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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Dear God, Please Get Rid of these Feathers! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Beaudini Magic
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Hello Everyone,

I keep five doves, and a rabbit in the basement of my house. The dove cages have grates on the floor, and wire sides. Everytime they flap their wings, feathers and wood chips are distributed over the entire basement. I live in Ohio, so an aviary may not be possible, because I think they would freeze, but how can I contain these feathers and wood chips. Please help me, this has been out of control for a long time!
-Beau Alexander
"Make the Path, Others will Follow"
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Beau,

There are several threads on The Café that touch on this problem. If there are wild doves and wild rabbits in your area, there is no reason to expect that yours could not survive the winter too. There are plenty of dove magicians in Ohio that keep their stock outdoors.

Search a little.

Bob Sanders
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Beaudini Magic
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Thanks Bob,

I checked around, and found some valuable threads. It just seems too COLD for the doves here near Cleveland Ohio. I will look into some aviaries that I could make. Thanks again, and I will let you know how it works out.

Sincerely,

Beau Alexander
-Beau Alexander
"Make the Path, Others will Follow"
Bob Sanders
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Beau,

Check with Dakota Rose here on The Café. He lives in Ohio and breeds doves outdoors. He may have a few aviary tricks that work well there.

Dakota is also the youth editor in Linking Ring.

I know you'll be happier with the doves outdoors. Mine were in a basement for a while. It was pretty bad!

Good Luck!

Bob Sanders
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bwarren3
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Beau,
Check with John Kingry in VA, John has both also.
Bill
Beaudini Magic
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Thanks SOOOO Much guys,

I will definitely contact them, this basement thing is getting pretty unbearable! Dust, Feathers, Wood chips, you name it, its all over the place. I need a good warm aviary, so my basement can finally get clean again.

Thanks Again,

Beau
-Beau Alexander
"Make the Path, Others will Follow"
Autumn Morning Star
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I would get rid of the wood chips. They are not good for the birds because of the vapors they emit. Plus they are a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. Use newspaper covered with absorbent paper towels. Cheaper and more efficient.

If you move your birds outdoors you will need to cover the cage with a blanket and keep a brooder light on them. They will not do well at temperatures less than 40 degrees F. While wild doves do great outdoors, just like pigeons, the domestic doves do not. Some will live, but during a cold winter you will always lose some. Make sure that your water is kept warm enough not to freeze. Good luck.
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Dave Scribner
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Morningstar, this is the first time I have disagreed with you. I live in New Jersey and temps often drop to 0 during the winter. I have my birds outside with an aviary that is part wire and part wood to give shelter. The doves survive just fine outside. Of course I do have to watch the water more frequently but as long as they are away from any drafts, they are fine.

Beaudini, wood chips are fine as long as they are not cedar. But if there is a wire floor in the cage, there really isn't a need for them. With a wire floor, newspaper is a good liner to keep the cage clean. If you build an outdoor aviary, put sand on the bottom. It's easy to clean up and the birds will love it in the water temps.

The dust you see is dander and there is no way to get rid of it. I used to keep 31 doves in my basement. That was about 5 years ago and I'm still cleaning up the dust. It won't go away outside but it has a chance to blow away and disseminate.

As Bob mentioned, contact Dakota Rose. He's in Ohio as well and keeps his birds outside.
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Autumn Morning Star
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Rats, Dave, I was going for the perfect record. I was going on personal experience and advice from the American Dove Association. I am impressed that you have no problems raising your doves outside.

When I was growing up in Louisiana we often lost birds to the cold. We had expensive racing pigeons and assorted doves in a loft similar to yours - part wood part wire. In the winter we always did better with a brooder light and plastic sheeting stapled over the windows. It kept out the wind. (I think that is the secret.) This is particularly important with older birds that become arthritic. Still, we lost a few on really cold days. 32 degrees in Louisiana is miserable. (Could it be the humidity?)

We used sand on the bottom of the loft like you, but I thought it was tough to keep clean. Really dusty when we sifted out the poop. There must be several schools of thought regarding the issue of domestic doves. I know you are extremely well-versed on birds and I greatly respect your advice. I am glad to hear they can thrive outside.
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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Heck morningstar, if we all always agreed, there would be nothing to talk about. My sand isn't very dusty at all. Maybe just the type I use. You're right, it's the cold draft that causes the problem. On real cold days, the sand actually freezes so I end up raking instead of sifting for a month or two.
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JustinDavid
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My girlfriend goes to school in Florida, and from what I feel, the cold is so much different here, than down south.

South has so much more of a bitter coldness, while ours is crisp and cleaner ( I guess the pollution freezes lol). That could by the two of you have different stories.

Just my 2000 cents,
Justin
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Christopher Moro
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Beaudini Magic:
In the meantime, as you keep the birds in the basement, you might want to try adding a mesh screen "fence" around the cage(s). And a roof. I had a small "house" built with heavy mesh screen as walls (mesh like your screen door or window) in a wooden frame with a solid roof where I would place the cages in. Doves flap, feathers hit the screen, drop to the cage/house floor. Of course, some of the thin dust may come through, but you'll see a big difference.
Dave Scribner
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The screening idea is what I used when I kept my birds in the basement. Like Christopher, I build an actual room for the birds out of wood and mesh. Kind of like an indoor aviary. While the feathers usually fall to the floor, the dust accumulates on the screen and must be washed down periodically. There is no way to completely clean the screening that I'm aware of. Besides just being dust, it has a unique consistency that makes it stick to everything. Even using a vacuum cleaner and brush doesn't remove it. As mentioned in other threads, a lot depends on how many birds you are keeping. I've had as many as 31 birds in the basement which turned out to be unbearable but if you only have a few, this is a viable alternative if you really want to bring them indoors for the winter.
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