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RE: Found a baby dove - advice

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Posted by: PHGuido at Sat Jun 25 18:35:35 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHGuido ]  
   

First and foremost - it was very kind of you to save the little baby! My advice is fairly simple: Check with your local DNR to ensure that it is legal for you to try to rehabilitate the dove. Do you intend on keeping it or trying to release it when grown? If you intend to keep it, you may need permits etc. If you intend to try and release it, I recommend contacting a local wildlife organization as soon as possible - the longer the baby stays with you, the more likely it will bond to humans and not be able to survive in the wild.

As for feeding if you are going to keep it and it is legal to do so, I recommend the Kaytee Handfeeding formula available at most pet supply stores or veterinary clinics that see birds. Yes, it is truly for parrots, but it is a great handfeeding formula for most any bird. The mix will need to be warmed but NOT HOT. Think of the bird like a human infant in that sense. You do NOT want to have the formula so hot that it burns the crop as that can be very fatal to all birds. This little one will need to be fed quite often at first - even every 2-3 hours. Feel the crop prior to feeding; if it feels full, wait longer and if it is empty, you are good to feed.

Once the bird is able to start eating on its own, I recommend avoiding seed mixes. Yes, in the wild they do take in a fair amount of seed, but it is very high in fat and low in certain vitamins and minerals. In the wild they eat a lot of other items as well that they won't get with a seed mix and they also burn a lot more fat than they do living in a protected house that is heated in the winter etc. Although some people will say that you should not use pelleted diets designed for other species of birds, our clinic actually recommends the canary/finch or parakeet sized pellets from any of the major companies for the primary diet - brands like Zupreem, Kaytee, Harrisons and Lafebers are just a few.

If you are going to do a seed mix diet, remember their beaks cannot crack the seeds well, if at all - no large sunflower seeds etc. They should also then have a daily vitamin/mineral supplement added to the food. No matter the diet, the bird should also have fresh veggies and fruits as well as some whole grain source like bread offered daily.

Finally, find a knowledgeable avian vet in your area. They'll be able to help you even more with the step by step process of raising the little one!

Hope this helps,
PHGuido


   

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<< Previous Message:  Found a baby dove - advice - willsteele, Thu Jun 23 08:02:23 2011