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Tod Todson
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Someone here said a dove is fine in close quarters as long as it's legs are comfortable.

Maybe it was Bob Sanders who said it. How does one ensure a doves legs are comfortable in a prop? Are they folded backwards (toes opposite from head)? Are then gently pushed down into a low sitting position?

Thanks for everyone's help in caring for this beautiful creatures.
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Bob Sanders
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One of the real secrets to keeping doves still and quite in harnesses is to keep their feet comfortable. For many doves that means let them hold one foot with the other.

For perched doves it means good footing for perching. Usually, by the time the public sees a dove I have produced, it is comfortably perched on my finger. Then I can move the dove instead of the harness!

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Tod Todson
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How does one get their dove to hold one foot with the other? Lets say inside a Pagoda or a Tray or other like-minded prop.

I'm not sure of the procedure, then, for placing a dove inside.
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Dave Scribner
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'Holding one foot' isn't something you can train your dove to do. It's a natural thing and if they want to do it, they will. When you load your dove, the bird should just settle down over it's feet. You don't bend them backwards. If you watch your dove as it sits on a perch, it will sometimes just sit down, covering it's feet. They are comfortable. Doing this will allow the dove to walk out of it's harness when produced. It also keeps the feet in the correct position for props such as a pagoda.

If you have Gen Grants video, you can see exactly how the dove sits down in the harness. His is the only video that I have ever seen explaining this.
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Autumn Morning Star
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I have room to tape a wooden perch inside my dove pan. I place the bird on the perch, she grips the perch with her feet, feels happy and stable, and I close the lid. When she appears, she is still on the perch. This helps her appear in a good position and can flutter her wings while holding onto the perch if I slightly move the dove pan downward.

FYI: I am simply taping the perch to the bottom of the pan, not suspending it in any way. I am careful to make sure I have enough room with each dove I use. Fortunately, this is a large dove pan. If your pan or prop does not have enough room this perch could bruise the breastbone or impede breathing, so check first if you go this route on a similar prop.
Cheers,
Autumn
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Dave Scribner
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Cool idea Autumn. I never thought of that. I learn something everyday.
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Autumn Morning Star
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Thanks, Dave. I came up with the idea about 8 years ago when I kept hearing their little toenails scratching around in the pan before I produced them. I could tell they really needed something to grip onto. I guess I could improve on the device and hot glue it into place.
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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Autumn, if you've been using it for 8 years, there probably isn't a need to change the device. I always say "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"
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Tod Todson
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How many inches is your pan, Autumn? Who is the manufacturer?
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boppies2
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Autumn,
Great idea! So simple, yet so practical.
Thanks for your worthwhile contribution.
Max
Autumn Morning Star
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Max, I am always happy to help out!

Karol, it is a Morrissey dove pan and is big enough for a two-dove production. It has an igniter that causes it to automatically burst into flame, but I re-wired it for ease of use. (I got all the stuff at Radio Shack and carry extras plus a solder pen on the road.) The new Morrissey pans come with the nicer bayonet mount igniter, so you don't have to re-work them.

The pan is 3 1/2" deep at the crest and 8" in diameter. I drilled holes in the top center of the pan for additional ventilation and hid them with auto pin-striping tape. I also painted my dove pan yellow and blue with a Blackfeet design and outlined the design with auto pin-striping Smile

I use a twist of flash paper in the igniter. It does not dirty up the igniter (despite the rumor). I replace the igniter only about every 200 shows. You can get replacements here: http://www.redhillgeneralstore.com/keroigniter.htm I suggest style A or B, depending on the position of your bayonet mount.

I also took an old 100% cotton tee shirt and cut three 1" strips of cloth about 23" long. I braided them tightly to make a pair of wicks and bound the loose ends with copper wire. One wick goes under the igniter and one goes around the perimeter of the flame compartment and is clamped (trapped) under the battery compartment housing. These wicks hold lighter fluid so much better than the original one!

When the pyrotechnics are set, I cover the pan with a square of gold lame' cloth and a thin elastic band so the lighter fluid will not evaporate and the ambient humidity will not dampen the flash paper. I can set it up 30+ minutes prior without any problems. Oh, I point the little knot on the elastic band toward the igniter button as a visual cue for hand positioning. For all who have the Morrissey pan, I hope that helps.
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
Tod Todson
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@Autumn

I'm quite sure I must misunderstand, so I'm almost afraid to ask, but you're not putting lighter fluid in close proximety to doves, right?
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Dave Scribner
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Karol, yes I'm sure you misunderstood. I'm sure Autumn is saying the flames go in the pan proper and the doves are in the load chamber just like any other dove pan.
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