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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Dirty tail (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

boppies2
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Arizona
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When I returned home from a show last night, I noticed the tip of my Dove's tail was almost black. It may have been caused by the metal screen of my new travel cage.
Any suggestions how this can be safely removed from the tail would be greatly appreciated?
Max
Dave Scribner
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Max, several choices. If it's just on the tip of the tail, carefully trim it off with a pair of scissors following the arch of the tail.

You can spray the tail down with a water spritz and let the dove preen. It will take a little while for it to clean itself. You can also buy feather glo at a pet shop and the dove will preen with that. Or, if you don't have any shows for awhile, just let it alone and it will eventually go away from moulting. That is the best way but unfortunately the longest way. Don't try to wash it with soap and water. You'll remove the essential oils from it's feathers.

If you're pretty sure it was caused by the metal on your cage, I'd either try to remove the screen. If not, you might want to get a new travel cage.
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boppies2
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Thanks Dave,
I have three shows coming up this weekend. Fortunately I have another Dove that I can use. I'll look into 'feather glo', but in the meanwhile, I'll let nature take its course. Now it is back to the ol' plastic case I had been using.
Max
Autumn Morning Star
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Dave is right. I would also arch the tailfeathers, because that black is difficult to remove.

You are correct that the metal cage makes white feathers black. Lead is often used in cage wire (hardware cloth and galvanized wire). This heavy metal rubs off easily and creates a molecular bond to the feathers. It is tough to remove and not very good for your bird to ingest on a long-term basis.

Plastic is a good bet for a traveling cage!
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.
Doug Henning
boppies2
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Hi Autumn,
The metal cage was a 'one time occurance'. The Dove was in there for a few hours. I hope no harm was done to the bird's health.
Maybe my WizKote will clean it up. LOL
Max
Dave Scribner
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Max, a one time occurance won't hurt your dove.
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boppies2
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That is good to know Dave. I am probably worse than a mother hen with my two babies. I am trying to train them, but sometimes wonder who is training who.
Max
Dave Scribner
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Join the club. I've been doing this for a long time and I still get all upset when a bird falls to the floor or runs into a wall. I always think it's my fault. I pick them up and talk to them for about 10 minutes until "I" feel better.
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Bob Sanders
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Did you put newspapers on the floor of the cages at any time? Newsprint will also do this.

If that is the case, the solution is easy. No newspapers! (I keep a flattened partial roll of paper towels in my case. In four decades of magic, no one has ever asked why!)

Another problem I have seen is dust from black felt or flocking in some props. If that is the case, just let the bird take a bath. (Then replace the black felt! --- No Dave, don't use the shop vac on the bird! LOL)

Lucy and I use plastic cat caddies for transporting show doves. Please don't tell the doves.

If the problem is metal dust, sometimes a weak acid like lemon juice will get it off.

The main thing is to always give your doves a perch. They stay cleaner and happier there than anywhere else. If you ever catch my dove magic lecture, ask me about dove feet.

Enjoy your dove magic!

Bob Sanders
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Dave Scribner
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Yeah, after sucking up 5 or 6 little birds in the shop vac, I decided there had to be a better way. Smile Of course I'm kidding guys. It was really only 3 birds Smile
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Autumn Morning Star
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Oh, Dave... Tsk, tsk, tsk! I only had a shop vac accident once with a skinny hamster. Sort of like a fast Six Flags Habitrail-Log Ride, eh? Of course I am ONLY kidding Smile
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.
Doug Henning
boppies2
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Bob,
I didn't have newspaper in the bottom of the cage. But then again I didn't supply a perch. Like Dave, I'll have to talk to my little friend until I feel better.
Max
Dave Scribner
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Max, always put some type of cover in the bottom of the transport cage. Use paper towels or brown wrapping paper (butcher paper) but never newspaper. It makes clean up so much easier.
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1906Alpha1906
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My transport is like Bob's...I use a cat carrier for my birds with a perch in there. I sprinkle a little bird seed in the bottom in case during the trip they want to snack a little.

I had an issue of dirty tail feathers once before but it was due to the metal on the cage. I got rid of the cage because it was just too old anymore. But as stated before, its an easy fix, just lighty trim the feathers on the end (round them out), and the problem solved. If there is any left, the doves will clean them off eventually. Its not too noticeable from an audience point of view though because they never really see the tail too much because the rest of the bird is overwhelmingly white.

Another solution that you culd use which will solve all your problems is to dye the dove black! *haha*
Autumn Morning Star
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Like everyone else I use a small cat carrier with a perch and I use white paper towels. I put them in layers and that way when they make a mess I can just fold up the top layer and it is clean again. This is particularly important just before a show. I sure don't like loading a dove with poopie feet. Bob, I would love to see your lecture notes regarding dove feet. Perhaps you could start a new topic on this subject.

Boppies, your bird will be just fine, but talk to her so you will be fine too. It's all good. Smile
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.
Doug Henning
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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Quote:
On 2006-12-12 08:03, Autumn Morning Star wrote:
Oh, Dave... Tsk, tsk, tsk! I only had a shop vac accident once with a skinny hamster. Sort of like a fast Six Flags Habitrail-Log Ride, eh? Of course I am ONLY kidding Smile

But, when a stray bat gets into the house, a shop vac works wonders in catching them and releasing them outside, unharmed. Just a handy household tip! I'm not kidding, either - really works. Just put a bucket over the nozzle until you can put it outside.
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