Caring for a Feathered Friend

Diamond Dove Preparing to Take a Drink. Pilbara, Western Australia. Photo Credit: Jim Bendon

Diamond Dove Preparing to Take a Drink. Pilbara, Western Australia. Photo Credit: Jim Bendon

You know how children always pester parents for a pet? Well, you are in luck!

Here’s a post just for first-time bird owners that will take you through the basic tips on caring for a new feathered pet.

We suggest you start with doves!

Whilst these birds are nowhere as colourful or playful as parrots, they are significantly easier to rear. Doves in general are very quiet, gentle and calm. They do not screech or squawk, very rarely peck and make great pets for children since the birds are easily tamed.

The two most popular pet species are the Diamond Dove (small) and the Ring-necked Dove (medium).

Feed your bird high quality seed mix for doves, which is available in most large pet stores. Alternatively, you can make your own by mixing together equal proportions of milo (a type of grass grain), wheat and millet seeds. Add in popcorn seeds, peas and sunflower seeds for the larger dove species like the Bronzewing Dove and Red-eyed Dove. Refill the seed tray whenever it starts running low. Use a water dish with a depth of about 3cm, generally large enough for an adult dove to stand in. Change the water daily because doves like to take baths and will often poo in the water.

Ring-necked Dove Perched on a Rock. Photo Credit: Yathin S Krishnappa

Ring-necked Dove Perched on a Rock. Photo Credit: Yathin S Krishnappa

The cage that you will be keeping your dove in is as important as its diet. At the absolute minimum, your bird should be housed in a cage that is 60cm by 60cm by 60cm. The spacing between the cage bars should not be less than 1.2cm. You should get proportionally bigger cages for the bigger species. Getting a cage of the right size for your dove is very important because cages with bars that are spaced too far apart can trap a bird’s head or wings, while cages with bars that are too close together can trap its feet.

That’s all for a start!

Do drop us questions in the comment box below and we will do our best to reply to your queries.

Happy “Dove-ing”!

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Categories: At Home, Low Budget, Pets & Plants

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