Tips & Help Topics
Latest Update "8/21/07"

This page contains some "tips" and "help topics" for the Dove Fancier. If you have a tip or helpful topic which you want to share with others please click on the email link below and send it. Use your browsers back button to return to this page.

Ringneck Doves - weights
 Average weight per grams - ranges from 140 to 215 grams of adult birds. Using 160 grams for the adult females and 180 grams for the adult males is typical & can be useful when medications are required.

Quick Conversion: (by Mrs Phil Doran - New Zealand) not entirely accurate but good enough for most purposes. Easy to do in your head!

Celsius to Fahrenheit - double it and add 30
Fahrenheit to Celsius - take off 30 and halve it.

Over-grown Bill - here is a picture showing what an "overgrown bill" may look like. Also on the page with the picture is some links to information about this condition. thanks to Georgia of the Dove E-group for sharing this picture of her bird with us.

Genetic Code for Wild Type Colored Ringnecks: Question: Why is the genetic code for Wild Type Ringneck written with all the known Ringneck Dove mutant genetic symbols? John Fowler & Dr Miller have answered this many times & have supplied the following information to help explain it.

Check out these simple designs: IDS Aviaries (links at bottom of page); Wade Oliver's simple backyard flight (The Dove Page). Also check out the other flight designs/pictures listed on the DOVE PAGE

Ringneck Behaviors - pictures showing some typical Ringneck dove behavior.

Dove Suppliers List: here is a list of suppliers & their contact info for many dove & pigeon related items. Thanks to Ron Smith in Ohio for keeping this list updated for us fanciers. Right Click Icon & "Save Target As" to download a Microsoft Word Document of this List.

Tangerine or Rosy Tangerine - an explanation on these two genotypes.

Violet Neck/Orange Neck (Ringnecks)- Comparison information; some information on these two mutants.

SHIPPING BIRDS by the USPS - a very informative article written by a first time shipper. First appeared in the ADA Bulletin. Easy to follow information that will help you ship your doves using the United States Post Office.

Known Dove/Pigeon Hybrids - this list contains the known hybrids between related & unrelated species of doves & pigeons. Use your browser's back button to return here.

Bird Proofing Your House/Home - great information on keeping our "feathered friends" safe while in our care - inside our homes. Applies to any bird kept inside your house.

Bathing Ringneck Doves: The ringneck usually prefers to bathe in an open pan of water as most other dove/pigeons species do. However, this may not be feasible if the bird is a pet indoors. A good substitute for this is to use the following tip up to three times a week; this also improves the feather condition. If the bird is going to be shown, then start about three weeks before the show date & mist every morning or early afternoon. Mix the following in a clean spray mister (these bottle sprayers can be purchased at many dollar type stores); spray bird until feathers are wet, not drenched; allow the bird to preen itself in a dry, draft free area.
1 part Listerine or generic equivalent)
1 part WitchHazel
8-10 parts water

SAFE & UNSAFE PLANTS - Remember these lists are taken from "human" lists & are not specific for birds or animals. Always consult a vet or do more research on the specific plant. If is is listed as safe for humans - then you can consider it safe for your birds; same goes for the poisonous species of plants - if harmful to humans then they are harmful to your birds..

Artificial Lighting versus Sunlight - click on this hyperlink to take you to the WEB SITE and the link to some excellent articles for Birds & Lighting.

Dead In Shell (DIS) - here is some information that is informative & can apply to reasons why this occurs in any avian egg. there may also be a genetic fault that can occur with some mutants that can cause DIS, such as Frosty to Frosty genes in Ringneck Doves.

DISEASES - information on the diseases which affect the pigeons - these same diseases also affect the doves. Here is some good information on "GOING LIGHT". Thanks to Sharon & Helen for sharing their expertise in these areas.

A very good "tip" to remember is to replace the "good" bacteria flora in the bird's intestines after they have been medicated for two continuous days or more. The medications will kill all bacteria, good & bad. Adding the "live" bacteria back into the bird's system will help them recover & help in getting the bird's system back to normal. Use some form of "LACTOBACILLUS" containing active cultures of bacteria. This product is found in most Health Food stores & can be bought thru a web site. You can also find such products on the Pigeon Supply web sites.

TRICHOMONAS GALLINAE: Trichomoniasis; more commonly known as CANKER. Checking out the sites for pigeons which have information on the disease will have information on CANKER & how to treat it. Thanks to Helen in England for sharing this picture.

PARAMYXOVIRUS - very deadly disease for the doves & pigeons.

PIGEON POX - pigeon pox or avian pox is a common virus affliction found worldwide in many species of birds. Clicking on the link will take you to several pictures showing this affliction on a ringneck dove. you can obtain vaccines from most pigeon supply wholesale web sites like Segal's, Foys etc.

IVOMEC or Ivermectin (injectable) - is used quite often in the avian field. Consult a animal vet - preferably an avian vet for exact dosages of this medicine if you are not sure. I use one drop of Ivormectin (cattle) (from a syringe & needle) on any bare skin of each bird. Ivermectin kills all internal and external parasites (except roundworms).

Grit - Do the birds need grit to digest the seeds they eat or not?  
This controversy has been around as long as man has kept the doves/pigeons in captivity & will persist into the future for our descendants to also discuss. 
Click here to read Dr Miller's article on this subject.

Worms & worming medicines - doves and pigeons should be wormed at least once per year. Some fanciers worm their flocks twice per year. Most instructions state that a second dose is needed about two weeks after the first dose to get any eggs which may have hatched. Some of the most often used medicines are: Tramisol and Piperzine. Tramizol (levamisole hydrochloride) is an oral, broad spectrum sheep wormer that is effective against  stomach, intestinal and lungworms. Piperzine is a hog wormer. Using these two products in conjunction with each other rids the birds of most worms. Tramizol is effective against certain worms species that Piperzine fails to eliminate and visa versa. Example of use: use Piperzine first - added to the birds drinking water - about 1 ounce per gallon and then retreat with Piperzine again in 10 days to 14 days to catch any eggs which may have hatched. Give the birds a one week break and repeat the procedure with the Tramisol/ one tablet per gallon of drinking water (make sure tablet is completely dissolved in the water). 

Mites  - can be found in the feathers, on the beak (scaly face) or legs & feet (scaly feet or legs). The mites burrow into the feathers or under the ceres or scales on the legs and feet of a bird. Noticeable by the appearance of a swollen cere that have tiny holes in them, eventually, if left untreated, the cere becomes encrusted. The legs and feet often swell and the scales protrude outward at an angle. It is contagious. Isolate and treat the "scaly" bird or treat all birds in the same flight. DO NOT PICK OFF THE CRUSTED SCALES - LET THEM HEAL NATURALLY. Best treatment is the use of Ivermectin (place a single drop on each infected area).

Mites & Vermin - Click on this link to Jeff Downing's site - he has compiled some good information on this subject.  Use your browser's back button to return to this page.

Ear Mites - Click the link to see a picture & the discharge fluids caused by the mites. Similar to if not the same as the above "mites". This mite attacks the ear of the bird. Using an "oily" substance over the affected area will "smother & kill" the mites within a day or two. Such substances are: Vaseline (smear over area); Campho-Phenique (liquid in a green bottle - just a drop in the ear canal).

FIRST AID KIT click on this link! Helpful information for caring for sick or injured birds. Check this link out as well - AVIAN FIRST AID. Gives some basic care info for sick/injured birds. Also search the INTERNET for Avian First Aid, the information found is very adaptable to any species of bird including "doves".

Types of Leg Bands - pictures showing several types of leg bands & how to put a "closed metal band" on the bird's leg. The ADA & CDA require show birds to be banded & have the appropriate leg bands available to their membership. Many pigeon clubs also supply their memberships with "club" bands. There are also Leg Band manufacturers, these links can be found on the LINKS PAGE

How to Band a Bird - pictures showing how to slip a closed metal band on the bird's leg.

Bird Dropping - evaluating the bird's dropping.

Cages & Aviaries - you can see pictures of flights & breeders cages, aviary drawings with easy to follow drawings. 

Indoor Aviaries - see pictures of beautifully converted or handmade indoor aviaries.

Hospital & Brooder Units - here are some pictures of simple cages which can be utilized for sick, injured or young doves. Some good information to make your own units.

Handfeeding Info(Sara Whitby) - a very well done web page by Sara Whitby. Very good EMERGENCY INFO. Excellent information on this subject which is very useful & helpful. Also check out Sara's entire web - a lot of great information.

Handfeeding Tool: here is an excellent and easy to make handfeeding utensil for feeding hatchling doves. Easy to make & quite easy to use. Thanks to ADA Member Ruxandra Lucaciu for sending in her helpful & useful tip.

Feed Containers - check out the simple ideas for using common household containers for feeding your Doves. You can also purchase several nice containers from your local pet or feed store or pet web site. If you have any simple feeder containers & would like to share them with other fanciers please contact IDS (

Waterers: here are several pictures showing automatic and manual bowl waterers; breeder/individual cage "pop bottle" waterers.

Handfeeding - good emergency information, pictures & drawings to aid in handfeeding pigeons and other quite useful information. This information can be applied to baby doves also. Use common sense when dealing with the doves & the varied sizes the young doves can be & adapt the information accordingly. THE PIGEON COTE

Handfeeding Formulas - here are some good formulas/recipes which are used for the hand rearing or feeding of doves and pigeons. These formulas can also be used for other species of birds.

Feeding Information - here you will find several seed and fruit diets to feed the birds. If you want to share your diet with others send your diet to IDS so it can be posted.

Purina Pigeon Pellets: Nutri-blend Green Pellets; some quick info & a couple of pictures showing this product. There is also a "gold" colored pellet available by the same manufacturer. I used the "green" with the fruit eating species & all of the seed eating species within the same flights also ate them.

Splay Leg (spraddle-leg) - Splay leg is a leg and or pelvic socket deformity found in nestlings. It is most often found in the newly hatched bird which are not strong enough to hold themselves up with their legs firmly planted beneath them. Three of the most common causes of this deformity are:

Visit Helen Fahlsing's web site - EXCELLENT info on many aspects of rehabbing birds.

Egg Fertility - this page contains a couple of pictures which shows the embryo development to show "fertility" of the egg. The pictures are of fertile eggs beginning at 1 day incubation.

Egg Laying Timetable - a short "table" showing the times eggs are laid for a couple of different dove species. 

Egg Hatching Data Results - a table of compiled hatching results for various species of doves/pigeons in my collection for the years 2000 thru 2005.

Soft Shelled Eggs - due to low calcium levels in the female. Can be rectified by adding calcium to the bird's diet, either by dry powder added to seed mix or in liquid form added to the drinking water.

Double Egg Shell? - not quite the case, but the picture shows what can happen when an egg hatches & the larger half of the egg slips over the end of the other egg in the nest.

Egg Size & Coloration Comparisons - pictures of the comparisons of different species of dove/pigeon eggs - for size & color.

Nests Containers - the type of container to use for the doves/pigeons can vary. The size of the bird can be a factor for choosing a container to use. Building your own from wood or cardboard (see Dr. Miller's cardboard nests). The best situation is to supply several types and sizes for each pair of birds. place the containers at different locations & heights in the aviary. Ensure that any nest container is securely attached. A loose container can be the cause of many lost eggs or young. 

DANGERS OF NOT SECURING THE NESTS - if this cage had been outside in the "heat" the outcome could have been deadly for the bird. The heat generated by sun on the overturned bowl with the trapped bird increases as quickly as it does in your closed up vehicle. The increased heat can quickly kill any bird that could become trapped as this bird was. If left attended, no matter where the bird is located, any number of injuries to the trapped bird can occur. Use your browser's back button to return here.

I had a conversation several years ago with a fancier who was having trouble with the Pied Imperial Pigeons (Ducula bicolor) keeping their egg in the nest. The nest was a basket type attached to a few branches in the Ficus Tree. I learned that the egg was found on the ground under the nest on the second or third day after it was laid. Knowing that this species  does not follow the typical male/female nest switching every day. The Pied Imperials take turns lasting approximately 24 hours before switching. It was suggested to observe the switching of the adults on the next egg.  It was observed that when the male or female landed at the nest site the "springiness" of the branches caused the egg to "pop" over the container's edge and fall to the floor. This situation was corrected by moving the container to a different location & securing it firmly. The new location was close enough to the old area that the birds moved to it with no hesitation. The birds raised the next egg with no problems.

Wing Clipping - wing clipping on an exotic dove/pigeon can be utilized either on the female or male which has become aggressive toward it's mate or other occupants of the flight. It can be used also for taming purposes. The clipping of one wing is often used; this offsets the bird's flight balance somewhat. This type of wing clip slows the aggressive bird down enough so the intended victim can escape the onslaught. Clipping both wings is not recommended for the aggressive bird; for taming it may be ideal. Clip the first six (6) flight feathers as shown in the picture. These will be molted within a year & then you can decide if the bird needs re-clipping or left to grow back. many times a clipped feather grows back within a few weeks, due to the bird being in a molt; just re-clip the feather(s) when they have finished growing in. Never clip a blood feather (new feather growing in), this can cause bleeding & possible death of the bird.

Undertail Bar - here is a description & picture showing the terms used in describing the "tail bar in doves/pigeons. In this picture the "tail bar" is the black area going horizontally across the basal width of the tail feathers. Use your back button to return here.

Heat Lamps: here is a picture of the "heating" I use in my aviaries during the winter months on the Texas Gulf Coast. All that is needed is a electrical box, outdoor spotlight lamp holder & colored (red or green) floodlight bulb (50 to 100 watt). Electricity is routed to each flight so that the birds cannot get to the wiring. The box & lamp holder are securely attached close to and above a perch & positioned high enough so that no bird can roost on top of it. I prefer the colored bulbs so the birds can sleep at night & I do not disturb any neighbors with a "white" light all night long. 

Tangerine Senegals - read the article & see the pictures about how this project got started.

PIGEON GENETICS - this web site has some really great genetic information on the "pigeon". Frank Mosca has put together a great web that deals with this valuable information.

Streptopelia Hybrid Projects - here is some information & pictures on the couple of hybrid projects I am currently involved in.

New World Dove/Pigeon names that have been changed or information on the species updated. I did not copy the entire "Supplemental Sheets" just the info about the doves/pigeon species it affected. For complete Supplemental info you can find it at the AOU web site. The group's name is on the page & can be copied & pasted into your web browser & click search for their web site.

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