for Your New Ringneck Dove
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV
Misc Frogs V
Pet World Visit
“Peaceful as a dove” correctly describes all members of the
Ringneck Dove family. White
the universal symbol of peace.
Incredibly Docile. Ringneck doves easily rank as the most docile of all birds. Many birds protect themselves by threatening their owners. They act as though they intend to bite you. This makes most people back way off.
Really Tame. However, even a total stranger can reach into a cage and pick up a dove. No high-pitched screeching. No panicky wing-flapping. They are completely tame – with no training period necessary at all.
Many doves start cooing for attention as soon as you enter your
house. They like human
companionship. Once your
ringneck dove adapts
to your living area, every time you pass by its cage it will want to come out and hang
out with you.
You bet doves work out a pecking order.
Doves work best in pairs. Newcomers
are not always welcome. If you
add a new dove to an established “household,”
the new guy will get much unwanted attention from the original
The term “snatched bald headed”
comes to mind.
The term “snatched bald headed” comes to mind.
Although doves are related to pigeons and similar in many ways, few
people will mistake a dove for a pigeon.
For one thing, doves are quite a bit smaller (four to six ounces).
For another, you rarely find doves living under bridges.
Ringnecks could not survive under bridge conditions.
Doves eat seeds. They
spend a great deal of time in nature walking around looking for seeds.
Unlike the hookbills (keets, parrots, etc.), they do not husk their
seeds. They swallow them
whole. This makes it easier to
tell when they need more food. They
leave no trays of empty hulls as keets will.
Commercial dove foods are not as readily available as other bird
foods. If you can’t find their food, the best substitute we’ve found is vitamin-fortified parakeet
food. Doves will switch instantly to pelleted foods.
Of course doves enjoy a change of pace in their diets.
Keet foods have quite a bit of variety in them, but doves will
appreciate different treats – even a little bite of bread or cracker.
Greens, bits of fruit, and other little snacks go down smooth.
In the wild, doves come upon and devour an occasional insect.
They like bugs. In
captivity, crickets, mealworms, and dried flies fill the bill.
But their main food is seeds.
Grit. Because they eat their seeds whole (with the husks on), ringneck doves may need grit. They use it to grind up their food in their gizzards. Sprinkle a little bit of grit on their floor or provide a small cup of it -- as opposed to mixing it in their food. Let them decide how much grit to consume. Actually, they get along quite well with no grit at all. However, calcium grit will help put calcium into their system. Egg-laying females need extra calcium.
Bright eyes and an inquisitive look make the ringneck dove an appealing bird
to most people. They seem to
look to their owner for attention. Doves
also quickly bond to their owner and like to follow you around.
You can easily sex Ringneck Doves.
The males coo like crazy.
Females do not.
Erica Max, Skywings Aviary, Snohomish, WA, November 19, 2007
Hello, Just wanted to point out that you can't sex Ringneck Doves by which birds coo and which don't. Both sexes coo and make the laughing noise. However, males are the only ones who bow while cooing, as illustrated in some of your pictures.
A: As Johnny Carson used to say: "I did not know that." I'll add your info to my page. Thanks. LA
Julie Dale, Morganton, NC, February 3, 2008
Your website is wonderful! I had read your article on doves, and I had seen where someone had said female doves did not bow when cooing, and they did not do it as often. Well., I have a female white ringneck, and believe me, she coos a lot, and she does bow when she coos. And when she is covered in the morning, she coos when the cover is still on! She also loves to coo to gospel music! She will come to us immediately when we sing it! And, well, she also loves to throw seed as well, and she likes to play with anything she finds amusing, mostly plastic chains, and her "toy"
white dove. Most people say they do not make good pets because they are not very social or playful, this is so not true. My dove plays more than my cockatiel. She even plays with my parakeets. And she loves high places in the house where she can watch us. I just want people to know all these things, so maybe people will think of doves as a pet as much as the rest of the birds, even though they can't talk. They sure can be a wonderful, sweet,and entertaining pet. Thanks for your time. I hope this is helpful, and adds to your info.
A: Thanks for your report. I'll add it our Ringneck page. LA
Jeanette Risteau, May 26, 2008
I just read about sexing doves and one of your readers wrote that both males and females laugh and coo, but males bow when they coo. Both of my doves are female, both coo, both laugh and both bow. The only way I knew they were both female, is that they both lay eggs.
A: I'll add your report to my dove page. LA
Pic The males coo.
The males coo.
Campbell, CFB Aviary, Tulsa, OK, April 24, 2006
A: Thanks. "Mea culpa" as the Romans used to say. LA
Colors. Ringneck doves come in a variety of colors -- 40 or so. The different colors will all breed together.
People also like the cooing sound the males make. The phrase
“billing and cooing” comes from the mating activities of this
particular group of birds. They
coo to attract their mates. The
cooing sound also seems to attract humans.
Doves prefer to pick their own mates.
However, most are not what you would call picky.
One male plus one female usually results in a breeding pair.
Since they are such terrible nest builders, many doves will quickly
take over their food bowl as a better nest than they could ever build.
If you feed yours from a five-inch ceramic bowl, don’t be
surprised to find your female setting on a clutch of eggs in the food
bowl. Some will even lay eggs
on the cage floor. A few randomly placed twigs complete their
A few randomly placed twigs complete their nuptial suite.
A: Their eggs hatch 21 days after a parent begins
setting on the eggs. LA
A: Probably we should say something like "gestation averages 21 days." Nature has no written contract. You have to go with what your own eyeballs observed. Spring is excellent so far (even if I haven't set my tomatoes out yet). LA
Not all the eggs hatch at the same time, because the female lays
them on different days. The
babies are small, poorly feathered, and helpless.
(They are also ugly.) She
is an excellent parent, but not protective at all.
You can lift her up and scope out (or scoop out) the eggs and youngsters without
upsetting her much. Both the
female and the male feed the babies. The
babies stay in the nest until they are almost as big as their parents.
This process takes less than six weeks.
Both parents feed the babies “pigeon milk.”
The parents eat and partially digest their seed diet, then
regurgitate it into their kids’ open beaks.
The babies grow quite rapidly on this special diet.
You can assist the parents by giving them extra “nestling foods”
at this time. Any
extra nutrition always helps.
Big Cage. Ringneck doves, because of their wide wing span, prefer a larger cage. Something in the range of a cockatiel cage works great. You can house them uncomfortably in a 14x14 cage. Much better – a 24x24-inch rabbit cage. They really like bigger cages. If you keep them in a small cage, they absolutely need an exercise period outside of their cage..
Usually a weekly cleaning will handle the situation.
doves are not particularly messy -- except for their loose
feathers. Nor do they throw out their seeds
for entertainment as much as many small birds do.
Cleaning the cage on a regular basis will prevent most pest
problems. Adding one of the
“cage protectors” also helps. It
repels them like moth balls. Maybe
that’s why they smell like moth balls?
If your bird does get mites (evidenced by a scaly beak or feet),
you can eradicate them easily. Mites
are not much of a problem these days. Cage spray works. As does
Ivermectin in serious cases.
You don’t need a cage cover.
However, it could make your life easier.
If you tire of their cooing, that’s where the cage cover works.
It literally turns your ringneck dove off like a light switch.
Cool temperatures will not harm your ringneck dove.
Drafts will. Keep their
cage away from open windows on windy days, from furnace and air
conditioner outputs, and from fans.
Although ringneck doves spend a lot of time walking on their cage floor,
they still need roosts. It
always helps to give them a variety of roost sizes. They cannot
climb all over their cage wires like the hookbills do. And position
their roosts far enough away from the cage walls to not “ruffle their
feathers.” Tail feathers,
They cannot climb all over their cage wires like the hookbills do. And position their roosts far enough away from the cage walls to not “ruffle their feathers.” Tail feathers, that is.
Use one of the little wire brush roost cleaners on an as-needed
Soaking them in a bucket of bleach water also helps.
Soaking them in a bucket of bleach water also helps.
Doves need “outside time.”
They really appreciate flying around on a daily basis.
Doves don’t actually try to escape, they just like to “try
their wings” to keep in good shape.
You won’t need to trim their wings like you do on most
doves just do not try to
Of course, you don’t want your ringneck doves to “try their wings” outside.
They could fly away. Escapees
have a very short memory of where they came from.
Escapees also have little chance of surviving in the wild.
Cats don’t even have to sneak up on them.
are just not afraid of predators.
Like all animals, doves appreciate the sun (or its equivalent).
Naturally, they can’t take full-time exposure to the sun anymore
than we can. If you do build
an outside aviary, make sure they get mostly shade in addition to sunning
areas. However, with all the wild bird diseases out there (Nile
fever for one), outdoor aviaries are losing their appeal.
However, with all the wild bird diseases out there (Nile fever for one), outdoor aviaries are losing their appeal.
Artificial Sun. Many manufacturers make artificial sun light these days. These are the exact spectrum of sunlight but not at the same harmful intensity. They keep the birds healthier and more colorful.
Healthy birds preen their feathers daily.
Many like to take a daily bath.
Doves like a daily misting. It
helps them preen and clean their feathers. This keeps them sleeker and, of course, cleaner.
Last Words. Ringneck doves make an easy dove to handle. All the other doves prefer that you leave them alone. LA
Jeannine LaPorte, December 16, 2008
A: Thanks for the info and the pix. I'll add them to our ringneck dove page. LA
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