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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » First approach with my doves (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mattia
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Hello!
I'm trying to build trust with my doves,but It's very difficoult:I have tried since for many days to pet them,but the are always very scared. Today the male accepted to be pet,but when I touched him,he run away after few seconds. The female didn't want to be touched. She's very scared!
What is the correct first approach to them? How can I build trust with them?

Sorry for my bad english!

Mattia
Dave Scribner
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You said you have tried to pet them for days. Are these new birds to you? How long have you had them? If they are new to you, you must let them get used to their environment before trying to handle them. I would let them sit in their cage for at least a week or more.

After that period, gently grasp the dove with one hand, holding down the feathers and remove it from the cage. With the other hand, gently stroke it from the top of the head to the tip of the tale over and over. Run your finger down from just under the beak to the bottom of the breast. You need to do this over and over. Every bird is different so it's difficult to say how long you should do this. When the bird seems to be calm when you take it out of the Café, begin to let it sit on your finger. Try to stroke it again as I mentioned above. Don't be surprised if at first it flies off. In a short time, it will begin to sit on your finger for long periods of time. Then you can begin the training process which should take about 6 weeks.
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Mattia
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I have been having them since december. I tried to remove them from the cage,but they were so scared,I went in a closed room,but they flew away,and they started hitting the windows.They lost many feathers. They were absolutely in panic. It was very difficoult to hold them and return them back in the cage. I think that I've done something wrong...
Mattia
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How can I take them off the cage without scaring them? My cage is also very big,so it's not easy to catch them...
1906Alpha1906
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Mattia - you may have to get a smaller cage to handle them. If they have a lot of room to move now, which is good for excerise, but you are trying to 'catch' them in the cage, then you are probably scaring them with reaching for them consistently while they are trying to get space from you. I had this with a couple of does before, and the best thing I did was to reduce the size of the cage. then from there, reaching for them wasn't so hard. However, before I reached for them, I left the front cage door open so they could perch right on the front of the cage without coming out. This way, they knew if they were scared, they could jump back inside. While they were sitting there on the open gate, I would only walk by them at a good distance so they could see what I was doing. As time went by, I would walk by closer without paying much attention to them. Soon I was able to walk directly in front of them with no issues of them flying back inside away from me. It was their safety zone. During feeding, I would repeat a signal for them to know it was time to eat (I would shake the can and the seeds would rattle). I would place the little cup of seeds inside the cage close the door and walk away. now they knew I was no threat to them. Soon, it was more easy to try and handle them. Even shaking the cup with seeds and continuing to hold the cup, they would soon fly to my hand holding the cup to eat. From there, it was smooth sailing. They were a little jumpy all the time, however, it was just their nature. They were scared easily by the slightest movements outisde of the home and cage.

Another question - do you have other pets? Cats? Dogs? Snakes? If so, this could be what is terrifying them. birds DO NOT like snakes. Mine don't. Even when I am pulling out the water hose, they flip out because it resembles a snake. Take a look at your surroundings and where they may be located to make sure that its you they are 'running' from and not something else.

-Alpha
Mattia
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No,I haven't got any other animals. Maybe I will try to handfeed them. If they don't eat for a whole day will they eat in my hand? Is it a good way to build trust with them?
Bill Hegbli
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Actually, it sounds like you are more scared of the birds then they are of you. Don't worry, you will not be hurt by the birds. They are soft bill birds and their peck will not hurt you.

Just pick up the bird from above or over their backs. There neck goes between your index and 2nd finger. Your thumb and other fingers hold their body and wings down.

Place them on your forefinger of the other hand and they should use your finger as a perch.
Mattia
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I'm quite scared to hurt them...
Dave Scribner
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Mattia, you have to get over your fear. If you aren't confident handling them, they will know it and will be nervous. Just go slow, be gentle and follow what each of us has told you and you'll be fine. It takes time. Don't rush it.
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Fábio DeRose
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Doves are very easy to tame. It is a matter of self-confidence, as well, since animals can instinctively much tell when something's wrong. I've visited people with the same problem that you describe but within minutes I could get the bird to perch on my hand. Not that it would not get scared with any sudden movements, but still it was willing to try and trust ahuman for a change. It is all about showing you pose no harm.



Read the 'Dove Resources' and you should have tons of information as to how to get to trust birds and them to trust you:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=13&0
Fábio De'Rose - Ilusionista
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Mattia
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I've been trying for the whole week to handle them,but I haven't been able to do this. Also a magician friend of mine,who worked with doves for 20 years and made with them also many tv spots in Italy(He also had a cage bigger then mine),saw them and he haven't been able to handle them. He said that they have a very strange behavior. I'm quite confused. I don't know why they behave in that way...
Dave Scribner
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You need to back up a bit and start over. Read all of the suggestions given here and try again. How many doves do you have in the cage? As Alpha said, you need a smaller cage for them so they can't fly around. Two doves should be in a cage about 24" x 24". Don't feed them for a day and instead of putting their seed in a cup in the cage, put it in your hand. Gently open the cage and put your hand in. Don't move it around, just hold the seed in your outstretched hand. Let them come to you and eat. You'll have to do this everyday for awhile until they get used to you. Once that happens, you can gently grasp the dove and remove it from the cage. Be prepared the first few times because they will most likely fly off but with patients, they'll get used to sitting on your finger. If they fly off, don't grab at them. That will just scare them. Let them fly off and then go retrieve them.

It's a long process for you to get used to each other.
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Mattia
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Thank you very much! I will try again. I have been hand-feeding them for two weeks, so I think that now I can try to take them off their cage.
Mattia
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Hello!
I finally succeed in handling my doves(only the male)!
I also put him in an holder and I made him appearing from a silk several times. But when I produce him, he immediately fly away. Is it only a matter of training? Will he stay on my hands without flying away in future?

Mattia
Dave Scribner
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Don't rush the productions. Now that he sits on your hand, you need to start actually training him. let him jump from hand to hand with only a small separation between them. You need to do this everyday for at least a week, over and over again but try not to tire him out. Watch his breathing. Then for the next week, spread your hands farther apart and let him jump from hand to hand. You'll have to gently toss him a bit so he gets the idea. Spread your hands as far apart as you can and practice for another week.

Besides all of this, let him sit on your hand and walk around with him perched there. All of this practice should take about 6 weeks or so. After that, you can start putting him in holders and start practicing the production. It all takes time.
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Fábio DeRose
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Dave is right, do not rush the dove into productions, as it is something rather uncomfortable for the bird on its first few times.
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Howie Diddot
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My question is; do you trim the wings, if you do, when do you trim them and how are they trimmed?

Should you trim them the wings before you’re training them so they can’t fly so far?
Dave Scribner
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Quote:
On 2011-05-22 21:33, Howie Diddot wrote:
My question is; do you trim the wings, if you do, when do you trim them and how are they trimmed?

Should you trim them the wings before you’re training them so they can’t fly so far?


Wow, this has been discussed several times and it's a sore subject with me. Understand that this is my opinion after years of dove work. The wings should never be clipped or trimmed. There is no reason to do so. If you can't train your doves not to fly off, you shouldn't be doing dove magic. Trimming makes them look odd, and hinders their balance. Trimming will not hinder their flight. Many magicians cut out every other feather. This will make flying a little more difficult for them but they can still fly and being that they don't have the lift and support of a full wing, it is easier for them to fall or fly into objects. Trimming tail feathers in my opinion falls into the same category. I've seen some doves with almost no tail. They fit easily into props this way but perching becomes very difficult. The tail offsets their weight for balance. Occassionaly, a slight trim at the very end of the tail is necessary after they are used several times but it should be very minimal just to keep the feathers even.

Maybe an extreme analogy but if you had a child that kept running off, would you trim down his legs? I doubt it.
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Fábio DeRose
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I absolutely agree to Dave. Plus, I don't believe the anlogy is at all extreme. Doves are living creatures and should be respected as so.
Fábio De'Rose - Ilusionista
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Howie Diddot
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Dave and Fábio;

Thanks for the information, I don’t know anything about the care and feeding of Doves; I am using rabbits now and they are very easy to care for, and the kids love the rabbits and get to pet them.

Dave I think you’re correct, I shouldn't be doing dove magic now, I need to wait until I have the time to properly work with Doves.

Thanks
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