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Dave Scribner
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If it's a precise cut, in all probability there was something wrong with it before you got it and a vet did an amputation. It's nothing to worry about and wouldn't have anything to do with balance. Dove balance is dependent primarily on the tail.
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Mattia
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He has got some problems in balance because he slips on my hands. Another thing quite strange is that my female have not made any egg yet.
Starting from march, one of my dove started cooing and going round the other. The other didn't do the "coo" so I think she's a female. So I put some straw inside the cage, and I made a nest for them. The female didn't lay a single egg. Could they be too young?
Libis
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Quote:
On 2011-06-23 02:44, mattia wrote:
The female didn't lay a single egg. Could they be too young?

How old are they? Sometimes they don't lay until one year or older.

Are you sure you have a pair? Sometimes the doves can't even tell who's a male or female until babies happen.
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." J.R.R. Tolkien
Mattia
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Quote:
On 2011-06-25 00:44, Libis wrote:

How old are they? Sometimes they don't lay until one year or older.

Are you sure you have a pair? Sometimes the doves can't even tell who's a male or female until babies happen.

I don't know how old are they, but I think they are quite young. I heard that old doves have got a little dark spot under the eyes. Mine don't have it, but I'm not sure that this method works. When I bought them I asked for young doves, but I'm not sure they are. One of my dove coos and bows and the other makes no sound. I hope the male is able to distinguish a female from another male. Handling them, I discovered that the male has got strong wing's muscles and the other is quite weak. It's quite probable that the second one is a female. Are there other methods to distinguish them?
Dave Scribner
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Quote:
On 2011-06-25 00:44, Libis wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-06-23 02:44, mattia wrote:
The female didn't lay a single egg. Could they be too young?

How old are they? Sometimes they don't lay until one year or older.

Are you sure you have a pair? Sometimes the doves can't even tell who's a male or female until babies happen.


Sorry, this is incorrect. Female doves can lay eggs beginning at 6 months although they are usually not fertile eggs. As for them not knowing if they are male or female, gendre doesn't mean anything to them. They are born with the instincts necessary to mate and lay eggs.

Mattia, not all females lay eggs. There is nothing you can do about it. I've had females go through their entire life and never lay an egg. It's kind of interesting. A female can lay an egg even if it never meets another bird. Two females will lay 4 eggs at a time, non of course are fertile. A male and female pair will lay 2 eggs at a time. Very often, one will hatch and the other will not. The laying cycle can begin as soon as the eggs hatch. If you remove the eggs from the nest right after they are layed, the doves will immediately lay another pair.

The color of the feet will tell you whether you have young or older birds. At birth, the feet are very pale. As they get older, the feet begin to get darker. Pink feet would indicate a young bird. Very dark feet indicates an old or older bird. Regardless of the age, you can train a dove. It just usually takes longer to train an older bird.

As for the dove with the injured foot, if it has troube perching, it is not because it is missing a "toe". It should compensating for that naturally. It sounds like their may be another issue and it might be worth taking it to a vet for a check up.

Sexing a dove is not an exact science. Some will tell you that a male coo's and bow's while a female does not. Females coo just like males. It is unlikely however that they will bow. If you watch the mating cycle, you will never see the female on top of the male. The female will very often peck the head of the male. Female doves are usually a little smaller than males. The only sure fire way to determine the sex is to have a vet do a check. That is expensive and unless you are really looking to raise more birds, it really isn't that important. There is a way to determine the sex but it takes a little experience. Doves have a bone from the neck to the bottom of the breast. Run the tip of your finger down this bone and if you feel it separate like a wish bone, it is pretty certain (again not guaranteed) that you have a female. The separation is where an egg starts. The bone in a male will not separate as much.
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Mattia
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Dear Dave,
sorry for so many questions,but it'a very important for me to know everything about dove care and health,and about possible dangers in productions techniques. I bought some of the dvds you told me: Dan Sperry technical tosses,Andy Amyx Doves 101 and Tony Clark Behind The Seams.
I've also watched carefully the mating ritual of my doves. The male starts doing a particular sound and moving one of his wings. The femal flies on the perch near him and starts pecking his head. So I think I was right:she's a female.Regarding the feet's colour,unfortunatly I haven't another dove to compare with,so I attach a photo of the feets. The photo is made with a very good camera,so the colour is exactly the same as original. Could they be young? Regarding the dove with injured feet,he learned to perch correctly,but if I do a very fast move with my hand,he slips(because he hasn't got claws)and he open his wings to balance.

Click here to view attached image.
Dave Scribner
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Mattia, first off, I misread your original post describing the missing portion of the feet. I thought only only "toe" was missing but I see now you are saying all the toes are missing. This will make it difficult for a bird to hold on. I might suggest you use this bird if you don't intend to display it perching on your finger or stage perch.

Looking at the photo of your doves feet, it is clear that you have an adult bird. I would guess that it is about 4 or 5 years old. The "scaling" look also indicates an adult bird.
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Libis
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Quote:
On 2011-06-25 07:04, Dave Scribner wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-06-25 00:44, Libis wrote:

How old are they? Sometimes they don't lay until one year or older.

Are you sure you have a pair? Sometimes the doves can't even tell who's a male or female until babies happen.


Sorry, this is incorrect. Female doves can lay eggs beginning at 6 months although they are usually not fertile eggs. As for them not knowing if they are male or female, gendre doesn't mean anything to them. They are born with the instincts necessary to mate and lay eggs.

Please note that I said sometimes, not always. I know that they can, I'm just saying that he might not see them right away. It depends on the bird. My hen wasn't ready to lay until she was 11 or 12 months old. I have friends with similar experiences.

As far as the birds not being able to tell, I've seen hens pair up and take turns trying to mate with each other and then end up with four eggs. (Dove hens lay two each.)
I also know people whose cocks have paired up and when given eggs from another pair took them and raised them. I only mentioned anything about gender being difficult to tell because he asked.
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." J.R.R. Tolkien
Dave Scribner
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Quote:
As far as the birds not being able to tell, I've seen hens pair up and take turns trying to mate with each other and then end up with four eggs. (Dove hens lay two each.)
I also know people whose cocks have paired up and when given eggs from another pair took them and raised them. I only mentioned anything about gender being difficult to tell because he asked.

Yes, two females will mate up but they still don't know they are females. It really isn't called mating though. They perform natural biological functions. They don't always lay two eggs each either. Some will lay one egg while the other lays 2. In many cases, a single female will lay eggs. I've had that happen quite a bit. Female doves are born with a specific number of eggs inside. When the conditions are right, they will lay those eggs whether there is a mate or not.Since males doves are very territorial and will fight if placed in the same cage, it would be extremely rare to have two of them and having them hatch. I'm not saying it couldn't happen but it would be very rare.
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tropicalillusions
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In past years, I have seen some breeders have birds with lots of missing toes,happened due to freezing temperatures. I alwaYS like heating lamps in my aviaries. If you keep their water from freezing odds are good the doves wont freeze up as well. curous if your doves feet were froze at one point????
Libis
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Quote:
On 2011-06-25 18:29, Dave Scribner wrote:
Since males doves are very territorial and will fight if placed in the same cage, it would be extremely rare to have two of them and having them hatch. I'm not saying it couldn't happen but it would be very rare.

Yeah, it is pretty unusual. I haven't been lucky enough to have males that get along. I've got a baby right now that I'm almost positive is male because he taunts his father and starts fights (with bars between them, any more I rarely let the babies fly in the same room as the parent cage because of this) and he's starting to try to bow coo (or bow squeak thus far lol.)
When they do, though, pretty interesting fostering stories have come out of it.

Oh, I was thinking on that female who hasn't laid. If she isn't just young, it can also have to do with lack of calcium and other nutritional issues or stress. It sounds like these birds are kind of new so maybe she's just not settled. Or she could be infertile.

That poor little guy with no toes. I always feel so bad when I see that they've had frostbite (or maybe a string injury--that can do about the same to bird feet.)
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." J.R.R. Tolkien
Mattia
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Dear Friends,
here in Italy it's very difficoult to go under 0°C of temperature. Last year it went under 0°C for a week,but my doves didn't seem to suffer too much:they were only quite ruffled. When I bought them,my male was already with injured feet. As I said before,all the toes are exactly of the same lenght,so I think it's not caused by an injury. Maybe it's congenital or,as Dave said,a vet could have done an amputation. I attach a photo of the dove with injured feet,so You can see it. Anyway,he learned how to perch properly,and he seems to be a quite happy dove now!
Another question:I'm planning to buy other two couples of doves. My cage is very big(2m x 2m x 1m)so I would like to put them together in the same place. Could there be any problem with three males in the same cage,also if the cage is so big? Regarding eggs,my female in the past had a hypocalcemia:when I bought her,she used to peck the male's head searching for calcium in the feathers,but now she recovered:I let her eat some egg shells, vitamins and some grit,and I bought a good type of seed. Now she recovered completely,so I think that this is not the reason why she doesn't lay eggs. Maybe she doesn't lay eggs without any reason.

Click here to view attached image.
Libis
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Quote:
On 2011-06-26 08:27, mattia wrote:
Dear Friends,
Could there be any problem with three males in the same cage,also if the cage is so big? Regarding eggs,my female in the past had a hypocalcemia:when I bought her,she used to peck the male's head searching for calcium in the feathers,but now she recovered:I let her eat some egg shells, vitamins and some grit,and I bought a good type of seed. Now she recovered completely,so I think that this is not the reason why she doesn't lay eggs. Maybe she doesn't lay eggs without any reason.

Hi Mattia,
A lot of times even just two males don't get along. Especially when they have mates and nests to defend. My main male bird doesn't like to see another male in the same room flying loose on "his" bookshelf etc(he just has to put up with it though.) He even gets a bit aggressive with "strange" females. (She's his daughter, but once they hit a certain age the parents tend to act like they're any other bird outside their pair. If you're lucky, you might be able to get two pairs to get along in there, but if anybody has babies get the non-parents out as sometimes they will attack other birds' babies.

It's great that you recognized the problem and started her on eggshells for a bit. As to the calcium--is she still getting access to it on a daily basis, along with when you supplemented? I don't know what is available where you live, but here there are grits made with lots of calcium and minerals in them already. Or, if you eat a lot of eggs, giving her crushed eggshell with the normal grit would be fine.
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." J.R.R. Tolkien
Mattia
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Hi Libis,
My doves usually eat grit and eggshells and some times calcium supplements inside their meal.
Can a male kill or hurt seriously another male? Is it dangerous to let them live together or after a period of time they learn to live together? As I said before my cage is very big so there is enough space for every male. I heard about many magicians who put many doves inside the same cage. They usually don't hurt me when they peck, but I don't know if they are so aggressive that they could kill another bird.
How about my dove with injured feet? Have you seen the photo? What do You think about it?
Fábio DeRose
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Males never learn to get along. In a big cage it could work, but once the lone dove has decided that the whole cage is his, there's almost no way of introducing another male, let alone two. I've seen doves that, raised without a cage, would think of their caretaker's living room as their territory, attacking any visitor.
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Libis
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Quote:
On 2011-06-26 15:02, Fábio DeRose wrote:
Males never learn to get along. In a big cage it could work, but once the lone dove has decided that the whole cage is his, there's almost no way of introducing another male, let alone two. I've seen doves that, raised without a cage, would think of their caretaker's living room as their territory, attacking any visitor.

I agree. My first dove, Edmund, thinks that my whole bedroom is his. Especially the bookshelf. It was hard enough to get him to tolerate his mate sitting there, I don't see how I could ever get him to put up with a male.
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." J.R.R. Tolkien
Mattia
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But could a male kill another male?
Dave Scribner
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Mattia, I think we answered this question but absolutely yes. The dominant male will continue to attack the lesser one and if left together, eventually a death will occur. Do not cage two males together.
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Mattia
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Ok. How about buying 4 females? So there will be a male and five females. Will the male make a nest with each female or only with "his" female?
I attached a photo of my cage. Is it big enough to contain 6 doves?

Click here to view attached image.
Libis
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Quote:
On 2011-06-27 08:06, mattia wrote:
Ok. How about buying 4 females? So there will be a male and five females. Will the male make a nest with each female or only with "his" female?
I attached a photo of my cage. Is it big enough to contain 6 doves?

You need nesting boxes if you're going to breed. Here's an easy kind to make: http://www.diamonddove.info/bird11d%20Ri......_box.htm Or you can use an untippable dog bowl, but you will need to make sure that there is plenty of nesting material so the babies don't slip on the bottom and get splayed legs. Maybe put a couple of wooden shelves on one side of the cage and set the nest on that. When possible, it's good to secure the nests such that they won't flip over on a bird and trap them--which is a potential death sentence for them.

It looks like you have a mini aviary, so actually you might get away with two pairs in there IF the male that is already in there hasn't claimed it all as his territory. (What are the dimensions? How long has this pair been in there?) If you do get another pair, it might be wise to have another small cage that you can introduce the new doves inside (put the small cage next to your big cage for a while, then put the small cage inside the big cage for a while, until you think they'll get along. This could take several weeks or more if it works.) If it doesn't work, then at least you have another cage to keep the other pair in.

Doves do not work on a harem system well. It takes a pair to raise babies, and if you let a male breed with more than one female those hens who aren't his favorite will often wind up trying to raise babies by themselves. This would end up making you raise the babies yourself which is very time consuming and you basically have to take about 4 days off work for the feedings at younger ages. Some males are even aggressive towards strange females--I know my oldest cock bird is.

Posted: Jun 27, 2011 9:56am
I was thinking even further on this. If you build shelves for nesting, be sure to put a good sized lip on the edge of the shelf so that if a baby bird wiggles out of the nest before it can fly it doesn't get hurt.

Nesting material for the nest boxes/bowls can be hay or pine needles.

Also, it would be difficult for a single hen to incubate the eggs as well. A pair normally takes turns doing this--the male during the day and the female at night. A single bird, if they managed to successfully incubate, would be on the eggs almost all of the time and that would be pretty stressful for them. They will need to sit on the "eggs" for 14 days. If you just remove the eggs without giving a replacement, many hens will lay right away again--depleting their calcium.

If you did want to have a bunch of females and one male in the cage, I would recommend that you get a whole bunch of wooden fake dove eggs and replace all the eggs that they lay on the first day that they show up (Especially for the hens who are not his main mate, just in case the cock cheated on his mate and they're fertile.) Let them sit on the "eggs" for 14 days so that they don't lay right away after you take the eggs and deplete their calcium too much.
"Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens." J.R.R. Tolkien
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