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 Help needed with fledgling dove

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Raelene71



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Join date : 2011-03-18
Location : Hereford, United Kingdom

PostSubject: Help needed with fledgling dove   Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:33 pm

Hello all, I am new to Pigeon Angels & would really appreciate some advice with a recently rescued white baby dove!

About 3 days ago, one of my cats brought a white dove into our back yard. I managed to get it away from the cat safely and after taking it up to the vets for a check-up was told that it was a fledgling and completely unharmed from it's earlier ordeal.

We decided to look after it ourselves (the vet told us it wasn't difficult!) with the hope of releasing it back to where it came from - we live in a converted victorian convent and we have white doves that nest/roost in & around the convent eaves/belltower/balconies.

I have just read that fledglings can spend up to 3 days on the ground before they can properly fly, with the parents watching in the background & only coming to feed it now and again as they are trying to encourage it to feed for itself (and fly). I am guessing now that this is how our cat has gotten hold of it as the dove does not need to be hand fed & is very happily eating the wild bird seed (mainly millet I think) from a small dish. I am however hand feeding it water as I have not seen it drink on it's own yet.

I also haven't seen it flapping it's wings as if it wants to try & fly, so my question is - do we continue to keep it until it starts flapping it's wings & getting restless or will it not do this now because there are no parents to show it what to do?

I am extremely concerned about releasing it too early in case it gets caught again but are we lessening it's chances of survival in the wild by keeping it caged & in human contact? Obviously I will keep our 2 cats inside the house for 2/3 days when we do release it to give it as much chance as possible but there are other cats in the neighbourhood & I can't control their movements!

I am most appreciative of any advice on this matter, as I said this is all completely new to me and I want to give it as much chance of a normal life in the wild as possible.

Thank you in advance!

Raelene x


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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:20 pm

Hi Raelene, Hi there/Bye
Welcome to Pigeon Angels. It's great to have you here. Happy Dance

I hope we can help you help your little rescue.

Is there any chance of posting a picture of the little dove?
Keeping it confined should be just fine as far as not causing a problem when he is ready to be released.
Just feed, water and clean his cage without cuddling him. Which is very hard to do, I know.
It's great that he is eating on his own.
To help him to start drinking on his own, you can gently guide his beak in a small glass of water.
Once they get the hang of drinking, there shouldn't be any problems.

Given he's eating on his own, he should start using his wings pretty soon.

How do his droppings look?

We look forward to any updates. Smile


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Raelene71



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Location : Hereford, United Kingdom

PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:43 pm

Hi again & thank you so much for responding this quickly!

I will give the water training a go tomorrow, I noticed that when I was syringing the water onto it's beak it starts to nuzzle it, cheap & flap it's wings - I guess it thinks the syringe is it's mothers beak? As he/she is eating the bird seed on it's own then do I need to also feed it any food formula through the syringe? The poo looks pretty normal to me & plenty of it - as normal as I have ever seen a bird poo to look!

Will he/she start flapping it's wings within the cage or should I put it outside in the back yard & see if it starts to do it there? I am keen to let it fly asap as I do not want it to become too relaxed around us & the outside of the house as the cats will have it again in a flash. They are Maine Coon cross's and very keen hunters, especially now that we are into spring.

I will post a pic of the dove tomorrow as it is night here now & he/she will be sleeping Smile

Rae x
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Raelene71



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Fri Mar 18, 2011 5:49 pm

I also wanted to ask - would the parents still recognise it after being away from them for 4 days now ? My husband seems to think that we should put the cage outside near where the nest was so that the parents can see it is still alive - but I think he is humanising it too much and thie moving the cage about so much will just stress the little one.

What do you think? Laughing x
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Matilda
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:22 pm

You can sure put the cage out and see if mom and dad come to claim him.
Are there other cats about besides your own?

Should you keep him inside for a bit longer, it's critical that he has a safe place to practice flying and strengthen the wing muscles. If they are denied that opportunity, some will not learn to fly. I had a pigeon like that. Do you have a safe room the dive can practice in?
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:21 pm

Raelene71 wrote:
Hi again & thank you so much for responding this quickly!

I will give the water training a go tomorrow, I noticed that when I was syringing the water onto it's beak it starts to nuzzle it, cheap & flap it's wings - I guess it thinks the syringe is it's mothers beak?

* As he/she is eating the bird seed on it's own then do I need to also feed it any food formula through the syringe? The poo looks pretty normal to me & plenty of it - as normal as I have ever seen a bird poo to look!

** Will he/she start flapping it's wings within the cage or should I put it outside in the back yard & see if it starts to do it there?

I am keen to let it fly asap as I do not want it to become too relaxed around us & the outside of the house as the cats will have it again in a flash. They are Maine Coon cross's and very keen hunters, especially now that we are into spring.

I will post a pic of the dove tomorrow as it is night here now & he/she will be sleeping Smile

Rae x

* If you know he is eating enough on his own and he's 'pooping' well, then you probably don't need to continue with the supplement feeding. It is vital though that you know for sure he is drinking on his own before you d/c any assistance with that. A little white cap on his droppings indicates urine output.

** Yes, he will start to really flap his wings when he's ready. If you do have a room where he would be safe to exercise a bit each day, that would be great.

We look forward to seeing the little one.

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If we become ill or injured in any way,
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:41 pm

Welcome to Pigeon Angels, Raelene! Welcome

Thank you for helping the little dove, and trying to keep him safe until he can fend for himself. You've already got some very good advice, so I'll only add that, having his own flock nearby will make it much easier to release him back into the wild when he's ready, as he will recognise them, integrate and copy their behaviour, especially with respect to safety.

All the best to you both! Hi there/Bye
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:49 pm

How is the little dovey doing, Raelene?

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Raelene71



Posts : 23
Join date : 2011-03-18
Location : Hereford, United Kingdom

PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:35 pm

Hello again! Hi there/Bye
Firstly, thank you all so much for responding to my questions so quickly. I cannot tell you how much it has cheered me up, it's a great feeling to know there are like minded people out there to give support when it's needed. I have lots more questions though!

The the little dove seems to be doing fine and is very bright and alert. He/she is still eating seed on it's own & I have noticed that if I lightly rub it's beak with my finger and then put my finger in the seed dish it's starts pecking away madly at the seeds - maybe this is similar to what a mother would do to teach it to eat by itself?

He/she also drank on it's own today! I did as instructed & lifted a small clear dish filled with water up to it's beak until it was just in the water and it seemed to know what to do! Thrilled I will continue to do this until I see it drinking of it's own accord & I don't have to lift the dish up to it. With regards to poop - there is a white cap to it so I guess all is good there!

I'm still concerned it's not quite getting enough food though, I leave a small dish in the cage and I can see seeds have gone when I come back but I know that usually baby animals need a lot of food as they do so much growing/developing at this early stage. I haven't done ANY hand feeding at all but thought that maybe I should do so at least once a day just to be sure it's getting enough food. I have read that you can fill the finger of a small glove with formula and put a hole in the side, then gently insert the birds beak and it will drink from this. I am not sure what to make the formula up with, can someone please help with this?

I took it outside to our back garden this afternoon in the cage so that I could actually see what it could do with regards to flying, walking, hopping about etc. I put it in various places - on the lawn, on the edge of a plant pot, in a raised garden bed (all close to the ground) and went back inside where I could see it but out of it's view. All it did though was just sat there, looking around and up at the sky with some interest but no attempt to get away, try & fly or just walk around. Should I keep doing this every day until it starts becoming more active & trying to fly or should I wait until it gets more restless within the cage?

My other concern now is that the cage isn't big enough - as I am new to all this I didn't know what size cage to buy and I had a choice of 2 sizes at my local pet store! I bought the smaller of the two - to be honest - funds prevented me from buying the largest which was a parrot cage I think. It is easily able to walk around but I think if it wanted to jump up onto a branch it wouldn't be able to spread it's wings properly. What should I do? Very sad

Below is a link to Photobucket with a picture of our little house guest. I have also added a picture of the convent where the doves live & nest. At the front end of the building you will see some black iron railings around long windows - this is where they nest & I think it has come from. The picture was taken from my bedroom window, so you can see actually how close the proximity is.

http://s1095.photobucket.com/albums/i480/Raelene71/Dove/

I look forward to hearing from you soon & thanks once again!
pigeon 1
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:06 pm

We so appreciate the update and photos, Raelene. Thank You

What an absolutely gorgeous building. I love it/them

Your little guest actually looks like a young pigeon. The beak is more pigeon like. She's beautiful.
If she is eating on her own and pooping well I personally wouldn't start to hand feed her. JMO
The less you have to handle her the better.
Now, if for some reason she stops eating on her own, then by all means intervention would be in order.

YESS!! to the drinking on her own. Thrilled

The cage should be OK if she is getting some free time outside the cage.
I would be very cautious about giving her free rein in the yard. When they set their mind to it, they can bolt in a second.
If she's confined to a room to exercise there is no place for her to escape to.
And the one thing you don't want is for her to prematurely be out on her own.

Please keep us posted.


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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Raelene71



Posts : 23
Join date : 2011-03-18
Location : Hereford, United Kingdom

PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:05 pm

Hi, yes you are quite right - she definitely does not have a doves beak but a nobble on top like pigeons do! I never realised you could get white ones!

I will do the same tomorrow and give her some exercise - how long do you think will be enough?
Our back garden is actually quite small, only about 5 x 10 metres with half of it being lawn and the other gravel & paved. It is completely enclosed by a solid wooden fence about 5ft high so it is pretty safe & unlikely she will escape but if you think she'd be better off in the house then I will do her exercise there!

I will keep you updated, probably on a daily basis Happy and any more tips and information would be greatly received.

Rae x
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AZWhitefeather
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:42 pm

Raelene71 wrote:
Hi, yes you are quite right - she definitely does not have a doves beak but a nobble on top like pigeons do!

* I never realised you could get white ones!

** I will do the same tomorrow and give her some exercise - how long do you think will be enough?

*** Our back garden is actually quite small, only about 5 x 10 metres with half of it being lawn and the other gravel & paved. It is completely enclosed by a solid wooden fence about 5ft high so it is pretty safe & unlikely she will escape but if you think she'd be better off in the house then I will do her exercise there!

**** I will keep you updated, probably on a daily basis Happy and any more tips and information would be greatly received.

Rae x

* Actually, I think there are quite a few white feral pigeons in the UK.

** If you're talking about how long during the day, maybe a couple hours during the course of the day. From the looks of her size, I don't think it will be long before she starts taking little flights.

*** I would say you are probably pretty safe letting her outside with supervision. You could split up the exercise time. Some outside and some inside. Just a thought.

**** That would be great!!

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Raelene71



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Sat Mar 19, 2011 6:02 pm

Okay that sounds like a good plan Great job

I will let her out for 30 mins in a nice safe room in the house & then 30 mins in the garden (supervised).

I will let you know how we got on tomorrow pm

Thanks again Thank You
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Raelene71



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:01 pm

Just a quick update on today Feeling great

I put our little white pigeon out onto the bedroom floor today with a dish of water & some seed sprinkled on the carpet and left her to it for 30 mins. I made sure there was no danger for her but plenty of room to stretch her wings and walk about should she wish to. When I came back after 30 mins, she was in exactly the same spot as when I left her! Oh no

Seeing as she hadn't move much at all, I didn't bother taking her outside - I thought it may stress her unecessarily; I will continue to let her out in the house daily now though so that she gets used to the freedom!

I am having to clean her tray out daily due to the amount of droppings so I think she is getting plenty of food in her.

She is also still drinking from the water dish when I hold it up to her beak so I don't think there is anything to worry about there either.

I'll keep you all updated and if there are any more tips/advice, it will always be greatly received! Circle of Love:
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Sun Mar 20, 2011 2:29 pm

Thanks for the update, Raelele.
I agree, as long as she is producing good droppings, she has the eating and drinking mastered. Great job

The flying will come. They are self taught when it comes to flying. pigeon 1

Letting her out in the bedroom as you are doing is great. She will begin to move about more and more.
Next thing you know she will be on a piece of furniture or on top of a curtain rod.

Looking forward to the next update. Smile

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Cindy

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Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Teresa
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:30 pm

She's a little beauty!!! I love it/them And she seems to be doing very well! Way To Go
Just to be on the safe side, try to have a look inside her beak, to see if there are any yellow spots in hae beak or throat (you can do this by gently prising apart the upper and lower beak with your fingernail), as her lack of interest in flying might be an indication of canker (trichomoniasis), especially if she stands a bit puffed up, like she's cold.
Keep us posted!
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:33 pm

Teresa wrote:
She's a little beauty!!! I love it/them And she seems to be doing very well! Way To Go
Just to be on the safe side, try to have a look inside her beak, to see if there are any yellow spots in hae beak or throat (you can do this by gently prising apart the upper and lower beak with your fingernail), as her lack of interest in flying might be an indication of canker (trichomoniasis), especially if she stands a bit puffed up, like she's cold.
Keep us posted!

Good point, Teresa.

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
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If we become ill or injured in any way,
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Raelene71



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:42 am

I have had a look inside her beak/throat and it is just a normal pink colour - no swelling or yellow spots or anything abnormal at all!

Thanks for the heads up on this, I've never heard of canker before so wouldn't have had a clue if she did have it. Is it possible she has it but has no symptoms yet? Should I treat her for it anyway? Now that I have googled it I read that it can occur in 80% of feral pigeons! Her appetite is good & she is drinking but not excessively and she doesn't seem to have any trouble swallowing. Thrilled
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:03 am

You could treat her, even as a preventative. And it probably wouldn't be a bad idea.

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
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Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Raelene71



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:10 am

okay, I think I will

thanks
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:12 am

Raelene71 wrote:
okay, I think I will
thanks


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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Raelene71



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:19 am

Is the treatment something that is easy to get hold of? ::

We have a large pet store in Hereford, I will give them a call first to see if they stock it.
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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:15 am

Raelene71 wrote:
Is the treatment something that is easy to get hold of? ::

We have a large pet store in Hereford, I will give them a call first to see if they stock it.

I'm not familiar with what is carried in the UK, but I use Spartrix. And in most cases it has been very effective. Sadly, I have had some cases where the canker was too far advanced for it to work. Very sad

There is also Metronidazole (Flagyl) which I have never used, but some prefer it to the Spartrix.

Let us know what you find out.

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Cindy

A Pigeon's Prayer
Please watch over us while we fly,
Keeping us safe from the predators that share the sky.

If we become ill or injured in any way,
Please lead us to safety where we are welcome to stay.
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Raelene71



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Mon Mar 21, 2011 3:33 pm

Ok, I think I will call the vets tomorrow & see whether they have a single dose that I can purchase.

I am starting to fret a bit about it now, I had not thought that it may have an underlying condition. I promised myself that I wouldn't get attached to it but am in tears tonight about the thought of it dying Very sad

It has been eating & drinking (& pooping) as normal today but again when I took it out of the cage it was in exactly the same spot after 30 mins as when I left it - should it be showing signs of restlessness & flying by now or am I being prematurely worried? We were told by the vets that it would 1-2 weeks before being ready to fly and have had it a week tomorrow

I am just wondering how it got to be on the ground in the first place if it cannot fly - I have heard that the parent can kick them out of the nest if they are not well - could this be the case? Or just fallen out of the nest?
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Raelene71



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PostSubject: Re: Help needed with fledgling dove   Mon Mar 21, 2011 4:05 pm

Another quick question - what should their droppings look like? I am saying it is all normal but I am not really sure what normal is! Embarassed For the most part it is solid-ish with a white cap but there is the occasional watery greenish poop. crazy
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