Doves are one of the most engaging of all birds to keep as domesticated pets, and although they are relatively easy to provide care for, there are a couple of things you need to consider before you bring these wonderful birds home – particularly in relation to the homing of the doves.
Learn how to take care of doves in the guide below.
Providing Dove Care: A Guide
1. Before you buy the doves, you’ll need to apply special attention to the dovecote which will house the birds. During the homing period, these birds will require plenty of care to ensure they adapt and adjust to life in the dovecote.
2. Generally, the homing period lasts for around 4-6 weeks, so you’ll need to make preparations before buying to ensure this period runs smoothly. Aside from the dovecote, you’ll need to invest in a homing accessory – and you will have to choose between two options – a homing net or box.
3. The homing net is a large net that needs to be draped all the way over the dovecote and stretched out at ground level as far as possible. The net needs to stay in place for the homing period, so you’ll need to pin the edges down using wood or alternative heavy materials.
The birds will still have space to fly up and down from ground level, but the restrictions of the net will encourage the birds to make the dovecote home. Place a dish of bird feed and water at ground level to encourage the doves to exercise.
4. Alternatively, a homing box can perform a similar role in promoting the homing process. In effect, this is a steel cage that can be attached to the dovecote. A homing box is more restrictive than a net, so it’s not an option that will appeal to every bird owner.
However, the doves will have access to certain bays in the dovecote. Food and water can be passed through a hinged door. A homing box should only be used if you have just one pair of doves.
5. Once the homing period is complete, it’s worth bearing in mind that these birds are fairly self-sufficient and only minimal care will be provided, such as a steady supply of feed and water.
The only other aspect of dove care that really needs attention is the cleaning of the dovecote, and this only needs to be carried out a couple of times a year. A regular sponge and bucket of soapy water are more than adequate to clear stubborn dove waste.
Find doves for sale on Bird Trader