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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Some Dove Questions (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Corey K
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Special user
Rhode Island
504 Posts

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I've had two doves now for a few months, and I haven't really worked with them at all. It seems that, every time I take them out of my cage, they will stay perched on my finger for only a few seconds before they fly off, either back to the cage (usually...) or around my room, eventually sitting on either my desk, suitcase table etc. I'm the only one that cares for them, so I'd assumed that they would get accustomed to me and know that I was the caretaker. I don't understand why they won't let me handle them all that much. I'm very gentle with them, not rough at all. Any ideas?

Also, one of the doves tail is getting pretty dirty. It always puts it's tail into the water dish and the tail is brownish now. It's been like that for a while. I was told that doves will clean themselves, and they do, but not this one's tail...it's been this way for a while. I've heard that with the water running really soft, you can put them into the shower. I've done this, and they do like it! They just stare at the faucet, almost mesmorized. But, the tail never comes clean. Any suggestions?

Sorry if it seems like a lot, but I'm an amateur when it comes to doves.

Thanks for the help.

-Corey King
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5080 Posts

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Hi Corey: the key to dove work is patience. You must work with them everyday so they get used to you. I recommend 15 to 30 minutes each. I think every dove worker has a different method for "taming" them. Something I have used in the past is to put the dove in my hand instead of perching it on my finger. I hold the bird with one hand over it's back and gently slide my other hand down it's neck and over it's feet. Then I just stroke the back of it's head for awhile until it calms down. Once it perches, the natural reaction is for it to fly to another perch. Try taking the bird to a corner of the room so it sees no other perching spot and just let it sit on your finger. Gently pet or stroke the bird the entire length from head to tail. Gradually move out of the corner (days later). It should start to stay with you. As for dirty tails, there are feather sprays you can buy that might help. I put a deep pan of water in with my birds, about 2 or 3 inches of water and they fly right to it for a bath. It the stains don't come out and they are at the tip of the tail, you can trim the tail a little but you must be careful. The tail is for balance. If you'd like to send a Private message, I can help you out a little more with the care and feeding. I have 21 birds so I'm constantly busy with them.
Dave
Where the magic begins
j_williams13
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New user
13 Posts

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Hi Dave. I just started out in dove magic, but my doves seem to be sick. I have a male and female. The male is not very tamed, but the female is. She always lays eggs but they never hatch. Also, her droppings are very very big. I am very worried about them. The male always picks at himself. I tried putting a mite and lice protector in the cage, but it dosn't seem to help.

If you can help, please e-mail me at j_williams13@excite.com.

I'm new to this Cafe and really don't know how to send private messages yet. Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,
Joey Williams
Dave Scribner
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Assistant Manager
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
5080 Posts

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Joey: first, are you sure you have a male and a female bird? Females lay eggs even without a male. If you have more than 2 eggs at a time, you probaly have two females. Also, how old are your doves? Females start laying eggs early but usually they don't have fertile ones until they are 8 - 12 months old. Don't be concerned about the large droppings. My bird droppings are always large after they lay a clutch of eggs. Pecking can be normal as long as they don't pull out all the feathers. It could be dry skin. Try spraying them with mists of water or you can get a bird bath spray from the pet store. You might also want to get some flea and tick powder, just don't get it in their eyes. The bird may also be bored. Make sure you play and handle him as often as you can each day. You should also get some wheat germ. Either for water or seed. They need their vitamins. Try these things and let me know what happens.

Dave Smile
Where the magic begins
Bascomb Grecian
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Loyal user
Redding, Ca.
202 Posts

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I have found that training doves is "easy" in the beginning if you handle the doves "in the dark". Yes, I am serious. Get your dove and start taming it in a dark room. Doves are really blind in low light condition. Handle the bird often at first and handle them in the dark. They will not fly away as much.

To cure the fly away dove, I recommend "starve" training. The idea works best with newly hatched doves. I have had doves so highly trained, that I could let them fly away outside. They will circle and return to my stand.

Only feed doves where you perch them for your show. That way they will fly back to the stand. All of this work with the bird takes dedication and time. Doves are tamed very easy and fast, but it takes consistent work.
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Jason Purdy
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New England
137 Posts

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Just a thought here about the dirty tail...
Quote:
On 2002-06-22 19:27, Corey K wrote:
I've had two doves now for a few months, and I haven't really worked with them at all...
Also, one of the doves tail is getting pretty dirty. It always puts it's tail into the water dish and the tail is brownish now. ...it's been this way for a while. ...But, the tail never comes clean. Any suggestions?


Hi Corey...
Do you have a raised wire mesh floor in your cage? If not, you may want to try that. If your birds are walking directly on newspapers or corncob bedding, they will get dirty much faster.

Try to clean the cage more often (keep it clean); the birds will be happy and healthy too. Also, move you water dish! (Or perch etc.)

The bird’s tail will not get dirty from the water. (Unless the water itself is dirty!) You must ALWAYS keep the water fresh and clean! (Change it daily if you have to!)

Continue to keep a clean environment. Give an occasional bath/shower or mist and eventually the tail will clean up! To help with the cleaning, take a wet paper towel (or such) and GENTLY wipe the tail following the grain (direction) of the feathers. Also you may want to try an old toothbrush. (On a wet tail.) Just be gentle!

Also please note, if your bird has "wet" droppings more than twice a day, chances are pretty good that your bird may be sick. This is a whole other topic that I will not get into right now. BUT Runny droppings will stain the feathers more often than firm ones. (Droppings that is.)

Good luck!

~Jason Purdy
http://www.jasonpurdy.com

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Ray Roch
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New user
Vancouver B.C.
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I used doves for years in my show while working fairs and festivals as well as regular indoor venues. Here’s the scoop on keeping them from flying. Take a bird into the corner of a room prior to your show and stroke its breast and it will try to fly, so instantly put your palm in front of it as it starts and keep doing so until the bird thinks there is always going to be a palm stopping it from flying so it stops trying. As for dirty tail feathers, cut an inch or so off the tail. Never cut or remove wing feathers.
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