mysterious JO
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Poor nutrition can cause plucking as well, feather loss can also come from an allergy of some kind <recommend vet check for allergies if this is the case> boredom, and other birds dominating. I have seen this with my tiel! Even changes in the house can cause feather loss, Dryness in skin can cause feather loss as well! What ever the case maybe I hope you find the solution real quick and hope they will be ok!
Kyle^Ravin
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Inner circle
I slammed my head against
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I spent an extra amount of time watching them. Its not a moult, or mites. Its being bullied by the other males. I have a good sized cage for the three doves I now have. I sold away most of my others to another performer here. Its strange, that two males, would pick on a female so much.
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5080 Posts

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They are establishing territorial rights. Normally they would pick on each other but they are looking for the attention of the female.
Where the magic begins
Xavier
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Loyal user
Australia
209 Posts

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This has happened to me and it's best to remove the most dominant bird. This guy will only cause you problems down the track. Doves love to be paired off and I have found this is also great for travel. They are less stressed at gigs too and fret a lot less when they have a mate.

Remeber the rule that 3 is a crowd.

Separate the males in different cages and rooms if possible. Then trial the female in both cages, whilst observing their behaviour from a distance. Doves are much smarter than we think and can play sweet if they know we are watching!!!

The best solution would be to try and find another female. At worst you might have to pass the male on to another magician.

Even females can be bullies though. Living creatures are facinating things and just like us they too have personalities and flaws.

Some will play dead, fly return or remain on your hand easier than others. You have also hit the nail right on the head Kyle. Keen observation and common sense is key when using live doves or any animals in your act.
Kyle^Ravin
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Inner circle
I slammed my head against
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Thank you Xavier!!!
Xavier
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Loyal user
Australia
209 Posts

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My pleasure Kyle. Just don't be worried if it takes a long time for the feathers to grow back.

If I can be of any help, please don't hesitate to PM me. I have trained animals for all the major theme parks in Australia.

Best of luck with your birds.

:)
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