Everything about Doves and Pigeons

What is the difference between a dove and
a pigeon? Doves typically have smaller bodies and bigger
tails than pigeons. But there is an exception: the domestic pigeon,
which is often called a rock dove and also known as the “dove of peace.” Pigeons and doves belong to the same family,
and have many similar features. Domestic pigeons and doves make great pets. Good natured and mellow, they love both their
own kind and people and they are easy to care for. They’re quiet, smart and social. They don’t bite, pluck, or chew and are
low maintenance pets. They are masters of the leisure arts – napping,
flirting, sunbathing and nest sitting. And they need homes! Domestic pigeons and doves cannot survive
in the wild. Pigeons such as Kings, Fantails, Tumblers
and Homers are smart, beautiful and gentle birds. They’ve been selectively bred and tamed
and, while they can’t survive in the wild, they thrive as pets. Many pigeons (and other birds as well) wind
up in animal shelters, either surrendered or found as strays, but they need adopters
to get out alive. Pigeons make great pets both indoors as part
of the family or outside in a rodent and predator-proof aviary. Doves make excellent pets,especially Ringnecks. They are beautiful, gregarious, friendly birds
and are easily cared for. They don’t bite or screamand they will amuse
you with their antics. Their generally peaceful, easy-going ways
make them a good choice for both experienced and first-time bird adopters. Ringneck Doves can be kept indoors or out. Single doves can become quite affectionate
and attached to their owners; however, they are social and are happiest with dove companions. Same-sex companions can live happily together
or they can be kept in pairs or smallflocks. Should you adopt a true pair you will need
to replace the hen’s eggs with artificial ones, a practice we call “birdy birth control.” Because they breed so readily in captivity,
there are many domestic doves in need of homes so it’s not advisable to raise more doves. Doves have the same basic feed and care requirements
as pigeons: a grain mix containing between 12-16% protein, pigeon grit and clean water. a high quality cockatiel mix with extra safflower
seed added as a treat. frequently provide Ringnecks with millet sprays,
which they enjoy very much. They love greens and minced veggies and happily
devour well-washed romaine lettuce leaves several times a week. Ringneck Doves have been bred in many color
variations including pure white, tangerine, pied and orange in addition to the deep gray-and-lavender
wild type. They don’t come in bright colors like parrots,
but their soft colors are lovely nonetheless. When properly cared for they can live for
20 years, so you can enjoy their companionship for a long time. If you are looking for a gentle, beautiful,
undemanding pet, a dove just might be the right bird for you. pigeons are domestic and can’t survive in
the wild. pigeons are calm and very adaptable. They’re alert but not prone to panic. Their energy level is much lower than that
of parrots and they tend to have really great leisure skills- lounging and napping and watching
more than being busy,I think of parrots as being hot and spicy while pigeons are cool
and mellow, maybe even boring to some. Pigeons will interact with you and some like
ringing bell toys or adopting cat toy balls as surrogate eggs. Pigeons are quiet with the male courtship
cooing/moaning being the main vocalization. They do coo or trill at you sometimes but
they never scream or yell. While quiet and mellow, they are still full
of opinions and personality and each is an individual. Like when adopting any bird, you have to accept
them as a cherished guest in your life and not try to change them or force them to be
something they’re not. Most pet pigeons will give some quality snuggle
time when in the house but prefer not to be handled when they’re outdoors Doves and pigeons are found throughout the
world except in the polar regions. A large portion of them are established in
the Oriental and Australasian regions. It is not known when these birds first became
kept in captivity, but they have been bred and hybridized for various purposes for thousands
of years. Specialized traits such as the homing instinct,
aerial acrobatics, and unique feather structures have been developed (or diminished) through
selective breeding over many years. It is not known what the total number of doves
and pigeons is, though there are over 305 described living species. In the pigeon fancy alone there have been
over 200 different breeds developed. A dove and pigeon diet consisting of a basic
commercial mix supplemented with greens rich in minerals is generally regarded as suitable. Greens can include such things as lettuce,
endive, chickweed, clover, watercress, and spinach. Some fruits are berries, apple, and pear. For smaller doves and pigeons you can use
a budgie or canary mix. The smaller birds will also enjoy millet spray. Foods available for doves and pigeons include
seed only diets, formulated diets that are either pelleted or extruded, and commercial
mixes generally consisting of seed, cereal, and legumes. The commercial mixes and the seed only diets
require supplements for complete nutrition. Though formulated diets offer the same nutrients
as commercial mixes as well as the necessary vitamins and minerals, they have been found
to cause loose stools. This is probably because of the addition of
molasses, but because of this problem they are not widely used today. Supplements:
Grit and Gravel: Because they eat seeds whole, doves and pigeons need grit and gravel. The little stones and the grit help grind
up harder seed in the gizzard. Vitamins: Vitamins can be added to the water
or sprinkled on food in a dry form about once a week. Calcium: Offer calcium in the form of crushed
oyster shell, grit, and even cuttlebone for the small birds. Other Supplements:Some folks like to occasionally
offer game bird crumbles, water soaked dog biscuits, and water or milk soaked bread as
well In all cases the size of the dove or pigeon
determines the size of its home, they must be able to flap their wings without hitting
the sides. Small birds such as the Diamond dove can be
housed in a cage. The medium and larger sized birds will do
much better in an aviary. Free flight birds will need a dovecote. For many years doves and pigeons have been
allowed free flight. ‘Dovecotes’ or ‘pigeon lofts’ were included
as an integral part of many buildings throughout many countries. Originally these were built for utility purposes
and later became more ornamental. There are many examples of these still today. A dovecote is a natural way to keep birds
that have a homing instinct and will return to the dovecote each evening. For free flight birds, probably the most important
thing to consider is safety! Free flight birds can be at risk from a variety
of predators. Birds that are not use to free flying are
especially at risk. Free flyers must first be accustomed to their
home before allowing them to fly. If they are new to the dovecot, you can put
a mesh cover around it until they become familiar with their accommodations. Once they know their home and where their
food is they will return in the evening. It is recommended that you feed them sparingly
in the morning, providing the bulk of their feed in the evening to encourage them to return. many of the small doves have very poor homing
instincts! Putting small doves, like the domestic White
Dove and Ringneck Dove, in a free flight situation could mean the loss of your pet. These birds would likely be lost, possibly
perishing of starvation, predation, or exposure. Wallcote:
The larger birds are ideal for free flight, especially the acrobatic flyers. They enjoy it and it is good for their health. For a small number of birds a wallcote is
probably the most practical. Built against the side of the house, preferably
facing south or southwest, a wallcote is a waterproof shelter consisting of compartments
and a porch or landing board. The compartment size is dependent on the the
type of bird. For a medium sized pair of birds a compartment
can be about 26″ (67 cm) wide, 18″ – 20″ (46 – 51 cm) deep, and 16″ (41 cm) high with an
entrance that is about 5″ – 6″ (13 – 15 cm). The landing board can be about 8″ (20 cm)
wide and can also serve as a place to put heavy crocks for food and water. You can add more compartments as the number
of birds increases. Polecote:
Another type of dovecote is the polecote. This is a shelter and landing platform mounted
on a free standing pole. This type of cote is often more decorative
than practical however. Garden Cote:
An aviary that is opened up and allows for free flight is sometimes referred to as a
garden cote. Most doves and pigeons are seed eaters and
thus ground dwellers. They like to walk around and will roost higher
up. Some are free flyers that like to travel around. All these birds will need flight space. If you keep your bird in a cage they will
need time out everyday to fly or walk about. When resting, doves an pigeons do not tuck
their head under a wing like many birds do, rather they hunch down pulling their head
between the shoulders. Doves and pigeons are very hardy birds. Seldom do they get sick if they are well cared
for. Many are very cold hardy but they do not handle
being in an environment that is wet, cool, and drafty. Signs of Illness:
Some of the signs of illness to be aware of are abnormal behavior such as sitting for
longer than usual or being abnormally quiet, closed eyes, fluffed feathers, head nodding
or head to one side, balance problems, sharply protruding breast bone, dirty vent, and slimy
droppings. Common Illness:
Some of the more common illnesses your dove or pigeon could contract are pigeon pox, internal
parasites such as threadworm, roundworm, or tapeworm, external parasites such as mites
or ticks, wounds, salmonellosis, and parrot fever .An ailing dove or pigeon should be
taken to a avian vet for diagnosis and treatment.

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