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How To Look After Doves

How To Look After Doves

Doves can make fantastic pets, compared to something like a budgie or a cockatiel they require less maintenance. They are generally quite quiet and their ‘cooing’ sound is considered quite soothing an attractive. Looking after doves can be very rewarding and if you follow a few simple guidelines, doves can live up to 15 years in captivity. This guide outlines how to go about caring for doves.



Caring For Doves


  • All birds need an enclosure, doves like to spend a lot of time on the ground so it is more important that the enclosure has a large ground area rather than it being very high. The ideal size cage for a pair of doves should be 36” long by 14” high and 20” wide.

  • When looking after doves, you should include some perches of different sizes in the cage so that the doves can exercise their feet. Make sure that the perches aren’t positioned so that dropping will contaminate food or water bowls. Things such as mirrors and bells will keep the birds entertained and things such as cuttlebone and a birdbath should also feature.

  • Doves prefer to kept at east as a pair but maybe even more as they are colony birds. Even if you have been caring for doves for a long time it is unlikely they will voluntarily be handled but they do not mind human presence. Doves in the wild use an open nest and part of caring for doves is to be able to supply this, a cat litter tray or shoe box is fine.

  • Dove’s food is very important and it is an essential part of looking after doves. Their diet should consist of fortified finch seed, parakeet seed or pellets on a daily basis. Alongside the seed and pellet mix, give the doves some chopped vegetables or fresh fruits. Protein should form an important part of the dove’s food so include something like mature legumes, grated cheese or even a hard boiled, chopped egg.

  • Like all animals, doves need a regular supply of clean and fresh drinking water. Replace the water daily and clean the water dish daily to avoid any bacteria growing inside.

  • Female doves can be kept together if breeding is not the objective. Check beforehand with an expert as to which breeds can be kept together, some will get on fine and others will fight.

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