Baby Birds

Hatching Brooders
Newborn Baby Development


Mourning Dove Babies


There is no guarantee that any of this information will help the baby survive. The mortality rate is incredibly high but it should help with the basic understanding of caring for Baby doves. Baby Doves are formally known as "Squabs" but since it is a less than flattering appellation, they will be referred to as babies on this website.

Click on any photo to enlarge

Hatching:                      Return to top


If all goes well, the eggs will start to pip by day 14. Do not help the baby hatch the egg or you will tear the membrane and cause it to bleed to death. Also the naval may herniate if removed from the egg too soon. 


Once the baby pips an air hole in the eggshell, it takes about 24 to 48 additional  hours for the baby to absorb all of the contents of the yolk sack into its abdomen and for the egg membrane to dry and seal the blood vessel endings. When the baby hatches and the membrane is dry and no longer veined with blood. The yolk sack should be gone from the shell at this time and no longer visible. The baby may be able to survive 24 to 48 hours on the yolk sack contents it absorbed during the hatching process but the parents or human owner need to start feeding the baby within 4 to 6 hours of birth. Some parents feed the babies within minutes of hatching. Human impatience is the #1 biggest killer of babies hatched in captivity. Please do not have the eggs and babies where children and animals can reach them. A locked room and away from drafts would be best. Keep the room warm and place a rag or old folded towel below the nest in case the baby falls out of the nest.

778BabySPineggshell-AAA.JPG (45495 bytes)

Pipping egg was chipped 

under weight of both 

parents trying to sit on 

the nest at the same time. Baby was not harmed.

Newborn Babies:                      Return to top


The new baby dove is at the most critical time of its life. The first few days are the most difficult for the baby to survive. The parent will start preening and fluffing its abdominal feathers in preparation for keeping the baby warm. The feathers must be fluffed in order to keep the egg and the baby warm. Flattened feathers actually insulate the warmth away from the baby, so the parents feathers on the underside need to be fluffed out like a skirt to cover and warm the baby. By preening the feathers, the parent is keeping them clean and fluffy for the baby's warmth and health.


Handling a new baby dove - If the parent dove is feeding the baby and keeping them warm, try not to disturb the parent. Some parent doves are intolerant of interference and may abandon the baby which will leave you with the dilemma of how to keep the baby warm and fed for the next few weeks.  It is critical that you first wash your hands with antibacterial soap each time you touch the baby and keep the baby warm. I would not recommend holding them for more than a minute or two unless you are feeding them or giving them water. Make sure that the babies are replaced under the parent facing forward in the same direction as the parent and that they are upright, with their head in a normal position and safe from being stepped on by the parent. Your disturbance of the parent could cause the baby to be trampled or abandoned. 


A tear in the baby's skin caused by a parent's claw or sharp stick in the nest can have devastating results. The skin will tear like tissue. Avoid this by insuring that the baby is not trampled and is handled very cautiously. As the baby gets a week old, it gets more and more difficult to keep the baby from crawling out of the nest. The new baby cannot tolerate drafts or temperature changes until it has a full set of feathers to regulate its own temperatures. Be sure that the babies are laying upright. Doves do not breathe well on their backs and could die if left that way too long. Check often on the baby's well being. It can die very quickly if the parent stands on its neck or falls out of the nest or abandoned by the parent where it loses the body heat and chills in minutes. The most likely time this will occur is when the parents switch places and step on it in the process. Be sure to keep the nest clean of feces and bacteria. Swap nests with a clean one if you can and replace the straw or nest material daily.


Be careful of leaving the babies unattended on terrycloth. Don't use it in their nests. The babies will get their toes tangled in the threads and permanently tear off their claws and possibly lose a toe. A bird's feet are very important for their landing and gripping.

804 babies 2-18H -AAA.JPG (43839 bytes)

left 1 hr old; right 18 hrs old

828babies 2-3D4H egg compare-AAA.JPG (54470 bytes)

Sizes compared to plastic dove-sized egg

Tangerine 3 days, Pied 2 days, Mourning Dove 4 hrs

Feeding:                            Return to top


By Parent: The parent should start feeding the baby on the first day within a few hours of hatching. The parent will start eating heavily when the egg starts pipping. This section will describe the entire feeding process from the crop milk, the first feeding to the baby learning to feed by itself. Several methods of feeding and caring for the baby doves are described in great detail.


Crop Milk -  There is a "Crop Milk" formed in the epithelial cells of the crop glands of both parents during the egg incubation cycle. This is genuine crop milk but not all parents have it or use it and when it runs out, the parents have to improvise. 

In order to artificially produce "Crop Milk" the parent eats large amounts of small seeds such as millet, canary seed and water, usually just after getting off the nest to trade places or in the evening. Then the parent lets the seed soak in the crop overnight or during their "off the nest" shift. This allows the seeds to soften and release nutrients into the water. The parents body temperature seems to get much hotter during this time and  the seed mixture is warmed and mixed into the water like warming a pot of beans into the soup. When done, it looks like gray water. Depending on the dove, I have seen more than one type of parental feeding methods and you may have to do supplemental feedings if the baby is not keeping enough food in its crop to sustain it. If it is empty every hour, I would recommend supplementing food. It the crop always has some food in it then just supplement water hourly.


Type 1 Crop Milk - Genuine crop milk looks like gray water but the artificial version described above can appear just like the original. An expert can tell the difference by the smell and the swelling in the mid crop region. The parents will gradually incorporate small seeds on about the 3rd or 4th day. 


Type 2 Crop Milk - The second type is a thick mucous with no seeds until the 4th day. This appears to be the least effective and is often seen in a foster parent and needs supplemental feedings. I feel that an infection may be involved in this type of mucosal crop milk. Especially if you can smell the presence of infection and necrotic cells.


Type 3 Crop Milk - The third type is a seed slurry fed from the very first feeding. This is more common in non-ringneck dove parents who have been out in the wild on their own for any period of time. 


Type 4 Crop Milk - The fourth type is a dry feeding where the parent is not pumping food or much fluid into the baby's mouth and is simply pumping the baby full of air. This can be very deceiving and you may think your baby is full. Only a crop massage and release of excess air will verify it the baby is actually full or not. This is also common in foster parents.


By the 4th day, all methods should be filling the baby to the brim with seed slurry and the baby will need hourly water to keep the crop mushy instead of doughy. Be aware that the clear portion of the bloated crop is probably air and the baby is not as full as it appears. Massaging the crop gently without forcing contents back into the throat and slightly open the baby's bill will help the air escape. Do not lay the baby on it's back or it may choke on food or fluid.


First feeding - Sometime after birth up to 4 hours, the parent will start pumping up its throat to ready the slurry of dove milk and begin to nibble or nip at the baby's bill trying to get it to lift its head to start poking for food. If the sitting parent is not properly getting the baby's bill positioned, I have seen the other parent try to teach the sitting parent by leaning over the baby to demonstrate by nibbling the baby's bill then the parent will hold its own bill open just above the baby's where it will slide into the correct position when the baby raises its head, but will not feed because this is only a demonstration to show the other parent how to do it. Then that parent will nibble at the sitting parent's bill to signal that it should try it the same way that was just demonstrated. If the sitting parent does not get it correct, the other parent will try to demonstrate again and will nibble the sitting parents bill to try again and may go back and forth nibbling first at the baby and then at the sitting parent. If the sitting parent does not get it right, the other parent will likely try to get into the nest and replace the sitting parent and tend to the baby's feeding. During this process is often how the babies fall out of the nest, so keep a constant hourly vigil for the first couple days. 


Since the baby can't see, it is the parents responsibility to get the baby into feeding position. The parent will take the baby's bill into the corner of its mouth inside the flap of the parent's cheek, then close on the baby's bill to hold it in place. Then the parent will use its tongue to rub the baby's bill to encourage it to open its bill to receive food. This happens while still clamped onto the baby's bill. Then the parent will start pumping its throat in a retching motion which is a muscular rippling and pumping motion swelling in the back of the neck. The parent will forcibly inject crop milk and seeds into the baby's bill to fill its crop. By holding the baby's bill tightly, rubbing with the tongue to open its bill and then tightening the tongue around the baby's open bill, the parent is able to force the fluid down the baby's throat without spilling any and will reswallow any excess and use it again. In between pumping, the parent will make a brief chewing motion. This is to get the baby to swallow and also to allow air in so it can breathe while eating.  Much like squirting the fluid into a straw, the baby's crop will fill in just a minute or two. The baby will likely fall out of the parents' bill several times and have trouble holding its neck steady to search for the parent's bill. See the photos on the right to see the parent feeding his young. (This pumping motion is different from dove vomiting when the dove rapidly shudders and shakes its wings in fast, furious short flutters while rocking forward to throw up or dislodge food blockages. During feeding, the wings of the parent are not fluttering unless the parent has run dry of dove milk and is retching for any remnants on the bottom. Older babies of a week or more will do a very cute wing wobble when they are begging for food, as will a female when she wants to bill with the male just prior to mating.)


Manually encouraging a dove to feed the baby - Keep checking to be sure that the baby is getting fed and getting enough water. They will die within a few hours if not properly fed, watered or warm. If your parent dove is tame enough, and the baby is not getting fed, you can try putting the baby's bill into the corner of the parents mouth and supporting its weight while petting the parent and stoking the opposite side of the parent's bill which sometimes may stimulate the regurgitative feeding process. My parents allow this while sitting on the nest but most will not feed them outside of the nest except a rare parent. I do have one that will feed the baby while sitting on my lap. With the others I have to wrench my arms into the small door of the cage to hold the baby in place to encourage the delinquent parent or foster parent to feed the baby. All of this depends on the tameness of your parent dove. If you irritate them enough, they will abandon the baby.


Foster Parent Doves - A dove that is willing to foster an egg or a baby is worth it's weight in gold. Some will only do it under certain conditions. In order to prepare a foster dove to expect the possibility of raising a baby or an egg, I will put plastic eggs the same size as dove eggs in their nest to get them to start sitting. The doves that will sit on the plastic eggs are good candidates. Doves are more willing to sit on two plastic eggs rather than one. They seem to instinctively know that a two egg clutch is ready to be sat on. They may not sit on a single egg waiting until the second egg is laid. (Plastic eggs are also good fillers if the female does not lay a second egg in her clutch to get them to sit on the real egg. Usually, you can remove the plastic egg in a couple days and they will continue to sit on the single real egg.) 


It is a good idea to keep the foster doves sitting on the plastic eggs for a few days after the baby is born. Often, the natural parents will go sour sitting on the baby after 4 to 8 days. The active baby crawling around will drive some parents from the nest so the foster parents are very important to keep in the mood of wanting to sit. I will remove one of the two eggs and put the new baby under the foster parents for about 15 minutes to a couple hours each day to get them used to the baby and its daily growth just in case I need them to raise it later so they wont balk at a larger baby. The natural parents will stay on the nest a full day after the baby is removed, typically but there are always exceptions.  Some foster parents will take the baby at any size as long as they have had at least one day to sit on a plastic egg. 


Putting the baby's bill in the foster parents mouth will probably be needed to stimulate feeding but wait until the foster parent has sat on the baby a couple hours to get them used to the baby before insulting them with the manual feeding encouragement. Foster parents are usually very loving but I notice that the natural parents will take extra care to teach the baby how to preen and where to defecate while the foster parent may not. The foster parents do a much better job of keeping the baby warm and safe.


Whether you are a dove pet owner or a breeder, no dove will be more valuable to you during baby reading than a good foster parent. Use plastic eggs to identify your best sitters, but be sure not to overdo it and burn them out where they lose interest.


Water - Check the crop every 2 hours to make sure it is soft and mushy with liquid. If not much liquid, let baby drink water. If it feels like dough, the baby needs water. Do not let it get its naries (nostrils) into the water. It is better if you place the tip of its bill in the edge of the water on a teaspoon and let it drink what it needs.


Seed - Keep a seed dish of small shelled millet or small round canary seeds for the parent next to the nest with some grit and finely ground mineral block or cuttle bone sprinkled on top for the parent to eat so it can replenish to feed the baby. Water should also be placed nearby so the parent will be able to produce "Crop Milk" but keep the water dish at least an inch higher than the nest so the baby wont fall in and drown. See photo on right to see parent and dishes.


When the baby is near 1 1/2 weeks old, the parents will try to encourage the baby to start pecking for seeds. See photo of both parents in nest encouraging the baby toward the dish and the seed which has been scraped onto the edge of the nest for the baby to start pecking at it.


By Human: If the parent is not feeding the baby within the first two hours of birth, you can try opening the parent dove's bill and inserting the baby's bill into the upper corner of the parent's mouth and support the baby to hold it in the proper place as described above. Often the insertion of the baby's bill will stimulate the parent's regurgitation process. If you are hand feeding, there are many baby bird mixes available at most major pet store chains. Don't wait until the day the baby hatches to go out and buy the food. Keep some on hand in case the parents reject the baby. Hard boiled egg mixed with pieces of bread and water will work in a pinch. The water dish should be at least an inch higher than the nest to keep the babies from falling in and drowning. The food should be warm but not hot. You should be able to stir it with your little finger without burning it or feeling uncomfortable. (yes, use the little finger. It is less likely to be calloused or desensitized.)


Be careful not to let the baby aspirate the water into its air system where it will die of pneumonia. Try letting the baby sip a small amount of warm water from a teaspoon or the water dish. Doves drink like an anteater by sucking through their bill like a straw or lapping like a dog so don't squirt it in their mouth where it might get into their windpipe located on top of the rear of their tongue. Notice the baby photos on the right where the baby is lapping food from a teaspoon and older fledglings which are  sucking up the baby food. 


If you do not have a proper veterinarian's feeding tube, even a newborn baby can lap up the food from a teaspoon or edge of a bowl while you are holding the baby in your hand. It just takes a while and care should be taken to keep the baby warm and dry while he is eating. Keep a tissue handy to wipe them off with and keep their nasal openings on their bill clear. Dove babies do not open their mouths wide or chirp for food like other baby birds. They poke with their bill to search for the food. You have to teach them about food by feeding them. You judge when to feed them by checking the crop for fullness and feeding them at least every hour or two, but don't let them become empty or dehydrated. Care should be taken not to get food into the windpipe on the back of the baby's tongue where it will aspirate and die in less than a minute. If using an eyedropper to feed the baby who is not eating, it is easier to allow the food to dribble in the tip of the baby's bill so it can control the passage past the windpipe. If you have to put food farther back, try to get it into the back of the throat past the air hole on the tongue.


If the baby is getting weaker instead of stronger, he is likely:

  • not getting enough water 

  • not getting enough food 

  • not keeping him warm enough

  • not keeping him clean. 

These are the 4 critical elements to keeping the baby alive.


It is very important that the babies get proper vitamins and minerals or they will end up runts. Not all vitamins contain calcium and the baby food may not have enough. You may have to add some. Be sure to read the nutritional requirements for baby doves and also about the hazards of overdosing vitamins which can be just as bad or deadly. Do not put honey into the food of a baby dove. 


If I find the specific information of amounts of nutrients for babies, I will add it to this website at a later time.

760BDfeeding baby D1-3.JPG (28138 bytes)

father nibbling the baby's bill to encourage it to lift its head and put its bill into the parents mouth

762BDfeed baby day1.JPG (36758 bytes)

Baby responding to nibbling by raising head as parent guides baby's bill into position

780BDfeedBDbabyopen-AAA.JPG (26222 bytes)

Baby is now in position and parent is holding baby's bill in place while rubbing his tongue to open the baby's mouth

785BDfeedbaby3-AAA.JPG (19916 bytes)

Parent regurgitating food into Baby's bill in a pumping fashion

761BDfeedingBabyD1-2.JPG (24272 bytes)

Parent pauses with a chewing motion to get baby to eat contents inside parent's cheek while allowing air for the baby to breathe and then starts regurgative pumping  again

791BDnestbabies-dishesAAA.JPG (27164 bytes)

Dish positions for sitting parent. Seed dish on right at nest level; water dish on left at least an inch higher than nest so baby wont fall in. Dishes are very important for parent to recharge in order to feed baby.

807babyBDfeedingspoon-AAA.JPG (33349 bytes)

874babySP-5D-AAA.JPG (30137 bytes)

Seed in baby's crop at 5 days old. Notice doughy appearance meaning baby needs water to make the crop soft and slushy. Weakness and skin looking dry on abdomen is another indicator of dehydration.

882CCteachingbaby2weeks.JPG (43603 bytes)

Foster father showing baby underneath how to eat seed

887babyseeddish2w.JPG (68796 bytes)

Baby inspecting seeds and wobbling wings excitedly as he crawls into dish

1777SPfeed2-AA.JPG (39109 bytes)

1309PiFeeding babywingspread-AAA.JPG (78948 bytes)

Development:                          Return to top


Birth - The larger the egg, the larger and more developed the baby will be. Eggs that are too small tend to bear undersized, under developed weak babies. In the photos on the right, the lighter color baby was larger than the dark baby on the day it was born. Even a full day behind, the lighter baby was larger, stronger and more developed, having come from a much larger egg. The darker baby had much more of an egg tooth than the light baby. If the baby emerges before absorbing the yolk sac or if the membrane bleeds more than a couple drops, the baby will die within the hour and it is unlikely that it can be saved.  

812BDSPbabies2-3Dold-AAA.JPG (68194 bytes)

2 day old; 3 day old

Day One - have baby bird mix on hand ahead of time in case the parent does not start feeding the baby within 2 hours of birth. The baby's head will wobble due to weak neck muscles and will have trouble holding up its head long enough to be fed. The parent sitting on the baby should nibble at the baby's bill to encourage it to insert its bill into the parents bill to eat. I have been able to teach inexperienced parents how to feed the baby by opening the parent's bill and inserting the baby's bill into the corner of the parent's mouth. Often the touch of the baby's bill inside the corner of the parent's mouth against the tongue will initiate regurgitation and I hold the baby in place until the parent has finished regurgitating food. Keep a close eye on the baby by checking the fullness of its crop every couple hours and watching the parent to see if the baby is continuing to be fed. If not, try holding the baby in place and insert its bill into the parents mouth to see if the parent will feed again. If you are unable to get the parent to feed, use the baby mix VERY Watery consistency and let the baby lap it off of a teaspoon. The food should be warm but not hot. If the baby still looks full two hours later, it is probably dehydrated and needs water to help dissolve the food in the crop. Most of the time, the parents do not give the baby enough water. Allow the baby to drink the warm water from a teaspoon. A doughy feeling crop needs water. As long as the baby is full and hydrated with water at midnight, it should be able to last until 6AM before the next feeding. The baby should be fed no less than every two hours after 6AM. The first 3 days are the most critical. If the parents are actively feeding the baby, the crop is pumped so full by the parent that the baby is filled to the brim until it is ready to pop and is quite heavy. Massive growth takes place overnight at this young age.


The first two days are the most critical, but the baby is still vulnerable for the next week or two. Protect the baby from falling out of the nest, especially until it grows feathers to enable it to regulate its body temperature.

Be sure to keep the nest clean of feces and be careful of cuts in its sensitive skin often caused by parents sharp claws. Some parents are more careful than others.


Some babies will peek open a tiny slit in the eye on the first day but most will wait until day 3 or 4. Some babies start clutching the nest materials with their feet on the first day. Others will wait a couple days. 

739babyBDnewborn-AA.JPG (36425 bytes)
714babyBDnewborn-AAA.JPG (43452 bytes)
810bdbaby-A.JPG (38985 bytes)
Day two - the baby will try to crawl and use its bill to pull itself along. It will start to poke its bill under the parent, but will still have an unsteady neck and closed eyes unless it started peeking early. The baby will require more food and the parents will start adding seed into the baby's crop. Water will be very important at this point. If the skin on the baby's abdomen looks dry, it needs water. 822babySPcrawl-AAA.JPG (67221 bytes)
Day three - More feathers will form. Baby should be eating much better now and neck should be stronger. Change and clean the nest, preferably by switching it with an alternate and similar nest so the parent is only disturbed for a minute. You don't want to cause the parent to stop sitting on the nest, so the change needs to be done quickly, yet quietly and so that the parent does not notice the difference in the nests. It is critical to clean the baby feces from the nest twice each week or the baby could die from bacterial infection. I use identical nests (see nesting section of website) and I clean the soiled nest with Clorox and rinse well and thoroughly dry the nest and alternate the two nests twice each week. I put a little clean straw in the bottom (which you can find in the ferret section of the pet store). 831babyBD3Dclose-AAA.JPG (47957 bytes)
Day four - The eyes should be open a peek by the fourth day, just a peek and should be able to grasp a stick in its feet. Photo of 4 day old baby shows a very large crop. In the bottom, you can see the seeds and in the top you can see the water. This particular baby was fed like this by the parent. The baby was constantly prodding for food and the parent was feeding every 5 minutes, essentially over filling the baby. The water will be pooped out very quickly leaving a thick mass of seed that will become doughy. I cannot emphasize enough about having the baby drink water every couple hours. 864babySP-4D-AAA.JPG (58078 bytes)
Day five - The baby is quite heavy with a huge appetite. Parents are constantly feeding the baby seed slurries. Feathers are rapidly growing on wings, back and belly. Eyes are more alert. Baby will look twice as big as it did a couple days earlier. 873babySP-5D-AAA.JPG (62134 bytes)
One Week - At a week old the baby becomes quite lanky and should continue to gain weight each day. The tips of the feathers are beginning to show. The degree of exposed feathers will depend on how much preening that the parents do on the baby's feather shafts. The baby is quite active now and real difficult to keep from climbing out of the nest. Keep an eye on the baby because they frequently fall out of the nest from this point on and will still chill easily. The only feathers on the back are down the spine. The rest of the babies body is still naked except for a fringe of feathers around the abdomen shown in the photos. In fact, two babies would completely overload the nest and you may have to resort to the cardboard version to give the babies and parents more room but it is hard to change a cardboard nest each day to keep it clean. A 3 to 4 inch tall plastic egg holder for the refrigerator shelf works good as a larger substitute nest if you put small sticks and straw in the bottom. Secure it to the side of the cage so it wont fall down. Alligator clips and other homemade devices should work well as long as you make sure that there is nothing that will harm either the baby or the parents. Both the baby and the parent will have more room.  906baby9days-AAA.JPG (40238 bytes)


1 1/2 Weeks - At a week and a half or 10 days old as seen in the photos to the right, the balance is much better and the parents start to encourage interest in seeds. The babies eyes are wide open but focus seems limited to near objects. The baby is much more active at this point, wobbling its wings with excitement and moving around a lot under the parent, poking out its head. In fact, the baby is now getting too warm under the parent with its new feathers all fluffed out and preened so it keeps crawling out from under the baby. This is an indicator that the baby needs a larger nest so it can sleep beside the parent rather than under. It will still crawl under the parent when it gets cold or distressed. See the photos in the feeding section of this page for photos at a week and a half to two weeks as both parents get into the nest at the same time and encourage the baby to eat from the seed dish and may start ignoring the baby and not feeding it enough. You may have to supplement the feedings but keep it to 2 or 3 times only so that the baby will learn to eat the seed when it is hungry. Try mixing the small seeds in with the baby food mix. The baby starts taking interest in the seed dish but does not eat at this point and will crawl into the dish to sleep if it is too hot under the parent.  He will get cold so put him back in the nest if he starts to sleep.


Around 12 days old, the baby will start wobbling its wings and peeping when it sees either the parent or human who has been feeding it. He will also start preening his feathers, stretching his wings and legs and the parents will stop wanting to sit in the nest. The baby's feathers will keep him much warmer now and will actually get overheated under a parent, but there are those times when it is cold or frightened and will hide under the parent's chest even though it is now too big to be sat on.


The parents will start ignoring the baby and will leave the nest to encourage the baby to start getting onto the perch, learning balance and exercising. The baby will be on its own in a couple days and has to learn how to fend for itself unless you want to end up feeding the baby forever. We have had our first set of babies without parents that ended up being hand fed baby mix for 4 months because we did not force them to learn how to eat seeds on their own. The babies grew up to be runts so this is not a good choice.


On day 13, the baby will start pecking at the seeds on its own but will not have adequate intake to satiate its hunger so it will still need supplemental feedings by the parent or the human. It is important that a small seed & water dish be placed on either side of the nest at nest level where the baby can reach them. Since the parents are not sitting in the nest, it is ok to use the small nest again where the baby has his own place to sit, preen and place the dishes next to it. Move the perch next to the nest so the baby can come and go as he likes. Babies will not be able to reach the adult dishes so it is very important to place these were the baby has easy & safe access. The smaller feathers under the wings will start to grow in at this point.


If the baby gets unruly or is endangered, the parent will step on the baby or actually walk over the top of it to the other side. The baby seems to know to stay still when the parent does this. See photo on right as parent does this when he becomes concerned about the baby's safety on a narrow perch while flash photos are being taken. Notice how the feathers on the baby's head at this point look like a toupee. Baby's feathers are fuzzy at this age rather than neatly meshed like the parents.

945baby10Dback-perch-AAA.JPG (37522 bytes)
944CC&Babyonperch-AAA.JPG (34656 bytes)
946CCfootonbaby10D-AAA.JPG (45148 bytes)
887pudgydishWW close1 1-2wks-AAA.JPG (68562 bytes)

Brooders:                           Return to top


If you are using a brooder, reduce the temperature by 1 degree each day to acclimate them to room temperature. Do not use clear or white lights in your brooder. It will blind the babies. You can buy a brooder from Lyons. Their ICU's are extremely expensive but the best you can find, plus they have other less expensive products. Some people make their own from a box and a light bulb which is fine if you want to burn your house down. Whatever you do, at least use a temperature gauge to maintain consistent temperatures and do not leave water bowls for the babies to drown in for the first few days. Read some books on brooder preparation for better details. You can make one out of a small beta fish tank, but the tank needs to be made out of glass so you can use the heating pads. The reptile section of the pet store has great warming pads, temperature gauges, red basking lamps or use a red light bulb of low wattage and a power dimmer switch for reducing the heat of the lamp Plus lid sized ceramic dishes that don't tip over. The babies have to be able to get away from the heat source if it is too hot. Keep it clean every day. Bacteria will kill them before you realize that they are sick. If the skin on the babies abdomen looks dry and if the baby is getting weak, then the baby is too hot and too dehydrated. Give the baby water and reduce the heat. The following links are the recommended sources for brooders and incubators. Prices range from $9.00 to hundreds of dollars and they have products to fit every budget.


Mourning Doves:          Return to top


In the wild, undersized eggs produce small, underdeveloped babies too weak to survive. Wild doves have an extraordinarily high mortality rate. The babies are often pushed out of the nest as early as two weeks old. The mother dove continues to help feed and watch over the baby for another week or two after that depending on if she has laid another clutch of eggs or not. Some mother doves lay eggs two weeks after the babies are born, chase the babies out of the nest so she can lay the next batch and forgets about the babies in favor of the new eggs. Another cause for the high mortality rate of doves. The 2 week old babies are defenseless on the ground just barely able to flutter their wings unless a larger parent is nearby helping them.

845babyMD4H-close-AAA.JPG (38574 bytes)
430BMD-closeAAA.JPG (51669 bytes)